Unexpected Moving Costs that Catch First-Time Buyers Off Guard

Unexpected Moving Costs that Catch First-Time Buyers Off Guard 

Little compares to the excitement of moving into your first home. You can finally customize your home exactly to your liking, and start planning for your future. With all of the excitement surrounding the move, it's easy to look past some of the common expenses that pop up when moving into your first home.  

Here’s what Virginia Lascara, Content Specialist with TowneBank Mortgage, had to say about what she learned during her first large-scale move.  

“After my fiancé and I purchased our first home, I couldn't wait to get us all set up in our new home. For weeks I planned expenses, budgeting for the U-Haul, boxes, and some of the home repairs. I was lucky enough to have my family help us make the big move, and even though it was a lot of hard work, it's definitely a memory I'll look back on with so much fondness. It was such a great learning experience, and I quickly realized that I completely overlooked some common moving expenses. ”

Here’s a list of things you might need to budget for:

Moving equipment: At a minimum, you’ll need boxes, bubble wrap, and tape to help you transport your belongings during the move. You’ll probably need to tack on a moving truck, furniture covers and pads, plastic wrap, packing peanuts, professional moving help, and more. “We were able to cut down on some costs by reusing the moving boxes that some family friends had used to move their home the week prior,” Virginia said.  

Blinds and curtains- Are they coming with the house? If not, you’ll need to at least purchase blinds for a little bit of privacy. Do you know how to measure and install blinds? You can do it on your own, but with everything else you’ve got going on, it might be a good idea to pay for a professional to measure and install them for you. When purchasing your blinds, look for a hardware store or window treatment store that will also install them for a decent price.

New Locks- Even if you’re not worried about the former homeowners accessing their old digs, you should still have your locks changed. After all, who knows who they gave copies of their keys to, such as old contractors or relatives.

Paint- Unless you’re buying a brand-new home, it likely that you’ll want to paint at least a few rooms in your house before moving in. A lot of first-time homebuyers choose to paint on their own and save some money. Even though your labor is free, you’ll still need to budget for the materials, such as paint brushes, painters’ tape, tins, and drop cloths.

Temporary storage- If you’re moving dates don’t overlap perfectly, then you might have to rent out a storage unit. Most storage units charge by the month, so you could be on the hook for hundreds of dollars just to store your stuff for a few nights.

New furniture- Sometimes, you get into a new place and realize that your old furniture just does not work for you anymore. Or, if your new place is bigger than your last, then you’ll need to purchase more furniture and décor.

Tools and Supplies- Do you have a toolkit? Lawnmower? Ladder? Step stools? As a homeowner, you’ll need all of these items to help maintain your home and keep it running smoothly.

Those DIY projects: Virginia says, “When my fiancé and I purchased our new home, we were thrilled to discover that we had hardwood floors under the 30-year-old bedroom carpet. To save some money, we decided to refinish the floors on our own. Once again, while our labor was free, I was surprised by how quickly the expenses added up. It ended up costing thousands of dollars between renting the sanders and buffers from our local hardware store, purchasing the wood conditioner and stain, then doubling those expenses after our first attempt didn’t go as smoothly as planned.”

Tip: If you’re planning on completing any projects after you move in, try your best to do your research or call a professional for an accurate quote, even if you plan on doing the labor yourself. Then, give yourself a little wiggle room, because things rarely go as planned.

The best piece of advice that Virginia received from friends and family: “Don’t stress about getting all of the making all the repairs and fixes at once. Prioritize your to-do list, take it slow, and do what you can, when you can. Plus—don’t forget to have some fun along the way. Put your comfy clothes on, jam out to some music, then treat yourself a little after the job is done!”


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