Many homebuyers only consider the costs of the house they’re purchasing — the down payment, the closing costs, the monthly mortgage payment, etc. But actually moving to that new house? Well, that’s costly, too.
Moving requires everything from boxes and packing materials to professional moving vans and movers. When you throw in the gas and other expenses, you can easily spend a few thousand dollars just getting from point A to point B.
Want to make sure your upcoming move doesn’t break the bank on what’s already an expensive home buying endeavor? Here are some tips to help:
- Declutter and donate first. The premise here is simple: don’t move things you don’t use or don’t need. If you’re just going to move a box of old clothes from one attic to the next, that’s a waste of time, money, and effort. Do a purge of your closets, drawers and storage areas before you start packing up, and save your resources for the stuff that really matters.
- Take advantage of tax deductions. Moving expenses used to be deductible on IRS tax returns, but that changed starting with 2018 taxes. That doesn’t mean, however, that all hope is lost. If you’re an active-duty member of the U.S. military and you’re moving for orders, those moving expenses are still tax deductible. Also, while the IRS isn’t allowing the deductions for now, some states still are. Be sure to speak with your trusted tax professional to determine if you still may be able to take advantage of the moving deduction.
- Find free supplies. Most grocery stores, convenience stores, and even gas stations are throwing out boxes left and right. Stop by a few in your area and find out what days they restock their shelves. Then, come by on those designated days and take some of the empty boxes off their hands. It’s a win-win for both parties. As far as packing materials go, don’t invest in expensive bubble wrap or peanuts. Gather up old newspapers, magazines or even mailers, and use those for extra padding instead. You can also use towels, blankets and clothes (which you’re already packing up anyway) as well.
- Call in reinforcements. Instead of hiring an expensive moving company, call up friends, family, and co-workers for a little extra man power. You can even ask people to do short, two-hour shifts (any little bit helps!) Just be sure to give them something in return (pizza, free babysitting for a night, the football game playing on the big screen, etc.) Make it worth their while!
It also helps to have set a moving budget ahead of time, so you know what you’re working with and when to cut corners. Here’s a great budget template to get you started.