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How much does it cost to move house?

By George Hadgelias

Moving is a necessary evil of modern life, but understanding how it works can help alleviate the stress.

Alison Long, national sales lead at WridgWays, one of Australia’s leading local, interstate and international removalists, explains the moving process, costs and how the industry has evolved from “moving goods from one place to another” to a full-service model.

Long says many factors influence the cost of a move. “The location of the house you’re moving from and moving to, the type of dwelling and what kind of street access the residence has are of particular importance,” she says.

A single-storey home with good street access is cheaper to move in or out of than an inner-city high-rise apartment with lift access, due to the costs involved, such as any specialist equipment required, Long says.

“Another factor to consider is the distance between your residence, at both ends, and your moving company’s depot, i.e moving in a regional area a fair distance from the depot will cost you more due to being on the outer of the radius from the depot,” she says.

When getting quotes from removalists, Long recommends providing as much detail as possible.

Also ensure the movers are certified by the Australian Furniture Removals Association, for domestic moves and FIDI, the global alliance of professional international moving and relocation companies, for international moves.

Long says the cost to move a standard “house load” on the company’s most popular route – Melbourne to Brisbane – is between $4500 and $5500, plus insurance.

Before moving day comes the dreaded task of packing. But like other unpleasant tasks, it can be outsourced, either to the removalist or a separate contractor.

“While the majority of people prefer to self-pack, most premium service providers offer a packing service, where a team of professional packers will securely wrap all items safely for transport,” Long says.

Self-packed boxes can pose a problem though, she says, as they aren’t covered by the removalists’ insurance.

“Our packers have been trained to pack items in the safest possible way, to minimise any chance of damage. We cannot guarantee items packed by customers are packed with this knowledge and therefore don’t cover self-packed boxes under our insurance policies,” Long says.

For a Melbourne-to-Brisbane move, packing adds about $1000 to the move cost, she adds.

Modern-day removalists also offer other services, Long explains.

“In the early days, removalists merely offered moving services; moving goods from one place to another, with packing materials and packing assistance if needed.

“These days, it’s very common for moving providers to offer a suite of relocation services in addition to standard moving services, such as secure storage, pet and vehicle transport services, visa and immigration services, home and school search assistance and cultural and language support, to name a few,” she says.

Long says customers should insure their loads in transit, separate to the removalists’ own arrangements.

“We always recommend taking out premium insurance cover, in order to have full replacement value of all insured items,” she says.

“While we do our best to deliver goods with no damage, there’s a range of circumstances outside our control – like a road accident where the removal company driver isn’t at fault and the customer isn’t insured – the customer will not be able to have their items replaced or be reimbursed for the value,” Long says.

Premium insurance for a standard three-bedroom family home ranges from $3000 to $4000, she adds.

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