What Will it Cost My Parents to Move?

Moving costs can vary quite a bit depending on the size of your parent’s home and the distance traveled. Moving within close proximity reduces many costs as compared to moving your parents from another community.  While some expenses are obvious, there may be some unanticipated expenses that can really add up.   If you are trying to guide your parents to plan ahead, here are costs to consider.

Hiring a moving company: A moving company can provide an estimate based on review of your home interior. They will provide a range of services - packing (including fragile items), loading, transporting, unloading and even unpacking if you so choose.  They will provide as little or as much as you’d like and will charge accordingly for the time and manpower required.

Family helps with the move:  If your family wants to handle the move, you will need to factor in the equipment that may have to be rented, such as furniture dollies and pads, the packing materials you will need to purchase and the rental fee for the use of a truck.  Truck costs depend on the size of the truck needed. By industry standards, a 2-3 bedrooms household requires a 17-ft. truck. One to two bedrooms will require a 14-ft. truck. Add to this gas and mileage charges. 

Other potential costs include:

      • A storage unit for furniture and other possessions that your parents may want to keep but not in the new residence.
      • Costs of labor to hire help to pack and load and unload
      • Costs for temporary lodging if needed.
      • Costs to transport or temporarily house a pet.
      • Costs to pack and transport delicate items like artwork.
      • Moving companies will provide insurance, but the standard rate is usually not enough to replace the item, especially if that item is small and valuable, such as crystal, glass or porcelain. 

Other costs associated with leaving the house:

  • Are there things that need to be fixed as outlined in a buyer’s offer to purchase? Some things may be identified through a home inspection and the buyer will request they be addressed.
  • Cleaning the home before handing over the keys. While you may want to do this for your parents, consider that what may take you a couple of days could take a crew just a couple of hours.
  • If your parents rent, other hidden costs could be money deducted from the security deposit to cover cleaning and repair.

Costs to make the new home right:

These are things that are purchased to make the new location a home. It is often easy to forget about these expenses, when one has lived in a home for many years.

  • Window shades or curtains
  • A new bed. It may not be an issue of needing a smaller bed, but the time may be right to get a new mattress.
  • Smaller furniture to replace what will not fit or what you do not want to move. For example, a large dining room table may go to a family member, but your parents will need a smaller dining table in the new apartment.
  • Storage or display furniture. Your parents may be moving from a home with built-in cabinets but some of the items that were stored and displayed are moving with them. The solution may be as simple as a single bookcase.

Some seniors find that hiring a senior move manager is worthwhile. This may be a necessity if you and the rest of the family are not nearby and really cannot help organize the move. A senior move manager is a professional who specializes in assisting older adults and their families with all aspects of transitioning from a home. The cost of hiring such a person may be easily outweighed by the all the help they can be. There is a professional organization of senior move managers that can be a source of more information.