So you want to move to a new city, but you are absolutely in love with your house? You might be considering relocating the entire building to a new lot. Movers relocate historic buildings, move homes out of flood zones, so why not just transport your home to a new lot? You already have everything painted just how you like it, after all…
It will likely cost you a lot, making such an endeavor cost prohibitive for many ambitious movers. Here is the breakdown.
First, how big is your home?
The taller and wider the building is, the more difficult the logistics of moving it will be. Obstacles like trees, narrow rural roads with hairpin turns, overhead wires, and even roadside mailboxes can create significant hurdles to overcome along the way. Permits can be obtained and utility companies can raise the wires for you, residents can be worked with to move back mailboxes, and trees can be trimmed — but all of this will be pricey and time-consuming. Where you are moving the house to may also require a more circuitous route if there are rural roads in the way, and some jurisdictions have regulations requiring homes only be moved at night and with a police escort. These types of preparatory costs will make up the bulk of the price of moving your home rather than the actual moving service itself.
Is your home prepared?
The home must also be prepared for the move, meaning all utilities must be disconnected by an electrician and a plumber. If the home includes an underground basement, the structure itself will need to be prepared and altered to be stable on a trailer with staircases removed and supporting beams severed. Professional house movers will dig trenches around the entire foundation to insert steel beams to jack up the structure, so be prepared for some significant construction. Some homes are also cut in half to be transported, but that requires that the structure is sound enough to sustain such an operation. Here’s a time-lapse video of a historic building being moved for perspective.
So where do you begin when calculating the overall cost? Moving companies say you can figure around $14-$16 per square foot of the home for the actual move. Add-on fees for permits, chase cars, utility pole alterations, disconnecting and reconnecting utilities, and building and connecting a new foundation, and you’re looking at a price tag of $20,000 to $200,000 depending on the size of the home and the distance to be moved.
Is it worth it?
Before you start investigating how to plan a long distance move with your house in tow, consider whether it is worth all of the steps and cost. Will your home be up to code in your new city, or will you be required to make renovations? Will it really be easier, or will you still need to pack a large number of antiques or heirlooms for special transport? What are the roadways like between your current lot and your desired destination? There are some cases where transport logistics are nearly impossible, so be sure you do your research before you get too far into the planning phase.
There are many moving do’s and don’ts, but the ability to relocate your entire home is a possibility worth considering — as well as a possibility worth letting go if the logistics and expenses are just too much. Selling your beloved home may just make space for you to find a new home that you love even more.