How much does it cost to hire long-distance movers?
Choosing a long-distance moving company is an important (and potentially expensive) decision. Moving costs vary greatly based on the amount of items being moved and the distance they are travelling. For this example, we'll consider the cost of moving a four-bedroom house (about 12,000 pounds of items) 1000 miles, which averages $8000. Moving costs can vary greatly, so be sure to get a written estimate before hiring a moving company.
Long-distance moving costs are based on the following factors:
- Weight of items: in general, plan to spend $0.50-$1 per pound of items. A typical room has 1000-2000 pounds of items, which equals about $1000 per room. This example would cost $6000.
- Packing materials: A four-bedroom house will require around $450 in packing materials, such as boxes, tape, and paper. The typical rate is around $100 per 3000 pounds of items.
- Labor: It will cost $1000-$1750 for movers to pack a four-bedroom house. Plan on spending around $200-$300 per room.
- Distance: Most companies base their estimates solely on the weight of the items and don’t factor in distance. However, if you are moving a very long distance, the company may tack on an extra fee. Get a personalized estimate for more detailed costs.
Enhancement and improvement costs
- Some moving companies include insurance in their packages, but you will often have to purchase it on your own, typically for around $250.
- Extremely heavy items, such as pianos, can require more manpower (and sometime cranes) to move, which can add another $500 or so to your total.
- Some companies offer an unpacking service at your new house. This service typically costs $500-$1000.
Additional considerations and costs
- Because moving costs can vary so greatly, it is recommended to get written estimates from at least three companies.
- Moving yourself requires lots of manpower and manual labor, but it can lead to saving thousands of dollars if you rent a moving truck and pack and drive it yourself.
- Moving during the busy season can increase your overall costs by 20%. If you need to move in the summer, save money by moving during the week instead of on weekends.
- Most companies include a 30-day storage fee in their package total, which means they will store your items if you can't immediately get into your new home. However, if you go beyond the initial period, you may be charged around $60 a month per vault of items.
- Some movers may charge extra fees if your home is difficult to get to, such as if they must travel on an elevator or park down the street. These fees can range from $75 for the elevator to $10 per foot down the street they must park.
- If your move is work related, you may be able to write off some of the expenses on your taxes. Check with your tax professional for specific details and to see if you qualify.