How much does it cost to move home

Consider the costs involved, but also the saving opportunities.

Moving house is often a significant event, whether prompted by a change in circumstances or a desire for something new, there will be costs involved. While it can be a daunting task, understanding the process and how much you should budget can help ease the transition.

The cost of moving can vary widely depending on factors such as the volume of items being moved and the distance between locations. In Australia, moving expenses typically range from $300 to $10,000 for a domestic move.

Everyone’s circumstances are unique. A family with three young children and a shared bank account will have different financial concerns than university students living in a shared house. However, some costs are unavoidable regardless of your situation. 

How much does it cost to move?

When moving house, there are various costs to consider but it all depends on the type of move you’re planning. Are you doing a DIY move or are you leaving it to the packing and removal experts? 

Some of the costs you could face include:

  • Removalist fees
  • Costs for packers to do the job for you
  • Hiring a moving truck (if you’re moving yourself)
  • Cleaning services
  • Packing supplies
  • Utility connection fees

There are also the upfront costs of moving vs the ongoing costs of moving to consider – but we’ll get to that a little later.

This guide will provide you with detailed information on these categories to help you estimate the total cost of your move. 

DIY move costs

Self-moving, also known as a DIY move, is a cost-effective option but requires thorough planning and effort. 

You’ll need to rent a moving truck, pack all your belongings, and handle loading and unloading and while you may have friends to help, you have to be confident that they’ll help. 

While it may take longer than hiring professionals, it’s a budget-friendly choice, so let’s run down the costs:

Renting a moving truck

If you’re looking to save on moving costs and prefer a DIY approach, renting a moving truck or van could be a suitable option. These vehicles are typically rented at daily rates, with some providers offering hourly rates as well. 

Prices can vary widely, ranging from $50 to over $170 per day, depending on the size of the vehicle you require and the distance you plan to go. It’s going to cost you a lot less to hire a truck and move locally than it would to hire a truck and go interstate.

The best thing to do is compare prices and sizes to match your specific moving needs. Renting a truck that’s too large may result in unnecessary expenses, so it’s essential to choose the right size for your belongings.

Another cost you might consider is hiring someone off Airtasker to drive it for you if you don’t have any friends that can drive a heavy-base truck. If you are hiring a much bigger vehicle than a standard van, you need to make sure that you have the right driving licence or you won’t be able to hire it.

You should consider factoring in the added cost of petrol, which will be more as you’ll be expected to fill the tank of the moving truck.

Buying packing supplies

This is going to be a potential cost even with the help of removalists. When it comes to moving, don’t forget to budget for packing supplies like boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and markers. 

While some removalist services offer these items for an extra fee that’s built in, it’s often more cost-effective to purchase them yourself and do the packing. Here’s a breakdown of potential costs:

  • Boxes. Prices range from $1.99 to $5.99 per box, depending on the size. Shop around on both Amazon and at Bunnings to see what deals you can snag and which will be more cost-effective for the size of your move. You may find moving bags to be a more budget-friendly option.
  • Bubble wrap. Expect to pay around $22 for 500mmx25mm moving bubble wrap from stores like Officeworks.
  • Packing tape. A 48mmx50m heavy-duty shipping packaging tape costs approximately $6.92, and you might also need a tape dispenser for $8.32 from stores like Bunnings.
  • Markers for labelling: Consider purchasing a bold black paint Sharpie for $8.30 from Bunnings.

If you’re handling the move yourself, you may also need to invest in additional items like moving blankets, furniture covers, straps, and rope to ensure the safe transportation of your belongings.

Compensating your friends

If you are enlisting the help of friends and family, you might want to offer them some kind of payment for helping out. 

They won’t expect it, but covering the cost of their petrol while they help and the kick-in of pizza and beer may be something to think about when budgeting your overall move.

Hiring a removal company

Hiring a professional moving company can relieve the stress of moving, but it often comes at a higher cost than a DIY approach. 

While professional removalists are faster and more efficient, they also provide guarantees against damage to your property or belongings during the move. These companies can assist with packing and moving your belongings locally, interstate, or even internationally. 

Some removalists also offer cleaning services, simplifying the process of getting your security deposit back or getting the next house ready for you to move into.

The total cost can range from $300 to $20,000 for the entire job depending on how far you’re going. Interstate moves will cost a lot more than local moves. These are estimates, as factors like moving interstate can significantly affect the cost, and we’ve run these down below:

How much stuff you need to move

The volume of items you need to move is a key factor in determining the cost, especially for local moves. If your belongings can fit in a ute, that might be the most cost-effective option.

When requesting quotes from removalists, be precise about the amount of items you have. Better yet, get someone to come in and do a home survey so that they can give you a more accurate cost analysis. Underestimating could result in needing more trips, increasing the cost.

Remember to account for everything, including items stored in cupboards, mattresses, and even outdoor equipment like gardening tools. Minimalists may find this process easier, while others might consider a garage sale before the move.

How far you’re moving

The distance between your locations is a significant factor in determining the cost of your move. For local moves, you’ll likely pay an hourly rate, but long-distance moves incur additional costs like road tolls, fuel, and potential overnight stays. 

You also need to consider that one-way van hire is more expensive than local van hire, especially if you want to drop the van off at another location the company has.

The proximity of your locations to the removalist company’s depot also impacts cost. Regional moves further from the depot may incur higher fees due to the increased distance.

For local moves, consider using a local business, as their depot is likely closer, potentially reducing costs. Ensure this factor is included when requesting quotes to get an accurate estimate.

Services you plan to use

Gone are the days when removalists only transported your belongings. Nowadays, many offer additional services, such as packing and unpacking so you don’t have to. 

This convenience means you can leave the tedious tasks like wrapping, boxing, and organising to the professionals. Other services include house cleaning, which is going to be an additional cost.  

Just imagine arriving at your new home to find everything unpacked and ready for you to relax.

Is there property access?

Removalists consider the accessibility of each location when calculating costs. 

Factors like stairs, lifts, steep driveways, or narrow laneways can increase expenses due to added time and potential need for specialised equipment or additional labour.

Ideally, a flat house on a level block with easy truck access is the most cost-effective scenario. 

Which day of the week are you planning to move?

The day of the week you choose for your move can affect the cost. Some removalists offer specials for quieter days, so being flexible can save you money. 

Moving on a weekend or public holiday may result in higher fees, as you’ll pay the surcharge.

The upfront costs of moving house

When moving houses, there are several upfront costs that are difficult to avoid. These costs must be figured out before or on moving day to ensure the entire move is an easy one. 

It’s essential to have sufficient funds available to cover these expenses. Common upfront costs when moving house include:

Rental bond

A rental bond, often referred to as a security deposit, is a payment required when you start renting a property. It serves as a form of insurance for the landlord or agent in case of certain situations, such as rent owing, property damage, or end-of-lease costs. 

The amount of a rental bond can vary, but according to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), it is generally limited to four weeks’ rent if the weekly rent is below $700. For rents exceeding $700 per week, the landlord or agent can set the bond amount at their discretion.

State Rent Bond amount
New South Wales Four weeks
Victoria Four weeks (if rent is under $350)
Otherwise, bond can be negotiated
Queensland Four weeks (if rent is under $700)
Otherwise, bond can be negotiated
South Australia Four weeks (if rent is under $250)
Otherwise, up to six weeks
Western Australia Four weeks (if rent is under $1,200)
Otherwise, bond can be negotiated
Tasmania Four weeks
Australian Capital Territory Four weeks
Northern Territory Four weeks

Rent in advance

When you lease a property, you usually need to pay the first two weeks’ rent upfront. This serves as an additional security deposit for the owner. 

Make sure to choose a property that fits your budget, as rent prices can vary based on the suburb, size, and quality of the property.

Furniture, fixtures, and appliances

For those renting for the first time, buying furniture and appliances can turn out to be more expensive than anticipated. 

If you’ve moved frequently before, owning most of your appliances and furniture can help reduce these upfront expenses. 

However, if this is your first major move, consider looking at garage sales and online second-hand sites to save money.

Utilities connection

When you’re approved for your new place, the real estate agent might offer to connect your utilities for you, including your water connection, electricity and gas.

While this may sound convenient, it can lead to extra expenses or plans that don’t fit your needs. 

A much better option is to give us a call here at Connect Your Home. We’ll take into account your personal circumstances to help you connect to the right plans from the start.

Phone and Internet

Ensuring a smooth transition for your phone and Internet services is crucial. Start by checking if your previous provider is available in your new area. If so, decide if you want to continue with them or switch to a new provider.

Take this opportunity to review different providers and plans to ensure you’re getting the best deal. The team here at Connect Your Home is ready to help with that. 

Upfront costs for the Internet can range from $0 to over $200, depending on the retailer and connection type, including potentially needing a new modem.

Bond clean

A bond clean, also known as an exit clean, is required by law for tenants at the end of their lease. Before leaving, the landlord or agent will inspect the property to ensure it’s returned to its original condition. 

Costs for professional bond cleaning vary based on the property’s size and condition. While not typically considered an upfront cost when moving into a new property, it’s a significant expense for those moving between rentals. It’s important to factor this cost into your moving budget.

A pet bond

In most states in Australia, charging a pet bond is illegal. However, in Western Australia, landlords may request a pet bond for tenants with pets to cover potential parasite-related issues. 

This is in addition to the standard rental bond and rent in advance. The pet bond in Western Australia is typically a one-off payment of $260, unless the weekly rent exceeds $1,200. In other states and territories, landlords have the discretion to allow or disallow pets in rental properties, but they cannot request an additional pet bond. 

Any agreements regarding pets must usually be approved in writing by the landlord.

The ongoing costs of moving house

Now that you’ve moved into your new place, it’s important to manage ongoing costs to keep everything running smoothly. These include:

  • Rent
  • Utility bills
  • General living expenses and repairs

While these were discussed as upfront costs earlier, you’ll continue to pay for these services regularly in addition to any initial setup fees. Failure to keep up with these payments could result in disconnection of services or even eviction.

Get moving today

Are you ready to get your move started? Contact our team and we can help to answer any questions you might have about moving, and don’t forget to check out our ultimate moving checklist.

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