Budgeting for Your Cross-Country Move to Houston12/10/2017 A cross-country move to Houston is a significant undertaking, and there are surely differing degrees of difficulty and expense. How do you deal with such a move without taxing your bank account? There are a few things you can do to be aware of up-front what to expect and plan for. First, 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 another neighborhood becomes a more realistic alternative? What is the economic landscape? Will you need to update any professional licensing, and how is the market for your skills? 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 minor things, but they can make a major 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 known, finalize your living arrangements. Are you closing on a new residence, or renting temporarily in your new location? There are some expenses associated with each option. Your title agent or property manager can help you understand closing costs, deposits, move-in dates or closing times. Are there educational considerations to be made for your children? Have those details figured out. And, when it comes to the move, explore 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 can be an option you can ponder, but costs can add up if storage is required 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 unexpected. Don't start the moving process without a good knowledge of your resources in comparison with your costs, and do not plan to spend right up to the end of your budget. Plan a cushion against the unpredictable. What will you need to do if your DIY rental truck requires a repair or substitution along the road that delays your arrival an extra day or two? Allow for padding in your budget in case of such happenings. What is the policy of the portable storage company if you have a last-minute adjustment to the timeline and things need to stay in storage for a while? Is it expensive, and do they have safe facilities? Or will you need to make 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 flexible are they in regard to changes along the way? Do they keep in clear communication with you throughout the move, and does their track record instill confidence in their services? If so, it can offer a protective layer to your budget. If you are ready to hire capable professionals, or are in your fact-finding 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.