How to Economize on Settling-In Costs After a Move

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Moving to a new city is an exciting prospect, and you’re probably all set to embark on a new adventure with new friends and experiences. Even as you’re creating a budget for the move, don’t forget to add in settling-in costs. Once the movers in Los Angeles unload your boxes and furniture and set them up in the appropriate rooms, you should get started with putting them away. Packing for the move is a long and challenging task, preferably done over a month of weekends. But the unpacking is possibly harder and will likely take you longer. You’ll also incur overhead costs for making the place liveable to your specifications. Read ahead for an overview of the unexpected expenses that one tends to forget.

Deep Cleaning the New Place

Although the previous owners will get the place before moving out, a thorough deep cleaning when you move is absolutely necessary. Hiring a professional cleaning company is always advisable since they’ll do a great job. Expect to pay their charges by square footage or enter into an hourly contract. Other factors that influence the final bill can depend on your location, the number of hours it takes to clean the place from top to bottom, and the total area you need to be cleaned. On average, you can expect to pay anything from $200 to $400, and if you’re paying by the hour, the rate typically ranges from $25 to $50. Add this amount to your total expected settling-in costs.

Getting Utilities

Chances are that you’ve already contacted the utility companies and inquired about their charges and rates. Now that you’ve moved in, you may have to pay a nominal fee for reconnecting water, power, and gas that the previous owners shut down. While the average monthly bill can be around $130 for these services, including garbage pickup, some companies may also charge a startup fee of about $10. Before starting your connection, scout around for the best providers in your area and compare charges for economical deals. Also, make sure that you inform the company about the new property ownership just in case the previous owner’s dues haven’t been paid in full.

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Setting Up an Internet Connection

You’ll need to ask around for the most efficient and reliable internet services, especially if you intend to work from home or enjoy gaming. Close to 41% of Los Angeles has a fiber option service, so you might want to check for availability in your area. As for the costs, know that internet plans typically range between $30 to $50 per month. You might also want to add around $100 to your settling-in costs for installing the service. This cost can depend on your home’s proximity to the nearest fiber network. Several other options are also available that you can consider, like DSL or Wi-Fi.

Buying Groceries and Take-Out Meals

With more Americans opting to cook and eat healthy meals at home, you’ll want to get your kitchen up and running quickly. But, when you’re juggling tons of other tasks, unpacking your kitchen may not make your list of priorities. Until you get the gas and power connection, you’ll have to rely on take-out meals for the family. Locating a grocery store and shopping could also take a back seat while dealing with other, more important stuff. So, add this expense into your settling-in costs. And, remember that it’s okay to cut yourself some slack when you’re exhausted from so much running around.

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Painting the House with a Fresh Coat

Most sellers repaint their homes for the new people moving in. But, chances are that the paint was overlooked, or you simply want to redecorate your home according to personal tastes. Many people prefer to deal with painting before unpacking. That’s because you’ll save on the effort of covering up the furniture and other belongings to protect them from spatters and staining. If this is something you want to do, plan for the expense of calling in professional painters. While you should check around for quotes and find economical companies, the average cost ranges from $2.00 to $4.70 per square foot. Materials and supplies will be extra, so remember to add them to the settling-in costs. 

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Installing Flooring 

Changing or installing fresh flooring when you’re settling in is about personal choice. While you could delay the project until you have more time on your hands, many homeowners prefer to get the task done right away. You can call professional companies to install the flooring and pay anywhere from $6 to $10 per square foot. Of course, this cost will also depend on the materials you choose, like, for instance, laminate, hardwood, vinyl, or carpeting. You could save on the labor costs by trying a DIY project. Several tools are now available that make it extremely easy to lay down floors. A few good examples include the patented pipeEASY tool for cutting around pipes, awkward corners, and jagged edges. 

Registering Your Car and Pets in the New State

An essential step of the relocating process is changing your address and updating important papers. These include your car’s registration, insurance, and driver’s license. You’ll also invest in new license plates if you’re moving across state lines. Since states have their own regulations for registration and emission testing, your best bet is to check with the local DMV for more information. Though, $25 is a reasonable estimate. 


While on the subject of registration, you should also look into the laws about pets. Californian laws permit you to register a dog online for a charge of $33. This charge can depend on the breed and whether your pet is neutered, vaccinated against rabies, and microchipped for identification.


When calculating the budget for moving to a new place, remember to factor in added settling-in costs that most folks tend to overlook. Preparing for these incidentals will help you plan your move better, and avoid unforeseen expenses. You will be soon settled into your new home without a hitch.