Photo: Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash
Woah there, we’re not out of our current living situation yet. Before assessing the costs of moving into a new apartment, we need to assess any costs of leaving your current one (unless you’re homeless, then just do the damn thing, you beautiful soul).
Leaving your current apartment: First off, to move to a new apartment, you must leave your current one, which can be a strenuous process that most people need help with (which is why I’m writing this). Here are the steps and processes that you need to consider while moving out of your current place.
If you are breaking your lease early, you will most likely have to pay a fee. Most places charge a full month’s rent--so keep that in mind. If you aren’t breaking your lease early, you’ll still have fees to consider.
Vendor costs- Depending on how well you’ve kept your apartment, you may need to pay vendor fees such as repainting, carpeting, tiling, and any damages you or someone else may have caused. The easiest time to self-assess what you may have to pay in vendor fees is after you already have everything packed and ready to be moved. These fees will most likely be taken out of your security deposit, but if you’ve caused excessive damage, you may have to pay extra.
Application fees for a new apartment. Most places charge $40 to $50 for an application fee to a new apartment. You will need to pay this to be considered to move in to where you are applying.
Security deposit. This is another fee that you will need to pay to move into the awesome new place you’ve found. These fees can range anywhere from $300 to $1500 depending on where you’re moving to (assuming that you’re not about to move into a penthouse).
Moving your stuff, in and of itself, may also cost some money. If it’s a necessity, you can hire movers; however depending on where you live, that may get quite pricey. If you have roommates or friends who are willing to help, it can be somewhat cheap to rent a U-haul. If you have a willing friend who owns a truck, that could also be very helpful as well. Just make sure you buy them some pizza and beers once the job is done.
Once you’ve got everything packed away and are ready to move on to greener pastures, you’ll still need to consider the cost of the gas and labor put into moving.
You may be getting rid of things that you can’t move or saying goodbye to things that were shared with other roommates. If you’re going to need those things (kitchen utensils, tables, couches, chairs, mini-trampolines) keep the costs of new ones in mind. You don’t have to get them right when you move into your new apartment. That’s the silver lining to the slow process of moving into a new apartment: there’s room for progress!
Moving into your new apartment: You’re ready for the big move. You’ve got all your ducks in a row at your current apartment and are ready to mosey on over to your new one by whatever means necessary. You’ve paid all the fees for your new place--application fees, renter’s insurance fees, security deposit. It’s move out and move in day and you’re ready to go:
Before turning in the keys at your old apartment, you need to meet with an associate at the leasing office of your new apartment and pay your first months rent. They should give you the keys to your new apartment once you do that.
Then you can go turn in your old keys, say goodbye to that pad, and get moving. Remember if you don’t turn in your keys to your old place, you may be charged for the cost of the keys and for replacing the old locks there.
Fast forward to the end of the day: you and all your friends - or new friends you’ve made from hiring movers - are all hanging out eating pizza, tired and proud of the accomplishments you’ve made. Johnny pulls out his phone and asks for the Wifi password. You realize you haven’t setup your Wifi yet. You may need to call whatever company you use, and they may need to send a technician, which may result in miscellaneous fees.
As previously stated, moving into a new apartment is a slow process, and throughout the months in your new place you’ll slowly start to notice necessities that you had at your old place, that you don’t at your new one. If you can, try to put aside some money before the move for those things.
Summing it all up: Those are some fees and processes that you’ll need to consider when moving into a new apartment, but here they are in a list for you (with some estimated dollar amounts):
- Breaking lease early fees (one month’s rent)
- Vendor fees at your old apartment (may be taken out of your security deposit)
- Application fees at your prospective new apartment ($40-$50)
- Security deposit fees at your new apartment ($300-$1500)
- Renters insurance fees (varies)
- Moving costs such as renting a U-haul, hiring movers, or buying friends pizza, gas, and beer (varies)
- First and possibly, last month’s rent at your new apartment (varies)
- Necessities for your new apartment (varies)
There are definitely some fees in there that I’ve overlooked, but if you keep in mind all of the above stated, you should be able to be on top of your moving game. I hope this was informational and good luck with your big move to your beautiful new apartment!
Alec Mackenzie is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in the Greater Los Angeles Area. He has been writing creatively since high school and throughout his college career, with versatile experience in fiction, non-fiction, journalism, and screenwriting. When not working at his day job, he enjoys being outside, staying active, cooking, and writing.