How much does it cost to move house?

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There are many factors that affect the cost of moving house. Here are some considerations when working out your moving budget – including the many hidden costs that can blow out the overall cost of your move:

1. How are you doing the move?

First, how you do the move has a big impact on the cost.

Going total DIY – where you borrow a van and get friends to help – can save you money compared to engaging professional removalists who take care of everything and offer benefits such as transit insurance.

There are also intermediate options such as hiring a moving van, or engaging budget removalists with their own van.

But if you’re time-poor, or have valuable or fragile items, going pro might actually save you in the long run.

2. How far are you going?

Next, how far are you going? There’s a big cost difference between moving around the corner compared to moving out of town or interstate. If using removalists, check if you have to pay for their travel time to and from your pick-up and drop-off points. If going total DIY or hiring a van, include petrol costs in your budget.

3. How long will the move take?

How long the move will take depends on your method, distance, and how much stuff you have. If you’re willing to take time off work, and don’t have much stuff, going DIY might be appealing. If you’re time-poor, going pro is the way to go – they can get a standard move done in a few hours, while a DIY move could stretch over days.

4. Opportunity cost

You also need to factor in the opportunity cost of all the time you’re investing in the move. Going DIY can actually cost you more in the long run if you have to take time off work or spend more on childcare or pet boarding.

5. Are you feeling lucky?

What happens if your goods are lost, damaged or stolen during the move? Check if your contents policy covers your goods in transit. If not, consider getting transit insurance – otherwise you’ll need to cover any repairs or replacements out of your own pocket.

Note that most professional removalists offer transit insurance for extra peace of mind.

6. Professional packers

If your budget allows, using professional packers can greatly reduce the stress and anxiety of your move. They have the experience and equipment to ensure your fragile items are well protected, and can greatly streamline the setup of your new place.

7. Need storage?

Despite your best intentions, you can still wind up with more stuff than available space – so you may require storage. Some professional removalists offer free or discounted short term storage as an added feature.

Approximate moving costs (one day)

As an example, here are some approximate costs to move a 3-bedroom house locally in a major capital city:

  • Hiring a moving van or truck for one day costs between $150 and $220
  • Hiring two people with their own truck on Airtasker will cost a minimum of around $440
  • Professional removalists cost around $150 per hour
  • If you have to buy boxes, packing materials and associated items, expect to pay around $125
  • Storage costs for one month range from $320-$400
  • If applicable, factor in petrol costs and transit insurance

When planning your move, weigh up the effort, stress, opportunity cost and literal pain of going DIY compared to engaging professional removalists.

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