My husband and I move often. Most of the time we moved for his job, but sometimes we moved for other reasons, like when we chose to build our houses. This time we're moving for a combination of reasons. Last year, my husband changed positions in his company, doubling his commute time. We figured if we were going to get closer to his work, we should do it now. (And, for the record, yes, we'd like to stay put this time!)
Photo by gavinmusic
Once we signed the contract to sell our home, we switched to high gear to either a. find an existing home to purchase, b. find a home/apartment to rent so we could build a house. We had two non-negotiables--school district and price. It took a month (a very stressful month!!), but we finally found the house perfect for our family, in the school district we wanted, and at a price that would keep our living expenses in check.
The house isn't move-in ready. We're tackling several expensive, time-consuming remodeling projects this summer, and we're excited about it. My husband is extremely handy, and we've done projects on every home we've owned. The big issue? Keeping our costs within our budget.
We prefer to spend money on things like quality carpet for the new house rather than on hiring someone to move us, so we're packing everything and moving with the help of a few friends. We've done this several times in the past, and it's worked great. Plus, this method helps us weed out the stuff we're no longer using and donate or toss it.
But there are costs with a move that can and will blow up, and there's not a whole lot we can do about them.
Things we typically shell out money for in a move:
- Earnest money to "hold" the contract on the new house until closing (this money is returned to you when you close on the house).
- Appraisal fees
- Inspection fees
- Homeowner's insurance for the new house
- Moving supplies (boxes, packing tape, Sharpies, moving truck, possible storage units, etc..)
- Fees to transfer the utilities in our name
- Fees to hook up cable/satellite, phone, high speed Internet, etc...
- If moving out of state, new license plates, registrations, etc...
- Additional food costs. We eat more take-out meals the week before and after the move.
Murphy's Law costs (these are things we've paid for this month that we didn't see coming. Life keeps chugging!):
- Car repairs
- Annual HOA fees when we'll only be in our current house 2 more weeks
- A large dental bill
- Air conditioning repair
- Sports physicals
We've also been getting quotes for the work we're hiring out on the new house. Until every bid is in, we won't know for sure the scope of what we'll be able to accomplish. We've put a few projects on hold for a later date. We've dropped a few others altogether. And we've had to add a couple for maintenance issues.
My husband and I like things a certain way. We both have perfectionistic tendencies, and we are good at making decisions together. Sure, we bicker over stupid things like the timeline or whatever, but we also agree on the big things, like staying within budget and what we can and can't live without.
Every time we've moved, it's been expensive no matter how much we tried to keep costs down. By keeping our expectations realistic, and by knowing there will be 2-3 months of bloated bills, we've been able to keep our sanity intact. And, you know, we always make it through!
I wish I could say that moving doesn't have to be killer on your wallet, but I'd be lying. It always equals plenty of extra expenses for us!
What do you think? Is moving expensive? How do you keep moving costs down?
Have a fabulous Wednesday!