Considering Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, you would expect it to cost you a small fortune to move here. Well, you might be pleasantly surprised. For such a bustling metropolis, the cost of living is surprisingly reasonable. However, you do need to have a little nest egg to get you there. Just like moving anywhere else, there are some expenses you will need to factor into your budget. Make sure you also have a little extra, so you can go explore some of the main attractions here, such as the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, the Johnson Space Center, Downtown Aquarium, and the multitude of cultural centers in the Museum District.
Many people assume they need to factor a large chunk of money into their budget for supplies, but this is hardly the case. You can pick up free moving boxes virtually anywhere. Stop into your local grocery store, pharmacy, office supply store, liquor store, restaurant, bar, etc., and just ask if you can have the boxes from their next shipment. They might even have some already available for you to take.
You can skip the bubble wrap and packing peanuts, too. Use towels, t-shirts, sweaters, socks, and anything else soft you have around the house. It is all going to the same place anyway. The only materials you will need to buy are packing tape and stickers or markers for labeling.
Do not think you will save yourself a small fortune by moving yourself. By this the time you rent a truck, pay for fuel, and buy pizza and beer to bribe friends, your expenses will be nearly what it would be to hire professional movers. Plus, if you handle the move yourself you risk injury, which can amount to lost wages and hospital bills. You may be surprised at how affordable Houston movers are if you compare quotes and plan your move at the right time of the week, month, and year.
Some fees are just inevitable. If you are moving into an apartment, you will likely have to pay an application fee unless the complex is running a special. Fees usually run $25 to $50. Sometimes, if you go through a private landlord, you can get a deal on this fee if you supply a current credit report yourself.
If you are moving to Houston from out of the area, you might feel the need to hire a broker. If this is the case, you will need to budget a broker fee.
You may be able to pinch pennies in other areas of your move, but you do not want to go without renters insurance. Some hear the word “insurance” and see dollar signs flashing, but you might be quite surprised at how affordable it is. You will likely find that you can obtain a substantial policy for about the cost of a few cups of coffee every week. Make sure you find out if the apartment has deadbolts, video cameras, security gates, etc., as they will often help get you a discount. If you have a fireproof safe for valuables, this will often get you a discount, too. Plus, if you bundle your policy with your auto insurance, you will usually get an even better deal.
Move Out Expenses
Quite often, you have to spend a little money to get your full security deposit back at the place you are moving out of. However, fixing small things yourself will always be cheaper than what your landlord will deduct from your deposit. So, if your cat clawed the screen, buy a repair kit to fix it. If you have holes in the wall, fix them. It is not a bad idea to paint either. You should also factor in the cost to rent a carpet cleaner.
Odds and Ends
You will need fuel to get to your new place. If you are moving across the country, don’t forget lodging and food expenses, too. Make sure you have enough money to go grocery shopping, to pay for public transportation or parking fees. You should also find out in advance if you will need to pay a deposit or a one-time fee for utilities, cable, and the internet.
Don’t forget to check out the most recommended moving companies in Houston to help you with your move!