The average time most Americans spend looking for a new home, once they’ve really decided to move, is between 30-to-60 days. So, figure, when you start looking for a new home, a month-and-a-half of your life will be spent driving around, listening to your real estate agent drone on and on about ‘worst house, best street’, ‘up and coming neighborhoods’, and, the all time favorite: ‘location, location, location’.
But you finally hit the jackpot – the one home that you knew you were going to buy, 2-minutes after you pulled up in front of it. Then there were the mortgage, escrow and inspection/negotiation struggles, but they didn’t matter. This was the house and it eventually was going to be yours.
So, now you’ve actually got to move from your old dwelling and into your new home. How are you going to do it?
There is a temptation, after months of literally hemorrhaging money just securing this sale and buying this home, to try and save some money on moving expenses. People move into new homes these days all the time by themselves, without the costs of professional movers. Why not you?
What Are the Hidden Costs of DIY Moving?
The truck rental companies, like U-Haul and Ryder, have spent a great deal of time, skill and effort designing websites that make it so easy for consumers to evaluate the logistics and costs of renting their trucks for Do It Yourself (DIY) moving.
There are interactive maps upon which a simple click reveals their closest store for picking up the truck. This information is coupled with a constantly updated database of vehicle inventory available at each location, with prices and even diagrams that help you calculate what size truck you will need.
The website planning program also provides the most convenient drop-off location, once you’ve finished your move. This is usually coupled with a storage facility where you can warehouse some of your belongings, because maybe you want to store some stuff due to the initial remodeling you’ll be doing and don’t want to expose some of your finer furnishings to the dust and detritus that accompanies the demolition and reconstruction of fairly extensive modifications.
However, beware of the rosy picture that these facile apps paint of your moving plan. The cost of the actual truck may seem low at first. And it is! But once you start adding on the ancillary equipment that you’ll need for your move, like furniture pads, doorway dollies and boxes – that low initial price can really start going up, up and up.
Then you’ve got to add in the further cost of the additional labor that you will need to carry all this stuff in and out of your old house to your new one. Sure you can pick up some cheap labor guys at your local Home Depot parking lot, but they won’t be as cheap as you think – particularly when you’re under-the-gun on your actual moving day!
And then there’s the biggest hidden cost of them all – Insurance. Oh sure, your rental truck company has insurance it will sell you for your move, but the limits on that type of insurance are usually only in the $25,000 range. If you have valuables worth more than $25K, you are going to have to get an extra policy to cover those items.
And, most importantly, the rental truck insurance does not cover workman’s compensation, in case you or one of those workers you picked up get injured during the move. That type of insurance is not cheap, and also does not cover a worker who has been inappropriately I-9 vetted.
Hire a Professional Mover
Maybe instead of setting up a temporary moving company with sufficient insurance and proper HR vetting, you could just hire a third party to transfer you into your new home? Let a bunch of professionals who do this for a living, and have probably been in business for years, worry about all the little details that could rise up and bite you when you’re at one of the most vulnerable junctures in your life.
First and foremost, consider the bottom line reason for using a professional moving company; that there is a much less risk of damage to your possessions if they are in the hands of trained movers with years of experience. And these movers have been properly vetted, and insured, by a company with a state-issued business license.
Don’t take chances with your new home, the most important investment that you’ll ever make in your life.