PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

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sunny_socal
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PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:41 pm

So we just completed our first cross country move (CA to TX.) I had an estimate of moving expenses before we started but we ended up paying much, much more.

Relocation
- Expect 15-30k for a full service moving company to pack & ship your stuff
- We used PODS (actually Pack Rat) and packed ourselves. It still cost about 7k for the move and storage of two 8x16 containers

Hotel
- Unless you fly, you may end up staying at hotels along the way
- We needed "pet friendly" hotels, it turns out these run $50-100/night more than regular hotels and aren't quite as nice
- Their cancellation policies also are not quite as lenient as regular hotels. I ended up in the ER the day we were supposed to leave and and had to shuffle our trip schedule a couple times, cost us around $500 in fees

Rent
- You may need to rent a place while you shop for a house
- My company gave me one month free, but to stay in that location would be $6k/month (furnished 2BR/2BA apartment)
- We ended up doing a short term rental, another $6k but at least it's not as bad as the apartment

License Fees
- TX vehicle fees are supposedly low, but they charge some "relocation fees"
- Ended up being about $800 to register 4 vehicles (better than CA, where I was paying about $1500/year) Next year will be about $300
- Mandatory vehicle inspections were also a few bucks

Utility startup fees
- Utilities surely lose some money due to flaky customers yet are expected to serve everyone
- Cable: $75 Water: $100 Trash: $75 Electricity: $200
- Most of these will be returned when you terminate service, some can be waived it you show a good record at a previous utility

Brand New House
- Could have bought an existing home but instead we ended up with a new construction
- Fence: $10k
- Patio: $6k
- Backyard shed: $4k
- Landscaping: $4k
- Gutters: $1k
- Garage coating: $3k
- Window treatments: TBD (hoping to get it done for $1k, but I know these can be expensive)

Furniture
- We brought most of our old furniture with us (which translates into higher moving cost)
- With a new house we nonetheless must buy a few pieces, maybe $3k here

Federal Tax
- I had already paid my annual FICA tax at the last company
- Federal law requires employers to collect the FICA anyway, I must pay ~$5k extra although I'll get it back at tax time

AND: rental cost
- We ended up renting out our old home
- Put $10k into repairs/upgrades in order to make it presentable for new tenants

Ugh. It should be over pretty soon :|

bloom2708
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Location: Fargo, ND

Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:29 pm

Moving and the expenses are not for the faint of heart.

Now you have to update your username to "humid_texas" or "sunny_hot_texas".

Hopefully there are some good cost of living gains that over time cover the expenses of moving.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

adamthesmythe
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Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:40 pm

CA-TX is not across the country. There's a whole lot more country between Texas and the Atlantic.

>Expect 15-30k for a full service moving company to pack & ship your stuff

I don't know how much stuff you have. But I moved from the northeast to AZ, did some packing myself, and paid about 8K for a regular moving company. This included two different deliveries.

If you rent then buy you inevitably have overlap and/or penalties to break a lease early. This adds to the cost.

It used to be that many of these expenses were tax-deductible...

Zott
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:21 pm

Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by Zott » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:47 pm

Thank you for the tips and good luck in your new location.

2015
Posts: 2096
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by 2015 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:36 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:41 pm
So we just completed our first cross country move (CA to TX.) I had an estimate of moving expenses before we started but we ended up paying much, much more.

Relocation
- Expect 15-30k for a full service moving company to pack & ship your stuff
- We used PODS (actually Pack Rat) and packed ourselves. It still cost about 7k for the move and storage of two 8x16 containers

Hotel
- Unless you fly, you may end up staying at hotels along the way
- We needed "pet friendly" hotels, it turns out these run $50-100/night more than regular hotels and aren't quite as nice
- Their cancellation policies also are not quite as lenient as regular hotels. I ended up in the ER the day we were supposed to leave and and had to shuffle our trip schedule a couple times, cost us around $500 in fees

Rent
- You may need to rent a place while you shop for a house
- My company gave me one month free, but to stay in that location would be $6k/month (furnished 2BR/2BA apartment)
- We ended up doing a short term rental, another $6k but at least it's not as bad as the apartment

License Fees
- TX vehicle fees are supposedly low, but they charge some "relocation fees"
- Ended up being about $800 to register 4 vehicles (better than CA, where I was paying about $1500/year) Next year will be about $300
- Mandatory vehicle inspections were also a few bucks

Utility startup fees
- Utilities surely lose some money due to flaky customers yet are expected to serve everyone
- Cable: $75 Water: $100 Trash: $75 Electricity: $200
- Most of these will be returned when you terminate service, some can be waived it you show a good record at a previous utility

Brand New House
- Could have bought an existing home but instead we ended up with a new construction
- Fence: $10k
- Patio: $6k
- Backyard shed: $4k
- Landscaping: $4k
- Gutters: $1k
- Garage coating: $3k
- Window treatments: TBD (hoping to get it done for $1k, but I know these can be expensive)

Furniture
- We brought most of our old furniture with us (which translates into higher moving cost)
- With a new house we nonetheless must buy a few pieces, maybe $3k here

Federal Tax
- I had already paid my annual FICA tax at the last company
- Federal law requires employers to collect the FICA anyway, I must pay ~$5k extra although I'll get it back at tax time

AND: rental cost
- We ended up renting out our old home
- Put $10k into repairs/upgrades in order to make it presentable for new tenants

Ugh. It should be over pretty soon :|
Congratulations! I'm going through this now, with just 24 hours until lift off. This move represents a great achievement on a number of levels, and I'm really excited to begin this new chapter.

One of the best decisions I made was to declutter and minimize well in advance, to get rid of virtually all furniture, and purge possessions I haven't used lately. Only taking a bed, paintings, and personal belongings. No paying people to lug it to the new locale, and boy, what an easy move. Will buy all new in the new locale.

The hardest thing about moving is is realizing how deeply I'll miss friends and even acquaintances that have meant so much to me.

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sunny_socal
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Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by sunny_socal » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:14 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:40 pm
CA-TX is not across the country. There's a whole lot more country between Texas and the Atlantic.

>Expect 15-30k for a full service moving company to pack & ship your stuff

I don't know how much stuff you have. But I moved from the northeast to AZ, did some packing myself, and paid about 8K for a regular moving company. This included two different deliveries.

If you rent then buy you inevitably have overlap and/or penalties to break a lease early. This adds to the cost.

It used to be that many of these expenses were tax-deductible...
There's a penalty for moving from CA to anywhere else.
Uhaul from CA to TX: $3k
Uhaul from AZ to TX: $700

I think it's due to the number of 'refugees' fleeing the state, it's costly for companies to get their trucks back.

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indexfundfan
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Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by indexfundfan » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:53 am

We moved out of SF bay area to Georgia last year. The cost to move the household items was about $5000. We did most of the packing ourselves.

Upack trailer (21' used) $3700
Upack storage $400
Loading labor + furniture wrapping $600
Unloading labor $300

My family took a two-week road trip to drive across the country and visited many places. It was an memorable trip.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:10 am

t used to be that many of these expenses were tax-deductible...
We moved in March of 2018 from NJ to MA. We wish that we had moved a few months earlier. Expenses were deductible, but as of Jan 1, 2018, no longer.
Zero Net Carbon by 2019.

Nate79
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by Nate79 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:49 am

We are in the middle of a company relocation, Oregon to Delaware. Luckily the company pays for the logistics moving costs and tries its best to make it as smooth and painless as possible but man is it a lot of work to move your family and pets across the country.

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Watty
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Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by Watty » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:16 am

If you are doing a company paid relocation then one thing to realize is that almost all of the expenses that the company pays except for a few things like the moving truck and limited hotel expenses are considered to be taxable income for you.

For example if they pay $10,000 in real estate commission to sell your home that would be taxable income for you. The way they should work around that is that they "Gross up" the amount and if you are in the a 33% tax bracket they would pay you $15,000 so you could pay $5,000 in taxes and still have the $10,000 that you paid in real estate commission.

There are of course lots of details and rules on this.

This can have secondary effects too since with the additional income you might be in the phase out range for some tax credit.

TravelGeek
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:49 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:14 am
There's a penalty for moving from CA to anywhere else.
Uhaul from CA to TX: $3k
Uhaul from AZ to TX: $700

I think it's due to the number of 'refugees' fleeing the state, it's costly for companies to get their trucks back.
From what I can tell based on 10 seconds of googling, the state’s population is still growing, though at a slower rate than in past years/decades. So I would think there is still a flow of UHauls going in both directions. My uneducated guess is that it is a nuisance surcharge. Or perhaps there are more self-movers leaving the state than coming into the state (more paid-for-by employer professional movers)?

I self-moved out of the state and there was no surcharge three years ago.

https://calmatters.org/articles/comment ... on-growth/

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:49 am

Watty wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:16 am
If you are doing a company paid relocation then one thing to realize is that almost all of the expenses that the company pays except for a few things like the moving truck and limited hotel expenses are considered to be taxable income for you.
We paid estimated taxes to account for this. The rules on company paid moves are much changed, but my CPA has not researched the details yet.
Zero Net Carbon by 2019.

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ladders11
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Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by ladders11 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:25 pm

Cross country relocation expenses are definitely first-world problems. Sort of like "grass is greener" syndrome with the exception that neither CA or TX has particularly green grass. Your mortgaged quarter acre of TX grass/dirt is cheaper, but your summers will be very humid.

When you price it out, you are financially incentivized to sell your furniture and buy new at your destination. Almost anyone who does a big move winds up opening a few big boxes and just thinking wtf did I pack this crap?

There's a bunch of kitchen, bathroom, linens and things more likely to be tough to move and incompatible with any new home. For example tables, lamps, and rugs can be huge space stealers and then not fit in your new space.

Which things should you actually keep on a cross country move? (1) Clothes and shoes (2) Legal documents (3) Family pictures (4) Tools (5) Electronics (6) Original artwork (7) Jewelry (8) Limited reference books (9) Sports equipment. Basically only the stuff that you spent time collecting, is custom fit, irreplaceable and personal. This winds up being a lot!

RudyS
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Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Post by RudyS » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:05 am

2015 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:36 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:41 pm
So we just completed our first cross country move (CA to TX.) I had an estimate of moving expenses before we started but we ended up paying much, much more.

.....details clipped...
Congratulations! I'm going through this now, with just 24 hours until lift off. This move represents a great achievement on a number of levels, and I'm really excited to begin this new chapter.

One of the best decisions I made was to declutter and minimize well in advance, to get rid of virtually all furniture, and purge possessions I haven't used lately. Only taking a bed, paintings, and personal belongings. No paying people to lug it to the new locale, and boy, what an easy move. Will buy all new in the new locale.

The hardest thing about moving is is realizing how deeply I'll miss friends and even acquaintances that have meant so much to me.
A bit longer till we do this, but agree 100%+ with early start, purging, etc. An effective job takes a long time. And 200% about missing friends and acquaintences, and all the groups we participate in. Good luck on YOUR move.

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