Despite the pandemic, 2020 saw real estate demand skyrocket to levels unseen since 2006. With so many people moving around the country and into new homes, the inevitable question comes.
What is the cost to hire a moving company?
Following close behind is “can I afford to move?”
Whether you’re looking at the best moving company, budget moving companies, and everything in between, moving company prices can be a mystery to many people.
We’re here to demystify the process of finding out and get you your facts on the cost to hire a moving company. Keep reading to find out!
What Kind of Move Are We Talking About?
Before you can determine the cost to hire a moving company we have to determine what kind of move you’re making. Prices change a lot by distance and equipment needed for moves:
- Within the same city
- Down the street
- Down the hall
Local moves are usually much more affordable and get charged by the hour. Hour-based rates aren’t practical for long-distance moves, which instead get calculated by a daily rate and weight.
It’s a good idea to see what the specialty of a certain company is, as there may be other fees for going out of their normal scope.
Packing and Unpacking Services
Packing services are an add-on or premium service for most moving companies. Many people prefer to pack items themselves, to ensure that it’s safe and protected. There is a certain element of letting go and letting others handle your personal (sometimes priceless) belongings.
You’ll have to pay for the packing materials used as well as the time to pack them. This is usually an hourly rate. Some don’t offer packing and unpacking services at all, so it’s good to know what to expect in advance.
What About White Glove Services or Special Requests?
White glove services are intended for special items or requests that need extra attention. They also include specialized services by movers trained in dealing with specific items, such as delicate musical instruments like harps or pianos.
Items that will almost always need extra attention are any special, unusual, or fragile items or antiques.
Storage Services and Moving Insurance
Yet another premium service that sometimes gets offered is storage services. Sometimes families aren’t ready to move in right away as other things get handled, such as last-minute paperwork on a home closing or lease.
Likewise, if anything is damaged in the move, it’s handy to have moving insurance to protect you financially. The average cost of such insurance is about 1% to 5% of the value of the items you’re insuring.
This could tack on, for example, an extra $500 on $10,000 of assets.
Extra Factors That Increase or Decrease The Cost of Moving
If you’re looking to save some money, there are a few things you can try to plan for to reduce the price tag on your move.
To lower the price:
- Pre-move items from upstairs and the basement to the ground floor (if possible)
- Get a parking spot for the truck as close to your home as possible
- Pack everything yourself with your own materials
- Moving during off-peak hours of the day
- Move during weekdays
- Move during the middle of a month, unless there’s a holiday
Things you don’t usually think about, or would rather not do can raise the cost quite a lot. For example, let’s take a look at a situation where you didn’t do any of these things.
Why It’s Important to Do What You Can
Imagine this scene:
The movers come down the street with their truck and they find that there’s no close access to your home. The street is two-way and for a car, a three-point turn is no problem, but for the moving truck, they have to circle the block. That could take an extra three minutes or an extra fifteen, depending on traffic and light patterns.
Only an extra 15 minutes for a moving crew of two will cost you $20 in time.
Not only that, but now they’ve parked a two-minute walk away, around the corner from your house.
A packing service typically costs about $1000 and happens a few days to a week in advance. This could also involve disassembling furniture and moving it downstairs and up out of basements.
Considering it could take about five hours to pack a house, imagine now that your movers had packing material ready but were expecting a pre-packed house. You’re now paying for five hours of time for a crew of two, or $400, to peace-meal pack this house and get it to the truck.
Every two-minute trip to the truck also costs you about $1.25 per crew member, or $2.50 if they have to carry something together. Multiply that by about 300 total trips, and you’ve got $975 in wasted time.
At about $1500, you’re now well over the cost of ordering the packing service or doing the work ahead of time, and you haven’t even moved the truck out of park.
The moral of the story? Do what you can in advance and don’t leave anything to chance.
What To Consider About the Cost to Hire a Moving Company
The cost to hire a moving company will be different for each company you get a quote from. The best you can do is go with the one that understands your needs best and helps to prepare you for various situations along the way.
It might seem like a splurge to get a full-service moving package, but you’ll likely save time by knowing the job was done by professionals. Not only that, but you’ll save money by saving time and frustration.
Think you can save some cash using the tips and knowledge in this article? We’re happy we could help, but we have so much more in store for you.
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