1. You Don’t Have to Pay Full Freight.
A cross-country move for a three-bedroom home can cost as much as $12,000. That figure is for, the actual move, for packing and insurance. Movers are busiest on the last ten days of the month, so a move mid month should get you a better price and better service. If you can wait to move off-season, between October and April, you could save 10%. Get several written estimates with rates per hour (for a local move) or per pound (for an interstate move). Bids should cover every room in your house including garage, storage facilities and basement if applicable and should be done in person.
2. Self-help will save you big bucks.
Macho do-it-yourselfers do it all: pack, load and haul. Renting a 17-foot truck to drive your stuff from a three-bedroom house in Washington, D.C., to Phoenix will set you back more than $1,000. But if just thinking about schlepping everything on your own brings on a migraine, you could hire a couple of local teenagers or college students to help pack and stow. Then hire a container company, such as ABF U-Pack Moving or PODS, to make the cross-country drive. Cost: more than twice as much as renting a truck, but only approximately about one-third of the cost of a full-service move. No matter what you decide, move your valuables yourself so that you don’t have to worry about them.
3. Don’t get boxed in.
Before you buy boxes and packing materials, ask your friends for castoffs — and go to the liquor store, grocer or recycling center to pick up discards. If you need to buy more, online establishments such as BoxesDelivered.com, Boxkits.com and Uline.com tend to have cheaper moving supplies than office-supply stores. And don’t forget incentives from the U.S. Postal Service.
4. Kick the tires – Shop around
Get detailed written estimates from at least three movers. Have the movers conduct an in-home inspection instead of estimating by phone or email. That way, there s less room for errors like miscounted boxes or a larger-than-described dresser that would change the price come moving day. Ask what s included — such as packing materials, road tolls and insurance — for an apples-to-apples comparison.
5. Check references
The price may sound right, but it’s not if the company has a reputation for showing up late (if they show up at all), damaging items in transit or even demanding more money before
they unload everything from the moving truck. It s critical to do a bit of background checking. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Moving & Storage Association monitor license and complaints for interstate movers. Local moving companies aren’t t always regulated, but consumers should check with their state attorney general’s office or state moving association.
6. Use muscle power
Hiring a mover isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Doing some of the work yourself shifts the price point, Reynolds says. Consumers who aren’t up for heavy lifting can cut costs by packing everything themselves. Even simple things like unhooking appliances, rolling area rugs and disassembling bed frames before movers arrive can shave off an hour or more of paid time. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of time the movers spend on your property is beneficial, she says.
7. Review insurance coverage
Many renters and homeowners insurance policies cover belongings in transit, Hicks says. That eliminates the need to buy coverage from the moving company. If you do need extra coverage, ask how the company determines value. Policies often pay out by the weight of the item, reducing the value of a pricey-but-light flat-screen TV to just a few dollars.
8. Let Uncle Sam help pay for it.
If your move is job-related, you may be able to deduct some of your moving expenses whether or not you itemize your deductions. You must move within a year of your first day at the new job. In addition, your new office has to be at least 50 miles farther from your old house than your old office was. If you qualify, you can deduct the cost of moving your household goods and traveling, but not meals (see IRS Publication 521, Moving Expenses).
Snag a tax break
Consumers moving for job-related reasons can deduct the cost of their move come tax time. To qualify, the taxpayer must have moved within a year of starting the new job and remain employed for at least 39 weeks after the move. The new job must also be at least 50 miles further away from home than the old job.
Moving Expenses Are They Deductable