You may want to move, you may have to move. Either way there are costs associated with a move. The costs will vary depending on whether you are ”doing it yourself” or moving with professionals, whether you are moving locally or across the country, and whether you are moving alone or with a family. This list will help you determine what costs you might incur. Use the ”Expense Tracker” Tool to keep track of those costs and budget for your move!
Home Finding Trip
The purpose of the trip is to give you the opportunity to start looking for a new home and explore the new neighborhood. Ultimately it is the beginning of your new adventure.
Airfare (return trip ticket)
Don’t forget to budget the airfare cost to visit your new city as part of your home finding trip.
Mileage (to & from new location)
If you will travel by car to your new city as part of your home finding trip, it is wise to include the price of fuel. To estimate this cost, use an on-line map site such to estimate the distance and use the price of fuel in your area as a guide.
If your home finding trip includes over night stays – either en route to or at the new city – include an estimate of what those costs might be. Accommodation taxes can add up to significant expenses so don’t forget those in your budget.
In case you do not own a car but want to drive there, include what a suitable car rental cost might be.
During your home finding trip, you will probably have to eat in restaurants and these costs can add up. Including a budget for this expense can help make sure you do not over spend – or underestimate what the costs can be.
Taxi/bus (to & from airport)
If you will be relying on public transport while on your home finding trip, include these expenses also.
If you have children that will not accompany you on your home finding trip, do not forget to include the costs of care while you are away.
Pet Boarding / Sitting
If you have a pet that will not accompany you on your home finding trip, do not forget to include the kennel or pet sitting costs.
Depending on how long you will be away, you may want to consider hiring someone to keep an eye on your house. They can water plants and flowers, bring in the mail, check on lights, etc…
A destination guide can take you on an orientation tour of your new city, help you narrow down the neighborhoods to consider, discuss local real estate scenarios, and even act as a chauffeur throughout your trip. If this is something you think will help you and your family, be sure to include an estimate of the costs.
If you are not considering hiring a destination guide, be sure to check out our article. It will help you get a good start on your own.
Rental Fees – Old Location
Lease Cancellation Penalty
Once you have familiarized yourself with your province’s necessary legal requirements to terminate a lease, include this amount in your budget. If you do not know what your requirements are, be sure to check our section on cancelling your lease by province.
Loss of Deposit
What about that security deposit that you were required to pay on renting your current home? Will you recover this money or is it lost? Again, if you do not know the answer to this question, refer to our by province article on cancelling your lease.
Home Sale Fees – Old Location
Ironically, the sale of your home has costs associated with it. All of these should be included in your budget.
Real Estate Commission
If you are using a real estate agent to help sell your home and despite not knowing what your house will ultimately sell for, include an estimate of the agent’s commission – this is usually a percentage of your home sale cost.
If you plan to sell your home on your own, you will incur marketing expenses for things like flyers, advertisements in the local newspapers, on-line advertising, etc…
To register the sale of your property, you will need the services of a lawyer or notary. Also, you could include in this estimate the cost of preparing a new certificate of location.
Mortgage discharge penalty
As a result of your move, you will most likely have to pay an administrative fee to “break” the terms of your mortgage. To find out what this amount is, check the fine print on your mortgage.
Home Staging is preparing your home for sale in the open market. The goal of staging is to increase the appeal of your home to the highest number of potential buyers. Whether you do this on your own or hire, you will likely incur some nominal decorating costs – paint, curtains, storage, area rugs, etc…
Prior to listing your home on the open market, you will want to spruce it up from top to bottom. Whether you hire someone to clean for you or do it yourself, you will need to budget for cleaning supplies.
When you are in between homes, you may need to invest in temporary accommodations in either your old or new cities.
Factor in a nightly hotel cost if you have to vacate your old home before you can enter your new home. Accommodation taxes can add up to significant expenses so you may want to research what a reasonable estimate will be.
Short Term Apartment
A short-term apartment is generally a self-catered apartment designed for temporary living. In most cases, they are more economical than a hotel.
Include a car rental budget if you plan on renting a car while your vehicle is being shipped to your new location.
While you are in between homes, you should budget for a greater number of restaurant or take-out meals.
While you are in the process of moving, you may have to incur dry cleaning or other laundering expenses until you have access to your washer and dryer.
Until your pet can join you in your new home, you should budget for additional kennel or pet sitting costs.
If there is a delay between the closing of your old home and you vacating it, you will want to consider hiring someone for lawn care services. Or on the flip side, if you take possession of your new home before you physically move into it, you will want to consider hiring someone to take care of the lawn.
Rental Fees- New Location
Depending on the province you are moving to, you may be required to pay a “security deposit” or “rental deposit” before moving in. To better understand the provincial requirements in your area, be sure to check out the Renting section on our web site.
Home Purchase Fees – New Location
As you can imagine, buying a home carries a lot of different expenses. This section of the budget tracker lists some of the larger, often forgotten, expenses. To learn more about these costs, be sure to read our article on home purchase costs.
Mortgage Application Fees
A fee charged by the bank to cover the costs of processing your loan application.
In some cases, banks will ask for market value assessment of the property you are considering purchasing. This exercise is to ensure that the sale price is equal to or less than the fair market value of the property.
The minimum cost is $500 (plus GST/HST). In addition, your lawyer or notary will charge you direct costs for the preparation and recording of official documents.
Land Transfer Tax / Welcome Tax
When buying a home, you have to pay a tax referred to as a land transfer tax or welcome tax. The cost is a usually a percentage of the property’s purchase price. To better understand the provincial requirements in your area, be sure to check out our articles by province under the Buying & Selling section of our web site.
Your new home should be given a thorough cleaning at moving time. Whether you are buying cleaning supplies and doing it yourself, or hiring someone to clean for you, the costs can really add up.
Moving Household Goods – DIY
If you are moving yourself, take the time to estimate what packing materials need to be purchased. These can include boxes, padding materials, packing paper, tape, labels, and markers.
Renting a Truck
Truck rental rates can vary tremendously depending on when the move is taking place, how far the distance is, and the size of truck required. For budgeting purposes, contact a couple of companies to get a rough idea of what the costs could be.
To estimate this cost, use an on-line map site such to estimate the distance and use the price of fuel in your area as a guide. Remember – a moving truck’s mileage will not be the same as your car!
When renting a truck, you may need to purchase additional insurance. Vehicle insurance may be included under your current automobile plan or even through your credit card. You should also look into your home insurance plan to better understand what, if any, personal belongings insurance is required.
Pizza and drinks for friends
What more needs to be said! If your friends are graciously lending their time and muscles, what better reward at the end of the day than food and drink!
Moving Household Goods – Using a Company
If you are hiring a moving company to handle the shipping of your personal belongings, the total cost can be broken down depending on the options you chose – i.e., will the mover’s pack your stuff or will you?
The fee charged to pack your personal belongings – generally it will take two movers one day to pack a two to three-bedroom home.
This is the fee charged to load the truck, transport the goods to the new location, unload them from the truck into your new home.
The moving company may offer a variety of insurance options for your personal belongings, such as Replacement Value Protection. You should look into your home insurance plan to better understand what, if any, insurance is required.
Generally most people unpack their own goods. However if you do not plan on doing this yourself, be sure to factor in the labor costs of hiring someone.
10% extra just in case
There are always additional costs! To be safe, build in a contingency amount for those last minute unexpected costs.
Travel to New Location
Airfare (one way ticket)
Don’t forget to budget the ONE WAY airfare cost to your new city.
If you will travel by car to your new city, it is wise to include the price of fuel. To estimate this cost, use an on-line map site such to estimate the distance and use the price of fuel in your area as a guide.
If your home finding trip includes over night stays – either en route or at the new city – include an estimate of what those costs might be. Accommodation taxes can add up to significant expenses so you may want to research what a reasonable estimate will be.
During your home finding trip, you will likely be eating in restaurants more often. These costs can add up. Including a budget for this expense can help make sure you do not over spend – or underestimate what the costs can be.
Some airlines charge an additional fee to transport your pet. Also, you may have to incur expenses to ensure you have the right materials – such as travel crate, water or food bottles, etc…
If you plan on renting a car to travel to your new location, include what that cost might be.
Installation of Phone
The telephone company will charge a one-time “hook-up” fee for the new telephone service.
Installation of Cable
The cable company will charge a one-time “hook-up” fee for the new cable service.
Installation of Electricity
The electric company will charge a one-time “hook-up” fee for the new electric service.
Installation of Gas
The energy company will charge a one-time “hook-up” fee for the new energy service.
Installation of Other Utilities
It is safe to assume that any new service you are bringing into your home will come with a one a one-time “hook-up”.
Similar to a contingency fund, you never know what miscellaneous costs might be lurking around a corner.
Your spouse or partner may need help preparing a resume to find work in the new location. There may be costs for interview travel, association fees or new professional fees. If your move will result in extra travel expenses for children not currently residing with you, you can include them here.
Storage of Goods
Sometimes your new home is not ready when you arrive in your new city, or maybe you are having renovation work done before you move in. If this is the case, you should budget for this additional expense.
There are always additional costs! To be safe, build in a contingency amount for those last minute unexpected costs.