There's the boxes, the truck, the movers... and more
There is more to moving than the usual, expected costs. Prepare yourself for the unexpected costs and plan how to save yourself some money in the process. Beware of these commonly overlooked costs.
1. Moving Expenses: Be aware of extra fees movers charge for things such as carrying items up and down stairs, or pitching in to pack last minute items. The more prepared you are in advance, the faster (and cheaper) your move will be. Have kids? You may find it necessary to hire a babysitter while you pack and on moving day-don't forget to plan for the expense. When you arrive at your new home, unpack your kitchen first and hit the grocery store as soon as you can. You'll avoid days of expensive take out and make fun new memories right away.
2. Yard Maintenance/Landscaping: If you have been a long-term renter, you may forget that yard work is no longer the responsibility of a landlord. The lawn looks beautiful the day you move in, but in 2 weeks that grass will need a trim. You can hire out your landscaping, but in the long run it will be cheaper to purchase your own equipment. Common needs: lawn mower, weedwacker, rakes, shovels, mulch, fertilizer and garden hose.
3. Furniture/Decorating: Remember how lovely your home looked when you first walked through it? Reality may sink in when you unpack and realize you are in need of furniture to fill those spaces. If you can get by with what you have, you will save money by waiting for sales instead of rushing to buy new things. That way you can also choose pieces you really love instead of "fillers".
4. Cost of Living Changes: Moving out of state, or even to a new neighborhood, could dramatically affect daily spending. This could either work to your benefit, or leave you scrambling to adjust. If you find the latter to be true, make a budget of your expenses to find where you can cut back and allow yourself extra wiggle room.
5. Pest Control: Most homes are subject to a thorough inspection prior to closing, however, that does not mean the home will forever be pest free. For the first year (at least) it is smart to have quarterly professional checks and maintenance completed to ensure your home is clear from destructive insects and rodents.
6. Utilities: Until you have lived in your home through all four seasons, you will not be able to accurately predict utility costs. An exceptionally cold winter or a summer heat wave can dramatically change your heating/cooling costs. If you can afford the initial investment of energy efficient appliances, you will save in the long run on monthly bills.
7. Routine Maintenance: When you're renting and something breaks, you call your landlord and someone comes to fix it for you. Being a homeowner means you are your own landlord and all of those responsibilities become your burden. Read your manuals to get an idea of routine maintenance and repairs on your appliances and septic system. Keeping on top of little things before they turn into big problems will save you money and energy.