Traverse City Record-Eagle

Real Estate News

July 30, 2012

How Much Will You Pay to Move?

Syndicated — Moving takes its toll: nerves become frayed, children are uprooted from schools and, almost without fail, your favorite furniture is scratched.

It can also take a substantial financial toll.

According to U.S. Census statistics, 19 million American households pack up and move each year. In 2010, Worldwide ERC, the Worldwide Relocation Association, reported the average professional household move cost $12,230.

The dollars and cents that go into those moves vary greatly depending upon a number of factors:

  • Distance of the move
  • Need for packing supplies and services
  • Size/weight of the household being moved
  • Use of professional movers vs. rental truck vs. friends with pickups

Weight matters

When it comes to a professionally handled interstate move - one that takes you from one state to another - load weight and distance traveled are the two biggest factors in determining the cost of your relocation.

The weight of your items is actually measured on a scale. Before the move, the empty truck is weighed; you may ask to accompany the driver to the scale during the weigh-in to ensure everything is on the up-and-up. Your mover should provide you with an "empty weight" receipt or certificate. The truck will be weighed again once it is loaded with your items.

A reputable mover will provide a cost estimate prior to your move. The estimate you receive will only be as good as the information you provide. If you have a shed full of bikes and tools that you failed to mention when the movers did their estimate, the estimated weight of your load won't be accurate. Likewise, estimates given over the phone are not as accurate as those given in person. Companies can "guess" what your load will weigh based on an average 1- or 2- or 3-bedroom home, but if your home is minimally furnished or jam-packed with items, the estimate will be off.

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