Moving to a new city can be both exciting and stressful. Maybe you're moving to relocate for a job, or to be closer to family and friends. Whatever the reason, the process can become overwhelming for both your sanity and your budget if you're not careful.
As my husband and I plan our own cross-country move this summer, we've come across a few more added expenses than we initially budgeted for. So when you plan your big move, don't forget to set aside funds for these unexpected costs.
1. Real Estate Broker Commissions
In exchange for finding you the perfect housing situation and negotiating a good deal on rent, the broker will charge a commission fee for their service. However, it's important to know that real estate commission fees are always negotiable.
You can, of course, opt to not use a real estate agent to help secure the perfect apartment in order to save money. On the flip side, they may be able to negotiate a better deal on monthly rent, or find an apartment that you wouldn't have found on your own. Both of these could offset the cost of the real estate broker's commission.
2. Increased Housing Payments
Obviously one of the biggest changes to your monthly budget will be the increased housing payments. Are you moving to a city that has a higher or lower cost of living? This will determine whether or not you'll have to allocate additional money for monthly housing costs.
In preparation for our cross-country move this year, my husband and I are already practicing paying a higher rent payment by setting aside an extra $300 a month into our moving fund. This strategy is helping our budget get used to paying the extra money so we won't be financially strapped the first several months after our move.
3. Lease Signing Fees
Part of your moving budget should include funds for a security deposit, as well as first month's rent, since these are typical fees that many landlords require to be paid when signing a new lease.
Additional fees that may be tacked on to your final bill include a move-in fee to hold the apartment in your name, application fees, admin charges, and pet fees. Before signing a new lease, be sure to ask your new landlord for a list of all the fees included so you'll be prepared to pay for these added expenses.
4. Apartment Search Fees
Moving across the city is one thing, moving across the country presents a whole other set of challenges. On top of the other costs mentioned here, you'll also have to take time to conduct an apartment search in your new city.
On a recent weekend trip to check out apartments in our new city, my husband and I had to pay for three nights at a hotel (including parking fees), plus extra money for food, gas, and other expenses related to the apartment search. When creating your moving fund, be sure to budget a bit more for any travel or commuting expenses.
5. Rental Insurance Premiums
Many apartment complexes and landlords require tenants to purchase rental insurance to cover any damages to your personal property. We're currently paying $113 a year for rental insurance coverage of up to $20,000 to have our stuff secured in the event of fire, flood, or theft.
This cost is very small compared to the coverage it offers, but is none-the-less an important cost to factor into your budget. Depending on what state you're moving to, and the type of building you'll be living in, your rental insurance premiums may go up or down.
Factors that play into the monthly premium includes, how secure the location is (if the complex is a gated community or not), what the buildings are made out of, and what year the apartment was built.
When prepping for a big move, don't forget to factor in these additional moving expenses so you're not blindsided by the costs.