What Is the Cost of Selling a House?
Did you just buy or sell a home? Do you have the need for interim storage? Sometimes going immediately from one home to another does not always work out. If you need somewhere to put your possessions during the moving process, a self-storage unit can really help you out.
Moving from home to home is an expensive situation: You’ll spend on average 10% of your home’s final sale price when everything is said and done, with around 6% going to your real estate agent. The other 4% comes from title insurance fees, loan payoff fees, HOA fees, attorney fees, transfer tax, moving services, and any seller concessions you offered. On a $200,000 home, you are looking at $20,000 in seller-induced costs – yikes!
What Is the Cost of Renting a Storage Unit?
That’s why it’s important to cut costs where you can, and storage units are one way to cut costs. When looking for a storage unit nearby, you'll want to do a thorough investigation of the costs involved.
The cost to rent a storage unit has actually been declining in recent years. Competition in many markets has driven the costs down. The average per square foot has dropped from just over a dollar in 2017, to 92 cents in 2019, according to data from SpareFoot. Monthly costs to rent a storage unit average out at $87 across all sizes.
Note that these prices are averages, not necessarily what you will pay when you move. How much to rent a storage unit depends on many factors and could be higher or lower than the average costs across the country. Let’s run through the different factors that influence how much you pay, and how to minimize these costs.
Storage Unit Costs Vary
There are many deciding factors when it comes to the price you will have to pay for your storage unit. Let us take a look at some of the most influential reasons for what drives the cost of rent on a storage unit.
Location, location, location – it’s the most important factor when determining the cost to rent a storage unit. If you live in an area where there is a lot of demand for storage, you may find the costs are higher. In areas with less demand, you may find the prices are more competitive.
Check the prices in the surrounding areas to see if you can find a better deal. Given the growth of storage facilities going up in the last few years, it is not uncommon to find a deal from a new location. Some websites allow you to compare rates in your area easily.
Competition for Storage
The number of storage unit providers in an area will also make a difference. If a new storage business has opened up locally, it could lower the prices for storage thanks to competition, and the need for the new business to find customers.
Size Your Storage Unit
How much space you need for your stuff, is going to be a large determining factor on price. The more room you need, the more you will pay. It is important to correctly assess the amount of room you need before choosing your rental unit.
You can reduce your costs by going through your things and throwing away items you no longer need. Donate items that are no longer of use to you but could still be useful to other people. The fewer items that you need to store, means cheaper storage costs and less work to move items.
If you need to store larger possessions, like an RV or a boat, there are going to be extra costs involved.
Length of Your Rental
The length of time you need to rent the storage will also affect your overall costs. While many companies will offer the first month for free, this will depend on the overall length of time you need the unit. Month-by-month rentals are quite common, letting you avoid being locked into a contract for longer than you require.
When you need the storage unit also impacts costs. Most people want to move in the summer months, so expect storage to be more expensive during this period. Storage providers will raise prices to meet the demand of folks moving.
The Service Offered
As you might expect, self-service is going to be cheaper than a full-service provider. If you don't need your items collected or delivered to your new address, it should be more cost-effective to use a self-storage provider. Don't forget you'll need to factor in the cost of having a moving truck rental as well unless you are having a few friends help you out going from place to place.
Extra Services Provided
Sometimes storage companies offer assistance to move items, packing supplies, or storage bins. Other storage facilities will offer climate control, which could be important to better protect your belongings. Naturally, you can expect to pay more if you need these things. You will need to factor in any services like this, and whether they are already included in the price.
Don't forget you might also need to get rid of your moving boxes as well.
Insurance Coverage for Your Unit
If you already pay homeowners or renters insurance, you may have coverage for items stored in a unit. You should make sure you understand what your insurance covers, as they often have a limit on how much protection they provide. They might only cover the cost of items up to $1000, for example. The storage facility will be able to help with insurance if you don't have coverage.
Typically, storage companies will have an additional insurance rider you can purchase in order to protect your expensive items. Insurance is one of the wisest expenses when you are going to be storing valuable items.
Final Thoughts on Storage Costs
When you need storage, it is better to compare what is available in your area so you get the best deal. Checking surrounding areas could also give you cheaper prices. Whichever storage company you end up using, make a list of the services and space you’ll need to have a successful move.
It is smart to look for specials in the area when you have storage needs. Some companies that have a good deal of capacity may give you a special rate. Buying and selling a home is stressful enough – so figuring out the storage space you’ll need during your move can lighten the load!
Dr. Francesca Ortegren, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at Clever Real Estate where she focuses on helping people understand complex data, real estate, finances, business, and the economy by researching various topics, analyzing data, and reporting useful insights for general consumption.
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