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Preparing for a Move

We've finally got an acceptable offer on the house and now preparing for the big move. Our new construction isn't finished yet so we will temporarily rent a place. 

During my net worth statement publications, some readers were wondering about my principle residence valuation and it's accuracy.  Since I typically take the low end when valuating assets, the sale of my principle residence will result in extracting about $60,000 equity, which is pretty much exactly what my valuation was.  Combining the equity, a portion of savings, and non-registered portfolios should result in a down payment a little greater than $100,000.

As we've already started our packing, here are some tips that I've put together in preparing for the move (mostly in hindsight).

  • Get as many sturdy boxes as you can.  These boxes can be expensive to buy, but since I'm frugal, I looked for free ones.  Some great sources are grocery, drug and book stores.  My favorite however was the boxes that I got from the shipping department at the local hospital.  They were super heavy duty and the price was right (free).
  • When moving larger items, like a computer desk, consider taking it apart first.  It will be easier to move and it might fit better in the moving truck.
  • Pack the boxes by room then label the room after sealing the box.  This way when you move to the new place, you can move the boxes to the appropriate room without having to take it apart first.
  • If you need a storage unit, make sure to call well ahead of time as they get booked up rather quickly.  Another tip, make sure you get a big enough storage unit for your stuff.  We got a 10×10 unit, which was barely enough for a small dining room table/chairs, sofa, love seat, TV, 1 queen sized bed + frame, computer desk/chair and coffee/end tables.  The rest of our contents (in boxes) will move with us to our temporary location.
  • If you plan on renting a u-haul and moving yourself, again make sure you book the truck ahead of time.  It's better to go bigger than smaller with those trucks as they charge by the KM.  Bigger trucks mean fewer runs, which = less KM's.
  • Be sure to keep some cleaning supplies behind (vacuum/swiffer) as the new buyer will expect the house to be clean during the final inspection.

Do you have any moving tips? 

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • FourPillars October 15, 2007, 9:03 am

    As one of the “valuation doubters” – congrats on being so accurate on your house valuation.

    My tip – unlike our last move, try to do your purging BEFORE the move and not after – we could have cut the amount of boxes by a third easily.

    Mike

  • FrugalTrader October 15, 2007, 9:39 am

    Thanks for the tip FP. In terms of my home evaluation, like I mentioned above, I only take what real estate agents give me in terms of comps.

    You live in Toronto right Mike? Your property must be worth a pretty penny!

  • Telly October 15, 2007, 10:16 am

    You may have mentioned this before, but with a pretty substantial down payment, what increase (or decrease?) do you expect in mortgage payments on your new house compared to your current home?

  • FrugalTrader October 15, 2007, 10:30 am

    Hey Telly! Even with the larger down payment, the mortgage will be significantly more than my old mortgage. My old mortgage was around $750/mo, my new one will be in the tune of around $1300/mo. I’m hoping to implement an aggressive SM with the new home which will result in paying off the mortgage in around 10 – 12 years.

  • FourPillars October 15, 2007, 10:30 am

    Not every house in T.O. is worth a lot of money…

    I roughly estimate mine to be about $450k. I was quite fortunate with my first house which I bought at the end of ’99 – I only put $20k down, about $20k in renos and about $30k? is mortgage prepayments and after 5.5 years I had about $185k in equity when I sold. That’s the reason it’s so hard for first time home buyers – there a lot of people who have been in the market for 5,10,15 years who have incredible amounts of equity so they can afford to bid up their dream home.

    Mike

  • The Financial Blogger October 15, 2007, 10:40 am

    I moved several times and I learned the following tips:
    – Get as many similar boxes as you can. This is much easier when you are charging the truck. My favorite are the banana boxes at the grocery store.

    – Before moving, put all the boxes in the same room. It will give you additional space to move your furniture and you can do a chain work when you get to the boxes.

    – Have your friend sleep at your house the day before moving. You will have a nice time and everybody will be on time the next morning!

  • Anna October 15, 2007, 11:12 am

    LCBO stores have great boxes too!
    They are sturdy and a good size for heavy items.
    Also, they are free and LCBO is happy to get rid of them as they have to pay for their pickup/disposal.

  • Telly October 15, 2007, 12:02 pm

    The new mortgage doens’t sound too bad either.
    Isn’t the idea of the SM to keep your (deductible) payments going for a long time?

  • FrugalTrader October 15, 2007, 12:04 pm

    Anna: Thanks for the tip!

    Telly: Yes, you are right about the SM. The way it will work with me is that i’ll get aggressive in paying down the non-deductible portion (approx $150k). When that is all paid down, i’ll be left with approximately $200k HELOC which will remain deductible.

  • ThickenMyWallet October 15, 2007, 12:48 pm

    Rent or borrow a dolly or hand-truck (or make sure the truck comes with one). It will save you hours in moving time.

  • FrugalTrader October 15, 2007, 3:08 pm

    TMW, i noticed those trolley’s included in the truck that I rented, but they charged extra for it’s usage. I thought that it looked like a rip off, but maybe I should have used it. :)

  • the Wealthy Canadian October 15, 2007, 3:40 pm

    I’ve moved numerous times and worked as a mover (back when I was young and fit). It definitely helps to get the standard, uniform-sized, boxes. They pack into a truck so much better than an odd assortment of boxes. Also taking furniture apart will might help loading the truck efficiently. The less trips it takes to move the less it costs (if renting a /km truck) and takes less time.

    When I lived in Ottawa I ‘rented’ boxes from a moving company (I think it was called “Thrifty’s”). Basically, I bought a pile of moving boxes and then sold them back the ones that were still in good shape. It didn’t cost too much.

  • FrugalTrader October 15, 2007, 3:43 pm

    Good tips about the uniform box sizes. WC, can you remember how much it cost to “rent” boxes? I saw this advertised at the local “u-haul” store, but didn’t seem very appealing as I could find free boxes elsewhere.

  • Cannon_fodder October 16, 2007, 2:41 pm

    A few tips come to mind:

    – use your own vehicle to transport what valuable and/or breakable items you can.
    – budget 25% more for the move than the quote. Personally, and through anyone I’ve spoken to, it has always costed more than anticipated.
    – if you have children, especially small ones, make sure to pack their essentials in well marked boxes and try to pack those last so they are off first. Essentials could include favourite blanket, stuffed animals, etc. I also get to work setting up their beds right away to help them feel more comfortable with the move so they see some sense of normalcy returning quickly.
    – keep various tools and items with you in a special box – tape, scissors, screwdriver, drill & bits, gloves (to help when moving heavy furniture)
    – We’ve never done it, but it sounds like a good idea to me – create signs for each room (and tape them to the door jamb) that correspond to the labels on the boxes. This way the movers (hopefully) put the boxes in the right spot.
    – if you have some old sheets that you use for painting or whatever, you can lay those down in the first several feet of the entranceway. We’ve moved in the dead of winter and this reduces the snow, salt, dirt, etc. from being tracked all over your ‘new’ home
    – Finally, and this is REALLY important if you are getting friends to help move – make sure you know where the closest beer store and KFC is to the new home so you can feed your friends!

  • Quentin DSouza October 16, 2007, 8:01 pm

    If you are changing jobs or moving for school, you can write off part of the moving expenses on your taxes.

    See the CRA web site for details.
    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/individuals/topics/income-tax/return/completing/deductions/lines206-236/219/menu-e.html

  • Blain Reinkensmeyer October 18, 2007, 1:02 am

    Budget to eat out a lot because once those dishes get packed you aren’t going to be cooking again anytime soon!! :)

  • Never Stop Buying October 18, 2007, 4:05 pm

    I feel you, FT, as we just moved on Sunday, and still unpacking after 4 days

    Couple advices
    1. Get the biggest U-Haul, we got 26′ for $40 + $15 CDW + 27km @ 69c/km, and it was cheaper than our 17′ truck last year (we had to do 2 trips)

    2. We moved with our own cars a lot as it was in the same city (too lazy to pack EVERYTHING), I advice don’t do it too often, only for valuable/breakble items (for me, lots of computer stuff)

    3. Prepare to eat out A LOT, or instant noodles (a week before and after the move date)

    4. Get lots of help. We had 5 people and we were all tired at the end, and vow to hire moving company the next time =P

    5. We went out for AYCE Sushi afterwards (my treat of course), budget that too (KFC is too cheap honestly)

    6. Label the boxes clearly after taped, so easy to move boxes to their rooms easily for everyone

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