What Moving House Cost A Family on $100k A Year

by Anonymous

Raising a child supposedly costs you a quarter of a million dollars, but it can honestly be more daunting to face the idea of spending $80 on bottle nipples in a single month. Expense Report gives us a look into the spending, scrimping, and wishing that defines parenthood, from what moms spend on birthdays, to childcare, to sleep, to self-care (we wish!), and beyond.

You just got a new job in a different city, or perhaps your two-bedroom apartment doesn’t fit your growing family anymore — whatever the reason is, chances are you’re going to be moving into a different house at some point. We all know that moving will cost you money, but just how much is up for debate. This Canadian-based family offers one answer.

Family: A Mom And Dad In Their Early 30s

Location: Ontario, Canada

Annual income: $100,000

Number of children: Three (ages 2, 5, and 7)

For the last three years my husband and I were happily renting an affordable townhouse in a beautiful historic neighbourhood. And then out of the blue we received an eviction notice. Our landlords wanted their house back, and they were completely within their rights to evict our family of five within 60 days — and yes, we’d always paid rent on time; this was considered a “no-fault eviction.”

We soon learned that over the last three years, house rentals had exploded in price, and we could not afford to rent a three-bedroom in our city anymore. We had been saving some cash each month for an eventual down payment, but in an unfavourable new home buyer market we never thought we’d be able to achieve our dream. Our eviction pushed us into quick decisions, and within seven days of receiving our notice, we’d bought our first home.

Our new home was purchased with the money we’d saved up, and a bit extra we’d been generously gifted from a family member — it turns out that the fear of homelessness can be a motivating factor. Still, this rushed move wasn’t planned, and we had to quickly put together a budget, while also figuring out how we could realistically cut corners and save money on our unexpected move.

Figuring out expenses for a move isn’t a one-size-fits-all assessment. There are multiple factors for every move, and every family. These are the specific categories that our family needed to budget for.

Moving Costs

Our family was just moving across town, which made things fairly simple and inexpensive on moving day. We didn’t have to hire movers or pay for an expensive moving truck, thanks to plenty of local family and friends who pitched in to help. We were even given most of our moving boxes, although we did purchase a few extras for heavy duty items.

Moving boxes, $12, Home Depot
Packaging tape with dispenser, $8, Home Depot
Bubble wrap, $18, Home Depot
26’ truck rental + extra gas fees, $65, U-Haul
Pizza and drinks for helpers, $48

Subtotal: $151

Home Purchase Fees

Depending on whether or not you’ve purchased your first home, or what area you live in, there’s typically a few fees that need to be accounted for. They include: realtor fees, lawyer fees, home inspection fees, and any other expenses related to purchasing a new home. Luckily, we only had to pay our lawyer fees and a nominal fee for switching our utilities over.

Lawyer fee, $1,506
Utility switch, $35

Subtotal: $1,541

Repair And Renovation Fees

We got a great deal on our house, partly because it smelled like ferret pee. One of my stipulations when we purchased our home was that we had to do some minor renovations and repairs in order to get the house in livable condition. The most expensive was replacing all of the stinky laminate flooring in the upper level with brand new carpet.

New carpet in upper level and stairs, $3,867
Interior paint, $295, Home Depot
Dishwasher, $100, Facebook Marketplace
Water softener, $0, Facebook Marketplace
Baseboards, $51, Local flooring company

Subtotal: $4,313

New Home Furnishings

Our new home is significantly larger than our rental home, which means we have much more space to fill and not enough furniture. We already spent so much of our budget on new flooring, so we had to get frugal and creative with furnishings.

Couch and two accent chairs, $120, Facebook Marketplace
Area rug, $177, Wayfair
Blinds and window coverings, $169, Wayfair
Dressers, $0, given by family members

Subtotal: $466

Total: $6,471

Throughout our move we’ve tried our best to fix things ourselves and avoid hiring help. We’ve looked for free items on Facebook Marketplace and from family and friends, and we’ve done without — at least for now. We’ve used items from our previous house, and while there’s plenty of open space as well as empty walls in our new place, we plan to slowly shop and buy new items, with the intention of avoiding overspending and hurrying.

What we’ve learned in this process is that no matter how frugal you try to be, moving is going to cost you money. It’s best to plan ahead and save money toward moving costs prior to purchasing or renting a new place.

Prices for each item may vary.