The 8 hidden costs of moving home

Wallet - Creative Commons - image credit Wikitropia Whether you are renting or buying, there are some costs to moving home that can add up quickly, so before you make the decision to move, make sure you have enough saved to cover them.

I’ve found 8 things mos people forget to allow for – if you’ve got any more please add in the comments!

  1. Loss of deposit
    If you are renting, you many not get back all of the deposit if there  is damage to your current home, and even if you do it can take some time for the landlord to check the property and return the rent to you. Ensure you can cover the deposit for your new place without the deposit, at least in the short term. While it is possible to get a short term loan to cover this, you will pay interest that you are never going to get back. One other thing to be aware of – if the damages exceed the amount of the deposit, your previous landlord may well come after you for the difference – so if you have damaged expensive (like carpets), it may pay to resolve this first by repairing or replacing it.
  2. Overloaded car - Credit: Failblog/There I Fixed itRemovals cost
    If you are in a furnished property and have a car you can avoid these, but for most people there are going to be some costs to moving, as you can’t get a sofa in a car (well you can, as I’ve done it but I would not recommend it!). Factor in the costs of hiring a van. The cheapest option is friends or family with a van, or hiring a self-drive vehicle. A removal service will be faster and much less work, but will be more expensive.
  3. Changing subscriptions
    You may well need to cancel existing subscriptions for things like cable TV, phone and broadband. While some of these contracts may allow you to transfer them to a new property you have to be aware some will not, and you might end up paying a penalty for ending the contract early. Check the details of the contract or ask their customer services for advice- and on that point…
  4. Sorting all your other accounts
    While this will not cost you much directly, as most businesses allow you to do a house move with no charge, there is a cost. Last time I moved I spent HOURS on the phone to expensive customer service numbers changing contact details, plus a fair bit in postage. The new rules to ban expensive customer services numbers are going to be a big help, but it will still take you a while.
  5. Redirecting post
    Royal mail charge £25 plus to redirect your mail and this increases for more surnames or for longer periods. It’s not one I’d avoid, as not redirecting mail increases the risks of problems by not seeing bills, and increases the chances or identity theft.
  6. Insurance changes
    Most insurers (car and contents) will charge a fee for the change of address – and depending on where you are moving from and to  there can be a big additional cost based on your new address. Generally moving from countryside to the city increases costs, but it’s very location specific. It’s rarely worth breaking the contract mid-way through, but ensure you shop around at renewal time as you are likely to find an alternate insurer that is much cheaper for your new address.
  7. Solicitors costs
    Buying or renting, there are contracts involved. While you can avoid using a solicitor (many do for rental contracts), it’s a good idea if you are struggling to understand the contract, or for anything where there is potentially a lot of money involved, such as a purchase or long-term contract. Why? Some words have very specific meanings in law and can dramatically alter the meaning of an otherwise clear clause. A great example is an innocuous ‘shall’ or ‘must’ in a clause – if you fail to meet this clause then it’s very likely the entire contacts could be cancelled, or damages could be claimed.
  8. Extra purchase costs
    If you are buying rather than renting, there are a load of other costs to consider – mortgage set-up fees, arrangement fees, valuation, searches, building insurance, stamp duty, estate agent fees, fund transfer fees… it gets expensive fast! I’ll look more at these in a later post.

There’s probably others based on individual circumstances, such as more fuel costs due to a longer commute, cleaning costs and more, but hopefully this will help you budget for your next move.

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