Budgeting for Your Cross-Country Move to Houston
For starters, as with any endeavor, plan. Early considerations should include the cost of living in Houston - what are the overall costs of housing, food, fuel, and utilities? How long can your commute be before a different neighborhood becomes a more reasonable choice? What is the economic landscape? Will you need to update any professional licensing, and how is the market for your field? What are the local income and property taxes to be aware of, including vehicle registration? Do household utilities require a sizeable deposit up front? These may seem like minimal things, but they can make a substantial impact in a budget that didn't account for them ahead of time. Know your incidental costs.
Assuming your general location in Houston is already figured out, wrap up your living arrangements. Are you closing on a new house, or renting temporarily in your new location? There are some expenses associated with each option. Your title agent or property manager can keep you informed of closing costs, deposits, move-in dates or closing times. Are there educational arrangements to be made for your children? Have those specifics figured out.
Then, when it comes to the move, research and contrast various choices. Thinking about renting a DIY moving truck? Consider the rental expense, travel expenses (accommodations along the way, fuel, etc.), liability for damages, your own time and energy reserves for packing, loading, traveling, unloading, unpacking and the rest. Portable storage containers might be a choice many think about, but it can add up if storage is needed or your new zip code isn't serviced and you have to hire a moving truck anyway to finally collect your possessions. Professional movers are also an alternative, from full service packing and moving or a customized plan that meets your specific needs. Know your options and compare their bottom lines. You could be pleasantly surprised.
Last, but not least, think about, as best you can, for the unforeseeable. Do not start the moving process without a good understanding of your resources contrasted to your costs, and don't think about spending right up to the end of your budget. Plan a cushion against the unexpected. What will you need to do if your DIY rental truck requires a repair or substitution along the road that pushes out your arrival a few days? Allow for a buffer in your budget in case of such occurrences. What is the policy of the portable storage company if you have a last-minute change to the timeline and things need to stay in storage for a while? Is it expensive, and do they have locked facilities? Or will you need to figure out those arrangements on your own? How is their customer service? Are they easy to contact? Be aware of your responsibilities and any extra costs potentially incurred. If you have gone with a professional company, how easy to deal with are they in regard to changes along the way? Do they keep in constant communication with you throughout the move, and does their track record instill confidence in their services? If so, it can offer a protective insulation to your budget.
If you are ready to hire competent professionals, or are in your research stage and want to get an idea of what your options are, contact us. We have been helping people move for over 40 years, and have built an excellent transportation and logistics team based on a culture of honesty, integrity, and hard work. Let us know if we can help.