5 Hidden Costs of Moving Out of State

January 26, 2018
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Moving can be stressful and expensive, especially if you’re moving out-of-state and not just across town.

According to the American Moving & Storage Association, the average cost of moving to another state is about $2,000 more than the cost of moving to a location within your state. With the added stress of moving to a more distant location, the last thing you need is to face unexpected moving expenses.

Here are five costs you may encounter when you move out of state that you may not have considered:

1. State Income Taxes

If you live in one of the seven states that don’t have individual income tax, or one of the two without earned income tax, then you may be in for a shock next April when you do your taxes.

While you may be peripherally aware that you’ll be paying state taxes when you move, chances are, you haven’t really considered how much impact it could have on your finances. Depending on what state you’re moving to, you could face an additional 3-13 percent in state taxes! 

2. License and Registration

When you move, you’ll need to get a new driver’s license and register your car in your new state of residence. In addition, some states may require you to pay an annual tax. While some states do not have this tax, others may charge by the weight or age of the vehicle.

Depending on where you’re moving, you may need to pay hundreds of dollars in taxes on your vehicle. Don’t let this bill surprise you—contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in your new town, as well as the county tax office. 

3. Connection/Termination Fees

When you move across town, or even to another part of your state, sometimes you can keep the same utility providers and simply transfer your service to a new address. However, when you move out of state, more than likely, you’ll need to choose new providers who may charge fees such as a deposit, connection fee, or enrollment fee.

You may also face fees for canceling memberships or terminating contracts with entities such as your gym, your cable/satellite provider, and even some utility providers. Most of these fees and penalties won’t break the bank, but the unexpected expenses can be an inconvenient addition to the stress of moving—so be sure to leave some room in your budget.

4. Moving Company/Insurance

Moving all of your household belongings to a new state may not be quite the same DIY adventure as, say, moving to a new home across town. For an out-of-state move, you’ll most likely need to hire a moving company. Moving companies may charge by a number of factors, including the amount of space your items take up, as well as the total weight of your items and the distance they’ll need to travel.

It may be tempting to save money by skipping out on insurance—after all, the price they quoted you may not have included the additional cost to insure your items. But the reality is that not having it may be more expensive in the long run. The cost of moving insurance starts at 60 cents per pound, but how much could you lose if something goes wrong?

5. Transporting Vehicles

How many vehicles do you own? If you have more vehicles than licensed adults to drive them, then you’ll likely need to pay to have your vehicle(s) transported to your new town. But before you start shopping around for the lowest price, remember that you get what you pay for.

For instance, covered transport can be much more expensive than uncovered transport, but covered transport makes your vehicle much less vulnerable to weather, road hazards and theft. If the condition of your vehicle is important to its value, such as with classic cars and high-value sports cars, then you should seriously consider covered transport.

In addition, not all transport companies offer insurance. Be sure to ask your car insurance provider if your policy covers transport. If it doesn’t, find out if you can get it. When you speak to transport companies, ask if they offer coverage, and make sure it’s sufficient for the value of your vehicle.

You can save an incredible amount of time, money, and stress just by being prepared. This includes doing your research so that you can know what to expect, as well as leaving flexibility in your budget for the things you don’t see coming.

Article contributed by Phil Karp, leader of brokerage services at Owners.com, where you can save money buying a new home. Phil enjoys educating homebuyers on what they should expect when moving to a new state. In his downtime, he chases his passion for auto racing in the Greater Atlanta area that he calls home.   


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