Apartment Moving Expenses: How to Make Them Work for You

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Apartment Moving Expenses: How to Make Them Work for You

Manuella Irwin · Nov 18, 2013

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When moving to a new apartment, whether across the street or across the country, you can be financially challenged. Relocation expenses can skyrocket, so to avoid a whirlwind of moving expenses coming at you, research your options and plan your budget. Here are some details you need to consider in advance.

Find an apartment: apartment application fees, security deposit, first month’s rent and utilities costs. Have the money lined up. Your rental should be no more than 30% of your income.

Manage the logistics… like a boss

Here are a few money-saving tricks. Read and learn:

  • Land the job first. That will guarantee a steady income and furthermore, your employer may help you find movers and pay your moving expenses (or a part of your moving costs).
  • Avoid brokers. They charge fees for just booking movers instead of you. Do not let someone else make decisions instead of you. Look for a reputable moving company on your own, research well before booking.
  • Postpone it for off-peak season if you can afford it. Summer is crazy – heat, bad traffic and high rates. Also, avoid end of the month and weekend – higher rates again.
  • Keep it small. Will you really need everything at the new place? The more you move, the higher the bill. Donate, sell and throw away.
  • Do not ignore discounts and coupons, but stay away from low-ball moving quotes. Compare at least five moving quotes.
  • Accept only written binding estimates after a home survey to avoid unexpected charges. A company representative should come to your place before sending a bid.
  • Ask your mover to provide tariff. Interstate movers are obliged by federal law to provide their tariff upon request. Be acquainted with all the extra, accessorial services such as disassembly, bulky items, packing, stairs, elevator, long carry, storage and fuel surcharge.
  • Be versatile with packing. Pack on your own everything except fragile, expensive items and whatever you really cannot handle. Movers charge for packing additionally. Look around for free, durable boxes and packing supplies at local shops. Use towels, bed linen, clothing and pillows to safeguard breakables in the boxes.
  • Make sure your mover has a Certificate of Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance, so you won’t end up paying for property damages to the building caused by movers or for movers’ injuries.
  • Reserve elevator and notify your landlord. Make sure nothing slows down movers on moving day.
  • Deduct taxes. If it’s a job-related move, the IRS will let you deduct taxes if you meet certain requirements. There are two tests concerning distance (you have to move at least 50 miles farther from your current home) and time (you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months). At the IRS web, you can find details and forms you need to submit.

Travel

If it is a long-distance move, include any moving related expenses you might have. If you are driving your car to the new place, you will most probably make stops – food, refreshments, fuel, tolls and hotels. If you are going to the new place, by train or airplane, you’ll need money for tickets and most probably for a hotel and food. If it’s an international move, then you will have to take in mind visas and insurance fees. You should take care of the travel arrangement before the moving day, so you can plan the travel costs and avoid financial strains.

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