Congratulations – you’re buying a new home in the Boise, Idaho area! This is an exciting time, and as your real estate experts, we want to help ensure you budget carefully so you still have money after you move to do all the fun things our community has to offer.
Below are a few things to consider to save money with your move.
Assess time vs. money
The economics of making your move are pretty simple: If you have time to do it yourself, you won’t have to spend any money. Or, if you have the money to pay for other people to move you, you won’t have to spend your time doing it!
Think about how valuable your time is and how much money you are willing to spend. This will likely be different depending on your life stage, your finances, and how much time you have before you need to be in your new home.
Do your research
Sometimes it isn’t apparent which option is actually more expensive. By the time you pack your entire house, spend your money on a truck, and pay for fuel – are you really saving that much over a flat-fee or even full-service moving company? Do your homework to find out.
Your real estate agent will be your best resource for good companies to provide quotes for your move – after all, they do this all the time! They can help you evaluate how much hiring a truck and paying for gas and mileage could cost, which companies are the best, and potentially give their thoughts on alternate options, like PODS – portable on-demand storage – or Storage Cubbies you can load and have moved to your new home.
Time your move if possible
You could save a significant amount of money by timing your move to coincide with low-demand times of the month or year.
Summer, for example, is a pretty expensive time of year to move. Lots of other households are taking advantage of both the weather and their kids’ school break to make changes in their lives, so if you move before school gets out, you may get better rates.
Moving companies also tend to get booked up toward the end of the month, when many leases expire, so if you can time your move at any other time of the month, that can also be helpful. Also, weekend moves are almost always more expensive than moving on a weekday.
And even the time of day matters, if you rent a truck and are stuck in rush-hour traffic when returning it, you could incur a late fee. So avoid moving during peak traffic hours.
Pare down your belongings
Ideally, you don’t want to pay to move things you no longer want or need. When you’ve determined how much time and money you can spend on your move, and you’ve figured out when you’ll be moving, it’s time to start narrowing down what you want to take with you!
Start with any big items that don’t appeal to you as much as they used to, won’t fit in your new place, or you no longer need. There are all kinds of ways to get rid of items today, including Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Take pictures of your items and advertise them online – you might make enough money from your virtual garage sale to pay for the movers!
And, of course, you can always donate items to charity if you don’t want to hassle with selling them yourself. Click here for a great article on downsizing your belongings.
Find used boxes
When you’re moving on a budget, there is no sense paying for boxes! There are so many ways to get free boxes – including behind grocery stores, and liquor stores, or even at your workplace. And of course, ask your realtor if they have any clients who’ve moved recently and are no longer using their boxes – it’s a great way to reduce waste and save money!
Use what you have for packing materials
Bubble wrap, like boxes, is one of those moving expenses that feels especially painful. It’s disposable and only used the brief time it takes to get your belongings from one place to the next. One easy way to save money is to use the fabrics in your house – sheets, towels, blankets, coats, sweaters, and so on – to wrap breakables like your dishes or vases.
Consider USPS Media Mail
You wouldn’t think mailing your belongings to your new home would be a cost-effective way to move, but that’s probably because you’re not familiar with USPS Media Mail. This is a service that allows you to mail certain educational items, such as books and movies, at a reasonable rate. The Media Mail rates are based on weight and, once you do the math, you might discover that mailing the bulk of your books and movies may allow you to rent a smaller vehicle and save some money.
Ensure your rental deposit is returned
If you’re renting, you probably put down a security deposit. Make sure you read your lease and know what needs to be done to have your rental in the right condition when you turn it over to your landlord. They have 30 days to return your deposit to you, so it’ll be a nice bonus right as you’re getting settled into your new place!
Write it off if you can
You might have heard you can write off a move for work on your taxes. This was true until 2017 when the tax law changed. Now, the IRS no longer allows taxpayers to write off moves for employment on their federal return – but some states, such as California, allow it on their state return. Look into your state laws or check with a CPA to see if you could get some kind of break for your move. For more information about possible tax breaks for homeowners, click here.
We’re your resource!
If you are interested in searching for your next dream home, click here. For more information about selling your home, call us at (208) 327-2127 so we can learn more about your goals.