Relocating to another part of the country is often an investment in new opportunities. While most people know they'll have to invest in movers and transportation, there are a few expenses you may not expect. Here are six not-so-obvious moving costs that may accompany a relocation:
1. Your New Cost of Living
The cost of living can vary from one region to another. For example, if you earned $100,000 in Atlanta and a company in Seattle offered you a pay raise of 37 percent for relocating, you may only be breaking even, at best. On average, Seattle, when compared to Atlanta, could cost you 16 percent more for groceries, 18 percent more for health care costs and a whopping 87 percent more for housing.
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2. The Cost of Storage
Even when you've planned ahead, delays in moving into your new home may happen, which can result in unexpected costs. If your new home’s closing date is delayed for instance, or if the landlord at your new rental unit takes an extra few days to get you the keys, you'll need a place to sleep and a place to store your stuff. Self-storage rates vary, as they're usually offered on a monthly basis. Plus, there may be additional costs associated with having to transport your stuff back and forth between your storage unit and your new home.
3. The Cost of Replacements
One group of costs that can add up quickly are the replacements for everything you no longer have at your new home. It's easy to toss things in the trash rather than packing them, so try to keep in mind the likelihood that you'll need to replace things — like the food in your fridge and cupboards, your broom and dustpan, and anything else that may be awkward to pack.
4. The Cost of Deposits
When you're moving to a new city, don't be surprised if the utility companies charge you a deposit before providing your services. A deposit may be even more likely if your credit history isn't stellar. You should also be prepared to pay for installation or connection charges. In Tallahassee, for example, the cost of deposits and service charges for electricity, water, sewage and natural gas services can cost you up to $325.
5. The Hidden Cost of The Lowest Bid
When pricing movers, it doesn’t always pay to go with the cheapest price. Check with the Better Business Bureau and read company reviews before entrusting them with your valuables. Find out if the movers are insured and what the insurance covers. If they only reimburse you by the pound for lost items, for example, you may be okay if a missing box only contained towels, but not if it contained your jewelry. To make sure you get a fair price, ask for an in-home quote as well as a binding estimate.
6. The Cost of Missed Deductions
If your relocation involves a new job, save your receipts. If your employer isn't paying for the move, you may be eligible for tax deductions for moving expenses, including hotel costs and transportation and storage of your household goods. For further information, consult with a tax professional or visit the Internal Revenue Services’ website.