The adventure of moving typically ends in an exciting result: a new job, a new city perhaps, or an easier life. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful – or expensive.
It’s not just getting your stuff from here to there. You may find you need to look for temporary housing until you can move into a more permanent home, which means you’ll need to find a place to store your belongings. With all of these expenses, you may find that you can’t afford to pay for the move outright.
If you’re considering taking out a loan to pay for your relocation, read our guide to discover what you need to know when financing your move.
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The cost of relocating to a new city or town varies depending on where you’re moving from, where you’re moving to, the type of residence you’re looking for and the amount of belongings you own. Moving from one side of Canada to the other is typically the most costly – especially if you need to arrange for your car or furniture to be shipped.
To discover how much it might cost you to move between locations, create a list of the potential costs specific to your situation:
Auto shipping. Depending on how far you’re moving, you could pay anywhere from $250 to $1,000 or more to ship your car to a new home.
Rental security deposit. Depending on the location and size of place you’re renting, you might need to put up $700 to $4,000 before you move in.
Furniture shipping. It can cost $400 to $2,500 or more to move your furniture.
Moving truck. Vehicles range from small moving vans to 16-foot trucks, with prices to match. Many companies charge $15 to $40 daily, plus mileage and fees and any insurance you opt for.
Gas. The size of your moving vehicles determine what you’ll pay, but fuel to move your things can cost upward of several hundred dollars.
Hotel stays. If the move to your new home is a long distance, you may need to stop for a rest along the way, or even get a hotel for a few days. Depending on the quality of the hotel, expect to pay anywhere from $60 to several hundred dollars a night.
Final cable, Internet and utility bills. If you’re locked into a plan, your providers could require fees of $100 to $200 to end your contract or cut off services.
Realtor or broker fees. Whether helping you search for a temporary rental or find your ultimate home, real estate experts can charge from $1,000 to $10,000 for their services.
Can I take out a loan to pay for relocation?
Yes. Relocating to a new city or town is a common reason people take out personal loans. You can apply with most personal lenders and receive approval within just minutes sometimes, which means you can learn about potential rates and costs of your loan over the long term. Compare the rates of two or three options to narrow down financing that can cover the full expected cost of your move while keeping your interest low and close to your budget.
Personal loans are generally unsecured, meaning your interest rates are based on a few factors including your credit score, your income and your ability to make your repayments, among other factors.
Compare personal loans to help finance your move
How else can I pay for a move?
You could also:
Budget. A cost-effective way to cover your move is to create a budget. Multiple online resources can help you calculate the costs of your move, allowing you to put any excess income toward these expenses in a separate account, if needed. Comparing exactly what you’ll need against how much you’ve saved can help you nail down whether you need a small loan or a large one – saving you money in the long run.
Company relocation assistance. If you’re upgrading to a new job or are transferred to a new office, find out if your company covers any moving costs.
3 tips for covering moving expenses
Plan ahead. Estimate how much a move will cost you to help determine your expenses and budget. If you have time to save, set money aside for paying your final bills, covering any deposits or preparing a place to stay temporarily during or after the move.
Shop for quotes. By comparing moving companies, you can save money by finding the exact service that meets your needs. The cheapest move is likely the one that lets you rent a truck and pack and drive your belongings yourself. If you can’t do that, companies that charge by weight or total truck square footage can offer you rates and fees to compare.
Sell your things. If you have excess furniture or are moving to a smaller home, consider selling items you don’t need to save a little extra money to cover your final bills. You might even find that it’s cheaper to buy new appliances on arrival than pay the hefty costs that come with moving them.
Can I write off moving expenses on my tax forms?
It depends. From the Government of Canada’s official website, on Line 219 of your tax return, you can claim eligible moving expenses if:
You moved and established a new home to work or run a business at a new location; or
You moved to be a student in full-time attendance in a post-secondary program at a university, college or other educational institution.
* To qualify, your new home must be at least 40 kilometres (by the shortest usual public route) closer to your new work or school.
Speak to a tax professional about your specific move to determine if it’s eligible for deductions.
How to spot a moving company scam
The prospect of hiring strangers to transport your things can be frightening, but you can protect yourself against scams by spotting red flags.
5 ways to tell if a moving company is legit
A moving company will also give you important documents to keep should problems arise:
Ask for a quote. This confirms in writing your moving services and agreed pack, pick-up and delivery dates. Legit moving companies typically ask to inspect your home to estimate overall costs, often six to eight weeks ahead of your scheduled move date. By knowing how much you’re moving – and, therefore, how much labour and supplies are necessary – a company can provide a more accurate idea of how much you can expect to pay for its services. If the company offers a quote without an inspection, it could be a scam to lowball you and demand more money after moving your items.
Don’t pay upfront. You should never pay in full up front. If your moving company asks for an upfront deposit, ask why. It might be they’re working through a broker that requires one, or a busy season might dictate the need for a guarantee on the job. If the answer doesn’t sound legitimate, trust your gut and look for a different company.
Visit their company. Go to the moving companies physical location, if they have one, and check it out. Consider asking for references if you’re dealing with an unknown company – even if it looks legitimate online.
Read real customer reviews. Head online or ask friends and family about reliable moving companies. Don’t be fooled by well-made websites, instead read reviews left by real customers and decide for yourself how you feel about the company.
Contact the Canadian Association of Movers. They list all reputable companies that adhere to strict guidelines.
Moving isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you need some extra funds to help you relocate, compare personal loans to fund the next chapter of your life.
One way is to read online reviews with TrustPilot, the Better Business Bureau and similar sites. In addition, visit the website of the Canadian Association of Movers. Carefully read the terms and conditions – including full fees and interest rates – of any contract you receive before you sign it. If your contract contains unreasonably high interest rates or short payback terms, it could be a sign of an untrustworthy lender.
You might be able to, but it depends on the lender. Some lenders offer relocation loans only to people who are relocating for business or employment. If you need a loan simply to move house, you can always take out a general-purpose personal loan, which usually doesn’t require a specific reason for taking it out, as long as you are using it for a legitimate purpose.
It depends on your situation. Moving your own items through a service like U-Haul will likely save you hundreds of dollars – and reduce the likelihood that you’ll need a loan to help out. But moving yourself is often much harder, since you must handle packing, hauling and unpacking on your own.
Weigh the pros and cons of all your options before deciding on the best method for your needs.
Kellye Guinan is a writer and editor with Finder and has years of experience in academic writing and research. Between her passion for books and her love of language, she works on creating stories and volunteering her time on worthy causes. She lives in the woods and likes to find new bug friends in between reading just a little too much nonfiction.
Read Finder’s BoC Interest Rate Forecast Report for forecasts from some of Canada’s brightest minds in economics and property as well as their thoughts on how recent rate hikes could affect Canada’s property market.
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