The cost of moving house

This time last year I was moving home! It’s crazy to think I’ve been here for a year now.

Whether you’re wanting to understand the cost of moving out of home for the first time or just more generally, this article can help you understand what sneaky costs you might find the next time you move house. 

Moving can be a stressful time, but if you start planning early, then you can be ready for when the time comes. Remember, these costs will be different for each situation. If you’re moving interstate, for example, you can expect higher costs than if you’re moving within a few suburbs. 

Packing materials
Before you even begin moving, you’ll have to pack up your possessions. Moving boxes can be anywhere from $0-$15 depending on the type of box you use. If you want to go down the free route, you can often get boxes from supermarkets if you ring ahead of time or try Facebook Marketplace/asking friends. 

If you want to buy specialty boxes like those designed for wine bottles, heavy items or even boxes with a built-in rod for hanging clothes you can expect to pay up to $15 per box. Other items you’ll also need for packing include packing tape, scissors, bubble wrap or newspaper (another alternative is using tea towels) and a pen. 

Removalists or a moving truck
One of the biggest costs of moving house is often the actual act of moving itself. If you decide to hire removalists, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars. If you go the cheaper route and hire a truck to drive yourself, you can pay anywhere from $95-$200 depending on the size of the truck. There are other options, such as hiring just a ute or a box trailer. 

Along with the cost of a truck, you’ll need to consider the cost of fuel and the insurance deposit that is usually required to protect you in the event of an accident. 

Once you’ve moved out of your old residence, you’ll now have to make sure it’s returned to pristine condition. Cleaning is not a fun task, and it’s often smarter to hire a cleaning company. Many of these companies have guarantees that if your landlord or agent isn’t satisfied with the clean, then they will come back to make sure they complete the clean to your real estate’s satisfaction. 

Along with basic cleaning, you’ll often need to get any carpets specially cleaned, and if you’ve had pets in the home, many real estates will require a pest inspection/treatment to be completed.

Bond and rent
All rental properties require a bond to be paid (if you’re from somewhere aside from Australia this may be called a security deposit). The bond is usually equivalent to four weeks of your rent and is held by your state’s tenancy association as a security deposit that can be used if there are repairs needed when you exit. On top of the four weeks bond, many real estates often require the first two weeks of rent to be paid upfront. 

Utility connection fees
Some utility companies may charge you a connection fee to connect your electricity, gas or hot water. This fee is usually added to your first bill. 

Mail redirection
If you haven’t had time to change your postal address, it’s a good idea to set up mail redirection. A redirection can be set for 1-12 months, with costs ranging from $32-$160. 

Pet relocation
If you’re relocating interstate, you may not be able to safely move your pets yourself. There are specialty companies who can arrange to move your pets, but these can be quite costly. 

Sometimes it’s useful to have the children out of the house when packing or moving.

Interstate flights and accommodation
When moving interstate you may have to make a few trips to inspect houses as many don’t let you sign a lease without inspecting a property. Depending on how many visits you need to make this can be quite costly. Alternatively, you could have a friend or family member inspect for you.

If you have larger items like extra cars, or maybe a piano then you might have to ship items. This is often used when moving countries. Shipping can be very expensive and sometimes it may even be cheaper to sell everything and then buy new in your new country.

Sometimes you might decide to store items in between bigger moves. Storage can be a few hundred a month so investigate this cost early. It’s a good idea to weigh up the cost of buying items again over the cost of storing them.

Grocery items
An often forgotten cost is the cost of re-buying items for your fridge and pantry. We often start to run down our fridges and freezers before we move so that we don’t have to waste food. You may find your first grocery shop after a move is higher than normal. 

The cost of moving house can vary greatly. Moving is exciting, stressful and expensive, so prepare early, and you’ll save money. 


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