Let’s face it: moving isn’t only time-consuming, it can be stressful and expensive as well. Whether you’re moving across the country or simply down the street, there are several factors that may have an impact on the cost of your move.
Can Moving Expenses be Added to a Mortgage?
The simple answer is no. Generally speaking, the reason you cannot leverage your mortgage to pay for moving costs is that the cost isn’t directly connected with purchasing your home. At times, lenders will grant you permission to roll the cost of lender fees, taxes, and other loan-related expenses into the loan itself. It may also be possible to incorporate closing costs into your mortgage. However, moving costs are considered outside of these boundaries and cannot be added to a mortgage.
What is the Cost of Moving?
The cost of moving into your new home will be contingent upon several factors. The two largest components are whether it’s an in-state versus out-of-state move and the overall size of your home. Every move is unique – while you may be transporting a 5-bedroom home with a grand piano, your cousin may be transitioning into an 850 square foot apartment with minimal personal belongings. Even though these are two completely different scenarios, there are six common expenses that the majority of all movers incur.
- Movers: Hiring movers is one of the most critical elements to factor into your moving costs. Remember, this can vary depending on the number of personal items you’re transporting, where you currently reside, and how far the movers will be traveling, among other things.
- Travel: The cost of gas, food, and lodging tends to add up fairly quickly. If your move requires flying, a small family could easily rack up $1,000 just to cover the one-way domestic flight.
- Boxes: Trying to conserve a few bucks during your move? You can grab boxes from local grocery and department stores (rather than purchase new ones). For fragile items that need durable containers, plastic tubs start around $20 each, increasing with size.
- Storage: Life can be unpredictable. Maybe your move is taking longer than anticipated because your closing was delayed. In these instances, many movers opt to put their belongings in a storage facility. A 10 by 20-foot self-storage unit can range from $95 to $155 per month, while a climate-controlled unit of the same size can wind up costing you around $180 per month. Again, your geographical location and the size of your storage unit will ultimately determine your final cost.
- Replacements: Sometimes, a few items can accidentally break over the course of your move. Always budget and set aside money for any replacements you may need.
- Deposits & Fees: Utility and cable services may charge early termination fees. Similarly, setting up new series prior to your move may require you to put down a deposit.
Common Questions Regarding Moving Costs
Are Moving Expenses Tax Deductible?
In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated deductions for moving expenses for the majority of taxpayers. Through the 2025 tax year, the legislation only allows active members of the U.S. Armed Forces to deduct moving expenses when they’re incurred as a result of a military order. Some states, like New York and California, are still allowing moving expense deductions on state tax returns.
How Can You Pay for Moving Costs?
While paying for your move upfront is ideal, not everyone has the financial means to do so. In this scenario, your best bet is to apply for a personal loan to cover part or all of your move. Personal loans, which can be obtained from online lenders, banks, and credit unions, are either secured or unsecured. These loans are paid off in equal installments, with monthly invoices factoring in both principal and interest costs. Typically, personal loans are paid over a two-to-five-year term.
Credit Card Loans
Unlike a personal loan, you’re not required to re-apply for a loan because credit cards offer revolving debt. The biggest downside to using a credit card loan over a personal one is you can count on paying a higher interest rate. We recommend only using a credit card that offers a zero percent introductory interest rate on higher expenses, like relocation.
How Can You Cut Down Expenses for Your Move?
Set a Time & Moving Budget
When hiring a reputable moving company, the time and date of your move can make a tremendous difference price-wise. Peak season, for example, which runs from May to August will always come with higher rates. If you plan to make your move between September and April, you’ll always want to opt for a weekday over a weekend. Weekends are in high-demand and will typically cost more money.
Additionally, to stay organized throughout the entire process, monitor and control your expenses by creating a budget and checklist to adhere to. Checklists are also handy in keeping track of what needs to get done. Staying organized is key to keeping stress at bay.
Declutter Your Home
As you sort through your belongings, get rid of any out-of-date electronics, old or never worn clothing, and unnecessary furniture. Goods that aren’t riddled with holes or dents can be donated to charity or sold via an app or garage sale. By decluttering your space, the cost to relocate will decrease as you’ll have fewer items, and therefore, less weight (which is factored into professional mover costs).
Grab Free Boxes & Get Creative with Your Packing
In lieu of spending your hard-earned money on brand new boxes, you can visit department stores and local businesses, like supermarkets, bookstores, office supply stores, and specialized liquor stores, to find packing boxes. You can also get the word out among colleagues and friends to see if they have any packing supplies to spare.
When it comes to loading up your boxes, you can use bed sheets, blankets, clothing, and towels, rather than purchasing bubble wrap or packing paper. When you exercise a bit of creativity, you can save money while still protecting fragile items during the transportation process.
Obtain Quotes From a Few Different Moving Companies
Before pulling the trigger and hiring professional movers, do a bit of research and request quotes from a minimum of three different moving companies. Each company will conduct either a video survey of your belongings or send an in-person estimator to inspect your personal goods before providing a quote. Remember, weight often plays a role in calculating your price, so be sure to tell each company which items you will and will not be moving, so they can deliver the most accurate quote possible.
Make the Most of Your Move
Yes, moving comes with its fair share of expenses. However, when done thoughtfully and strategically, there are a plethora of ways to cut down costs. The best way to approach your move is to conduct some research and speak with several professional movers who will be able to answer your questions and provide tips and tricks where needed.