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Buying a home

The true cost of moving house


There's a few big costs associated with a new home. Obviously, there's the money you've spent on the house itself, along with other purchase costs like stamp duty and lenders mortgage insurance. But there are a few smaller costs you'll probably run into, and for which you may forget to budget. Putting aside a little extra cash for these could save you a headache or two – and if you wind up putting aside a little too much, you'll have some left over for post-moving day drinks!

Movers

This one's pretty obvious, but still worth mentioning: If you're going to be moving to a new house, you may need movers. You can try to do it yourself, or rope in some friends to help, but sometimes professional services are needed. Especially if you have a lot of large, heavy items, or if the place you're moving to is difficult to access. Have you ever tried to take a fridge or a couch up several narrow flights of stairs? Here's our recommendation: Don't! Your back will thank you.

Once you've decided to use movers, make sure you choose the right one. Checking reviews and getting feedback from friends can help.

You should also check whether your own home and contents insurance covers contents that are damaged while in transit. The last thing you want is to be without cover if something unexpected happens to your brand-new glass-topped dining table.

Moving stuff

Think boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape. You can sometimes pick up boxes for free by asking friends who have recently moved, or hanging around outside shops. If that doesn't work out, you can pick them up cheaply from many hardware or office supply stores.

Bubble wrap—or some other packing material, like old newspapers—will also come in handy for protecting your valuables. You'll also need markers to label each box, unless you want to get to your new house and inadvertently put your underwear in the kitchen and your cutlery in the bathroom.

Cleaning up the old place

If you're moving out of a rental property, odds are that a professional clean is a condition of your bond being returned. Get a few quotes from local cleaning services well in advance, so you can make sure you have the cash set aside.

Transferring utilities

Your utility providers – that's things like gas, electricity, water and internet – may charge you to change your service to a new address. Whether such a fee applies, and how much it would be, can depend on where you live, the type of service you have, and which provider or retailer you're with.

Moving into a new house is a great time to review your utility arrangements, especially if you've had the same deal for a while. You should set aside some time to jump online and scope out the current deals, as you can probably save a few bucks to help offset your moving costs.

Redirecting your mail

You'll probably change your address with anyone who might send you mail. This could include your bank, your employer, and your great aunt Shirley who sends you a card with a fiver in it every Christmas. But, with so many things to worry about at moving time, and so many people and organisations to remember, it's likely that you'll forget someone.

Luckily, Australia Post offers a mail redirection service. Signing up for it means that, should any mail be addressed to your old home, it'll be intercepted and forwarded to your new one. You can sign up for a single month, or longer. Just enquire at your local post office or via the Australia Post website.

Food

All your appliances are still in boxes. You haven't yet hit the shops and stocked up your fridge. Your plates are who-knows-where?

It's take-away time. For you, and the friends you've roped into helping you. You may need a few take-away coffees to get you through the moving day, as well. After all, your mugs are probably in the same mysterious place as your plates.

Furniture

You probably have some furniture that you're bringing over from your old place. But if it doesn't suit your new house, you may need to buy some new stuff. That can be a lot of fun, but it can also eat up a huge chunk of your moving budget. You can consider checking op shops or online listings for second-hand stuff, or make do with your old furniture until you've saved up enough cash to upgrade.

Insurance

You may already have home and contents insurance, but you'll need to notify your insurer of your new living situation. Depending on the details of your new house, your premiums may change.

As with your utilities, moving presents a good opportunity to review your current deal and make sure that it's the best that you can get. Take a few moments to check out Suncorp Insurance's range of home and contents and insurance policies.

Moving to a new home can be stressful, and these unexpected costs may make it even more so. But if you're well prepared, and you set aside some spare cash in advance, you can make the process as simple as possible.

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