Well, it's nice weather and often that brings thoughts of moving - but the move might not be motivated by anything more than a desire to change locations. And the results might include costs that you really never considered.
I remember when my cousin bought a beautiful new boat. He drove friends and family around and around the lake for hours. I remarked on how much the gas was costing and he wisely told me that before he made the purchase, he factored in all the operational costs so that he would be prepared without any financial stress! Good thinking!
Sometimes people look at the sticker price of a new residence or the monthly rental but don't stop to consider the additional costs associated with a move. Before you jump into renting a bigger place or buying a new home think about the following:
1. Moving costs - Will you hire a company or rent a truck? Where will you get the packing supplies? Remember to add in the gas and even the pizza and beer that you will pay your friends with for helping you to move.
2. Utilities - Will you need to pay deposits or have an overlap in services that will cost extra?
3. Cleaning and renovations - You will need to clean the place you are leaving and may need to paint or do repairs in the new place. All that costs both time and money.
4. Draperies and Furnishings - A bigger residence means you likely will need more items to fill the space. And there are always things that don't fit or need to be replaced.
5. Penalties - Will your damage deposit be returned so that you can use it for the new place? Do you need to pay an interest penalty for not fulfilling your mortgage term?
6. Insurance and Taxes - More square footage or a different location might result in higher costs for insurance and/or taxes.
7. Fees - If you are purchasing a place then you will have both legal and real estate costs. Renters need to come up with a damage deposit as well as first and last month's rent.
Probably the biggest cost of moving is your time - looking for a new place, completing paperwork, packing, physically moving and then unpacking and getting settled. How much is your time worth per hour?
Before you make the final decision to move, perhaps you might want to look around at the place where you are right now. Consider if and how a little bit of that time and money could be used to make it the "home sweet home" that you covet.
Staying right where you are may be the very best psychological and financial move for you!