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Courses in this Department

How Ready Are You to Buy a Home?

Determining Your Dream Home and Finding It!

Factory Built Homes Are Worth a Look

Purchase Manufactured Homes with FHA Loan

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Pros and Cons of Corner Lots

Know the Neighborhood Before You Buy

Tune in to an Open House on the Radio

Finding a Qualified Broker or Agent

Shopping for a Loan and Choosing a Lender

How to Improve Your Credit

How to Survive the Loan Application Process

Making an Offer and Signing Contracts

Cancel Your Contract in 3 Days

Understanding the Closing/Settlement Process

Choosing Home Inspection and Settlement Professionals

Double Check Your New Home - The Walkthrough

Know Your Consumer Rights

Seniors Have Many Housing Opportunities

Preparing for the Big Day -- Relocating Moving

Make Your Home Your Castle - Cost Effective Redecorating Ideas


Getting an Estimate

How to go about it.

Call on the Real Pros...
Those with a reputation and the right credentials.

The first place to start with an estimate is to only call on reputable movers. Look for moving companies that offer free on-site estimates and get a few of them to compare prices. What you want is a "not to exceed" amount or a binding estimate. Be sure to compare apples to apples. Give each moving company the same information when getting the estimate. It might help to write it all out and make copies so you can directly compare prices.

For Local Moves

The tentative final bill for a local move follows a pretty standard formula. (The number of movers + truck) x number of hours = final price. The final price will also include materials provided by the mover, insurance, and incidental expenses such as tolls. Estimating moves is not an exact science. It includes a variety of factors that can change the price. Here are a few of those factors:

  • The time it will take from the moving company to your current home to the new location.

  • The availability of suitable parking for the truck-i.e. one that makes for easy loading and unloading for the movers.

  • Any additional supplies you will need from the mover, such as blankets, boxes, tape, etc.

  • Whether you are completely packed or not o The scope of the work does not change-i.e. you didn't forget about the grand piano in the attic or the garden shed outside filled with tools.

  • The availability of suitable elevators in apartment complexes or condos.

  • Traffic from your old home to your new one.

Everything that is different from the day of the estimate to the moving day can alter the price. Be sure you give complete information to your mover, so the estimate can be as accurate as possible.

Long Distance Moves

These are normally charged based on weight and space. They weigh the truck before loading your goods and again after. You pay a certain price based on the weight multiplied by the distance they have to move. Goods from a two bedroom house moved from Washington DC to Atlanta will cost less than goods from a 4 bedroom house moved from New York to LA.

The Types of Estimates

There are three main types.

  • Binding-this is a flat price with a small percentage of deviation that binds the customer and the mover

  • Non-binding or hourly-this is not an estimate, it is a price sheet

  • Not to exceed-this is a quote that is binding only on the mover. The final price cannot exceed that amount if conditions remain the same.

Ideally, you will want a not to exceed quote. You don't want your movers working against the clock, you want them working with you.

Additional Charges

There are some potentially hidden fees. Even with good planning and a not-to-exceed price, you could face additional charges for unforeseen problems. These could include:

  • A change in destination for some reason o Restricted truck access, especially in long distance moves

  • Lack of elevator access in multi-family structures

  • Acts of God, such as fire, flood, earthquake, etc.

Sound Too Costly?

Are you considering packing, moving and transporting it yourself? Keep moving for some Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tips.

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