The real costs of moving house

Written by in Moving House

A man moving a couch

After considering the costs of moving house you may just may end up reconsidering. But while it is better for your mental health to avoid adding up all those incidental costs, having a clearer idea of some of the costs of moving house may help you avoid some common pitfalls.

A cloth broom cleans the wooden floorboards.

  1. The costs of cleaning a house

After packing your belongings into a box and lugging them across town, the last thing you probably feel like doing is going back to clean up. This is where it can seem tempting to employ a cleaner for the property you are leaving and perhaps even your new home too.

A professional cleaning service in this context may charge by square feet and it is hard to estimate the exact cost you may face as every situation is different. However, for a three-bedroom home you could expect to pay above $150 for a thorough clean.

One way to reduce this cost is to procure yourself some methylated spirits, which you can purchase for about $5 and get a lot of the initial work done yourself. Wiping down easy-to-clean surfaces throughout the home, especially throughout the process of packing, allows professional cleaners to focus on areas that may need more attention and time, such as shampooing carpets, wiping out draws and cleaning hard-to-access areas.

A couple move boxes into their new home.

  1. Getting in the cavalry

One of the largest costs of moving house often comes down to two men and a truck. Quoting this can be a complicated matter, especially as some removalist companies now charge an added cost per stair once you involve two or more storeys in the move. However, for a three-bedroom home, you can expect to be charged up to $1000 for the entire move. Consider saving yourself the back ache by having removalists deal with your boxes and the stuff that can get knocked around, while leaving the delicate stuff to you and your mate with a trailer to deal with.

The final option when moving house, and the cheap option, is to get it done yourself. One way to make this option the best option for all your future moves is to invest in furniture that you can easily dismantle and so doesn’t require a team of navy SEALS to lift.

READ MORE: Moving overseas: dealing with culture shock twice

Man adjust artwork on the wall in his new home.

  1. The hidden costs of moving house

  • How much is a cardboard box? How many will you need? You can find boxes for sale for under $5 each, and if you need about 20 boxes then you have spent $100 on boxes already. Consider renting boxes, asking friends and family (especially social media) for their spare boxes or heading to box heaven, the independent fruit shop, for all the boxes you could ever need.
  • Have you considered any repairs you may need to do before moving house? If you are selling a property, you will undoubtedly have some unavoidable costs linked to the sale of your home. If you are renting, much of the repair work may be associated with general depreciation of the property and as such the landlord can complete any surface repairs and claim these costs. Be sure to keep your landlord updated about such issues as mould or ageing fixtures as you don’t want to come to moving time to have the landlord taking money out of your bond repayment for these repairs.
  • Make the most of government services, including hard and green rubbish collections, which in many areas are no longer set for entire neighbourhoods but are a service you can book for any given day, often with a maximum number of bookings per year.
  • Utility connections are something you cannot avoid. Be sure to have these connections ready and waiting for you when you move in otherwise you may find it hard, and expensive, if you are moving over the weekend to have these services attended to by a callout service.
  • It is common when moving to eat plenty of takeaway food for at least a few days. While it is almost a ritual to get a pizza or equivalent on that first night, if you consider the cost of buying takeaway food for an entire week after moving in, it might be worth preparing a few meals that you can easily heat up in the oven after that first night.
  • New furnishings and those knick-knacks you can’t help buying in the excitement of decorating your home can have their effect on your wallet. Consider giving yourself a 2-week period where you won’t buy anything that isn’t essential for the house, just to let yourself get used to the surrounds.