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How Local Moves Are Charged

If you are going to move to a new home, it is very important to start planning in advance in order to make the move as stress-free as possible. One of the most important things that you will have to do to prepare is to start costing your move so that you can budget for it.

Understanding the costs that go into a local move can also help you see if the mover is dealing with you fairly. This article will consider only the costs of a local move, which is defined differently from state to state although in general, it is a move that is only within the state or within a certain distance from the home of origin.

Basic moving costs are charged by the hour and by the number of movers, which is further broken down into the quarter hour. Moving time is computed by the size of the residence, the contents of the residence and if the movers are required to just move the contents or also have to pack them up. To illustrate, if the moving charge is $80 per hour for two movers and a truck, the cost of moving a studio apartment which takes around two to four hours to complete and requires two movers will cost around $160 to $240.

The cost of moving should include loading and transport of all your possessions as well as unloading when you get to the new residence, with the exception of very fragile or heavy pieces, which will need to be packed separately using different methods.

There are also additional costs that you have to consider, which include:
  • The date of your move. If you are moving during a weekend or over the summer, with some moving companies you may be charged a premium over the regular moving cost.
  • If you require the movers to pack your things. This will be charged an hourly fee separate from the moving fee.
  • Factors that can make the move more difficult. For example, if the movers are required to move things down stairs or carry them a long distance to the moving truck.
  • If the mover provides packing materials. Since these are provided at prices above retail, you can save money if you provide your own materials.
  • Moving insurance. If you pack your own stuff, you will be responsible for providing your own insurance, although this is usually covered by your renters' or homeowners' insurance policy but you should confirm this with your agent. If you ask the movers to pack, they will provide you with minimal moving damage protection which could be as little as $0.45-0.60 on the pound. However, you can buy additional protection from them to ensure that the cost of replacing your possessions if they are damaged is fully covered.
  • Tipping. It is customary to tip the movers at the completion of the job, which is generally around 7% to 15% of the total cost of the move.

    Make sure to compare at least three movers so that you can get a general idea of how much your move will cost and also compare their fees and services.

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