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Moving interstate? Here's what you need to consider

image for Moving interstate? Here's what you need to consider

Moving interstate might look tempting right now, but it isn’t easy. There’s a lot you need to consider, and a lot you need to pay for.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), interstate migration in some states is at 20-year highs. The coronavirus crisis of 2020 saw many people pack up their things and move to more affordable places, or to places they could work from home more comfortably.

Here’s how you can make your interstate move more easily by considering the following things.

Where are you moving to?

Where you’re moving to will affect how easy it is to get there and how difficult the move is. Moving to capital cities is likely to be easier, as they have better infrastructure and will generally be easier for removalists to access (therefore charging lower fees) while moving to regional areas might cost more and require a bit more planning on your behalf.

Moving large distances (like from Perth to Cairns, or Perth to anywhere) will also complicate things.

How are you getting there?

Moving interstate by rail (train) is, believe it or not, the most popular way people ship their belongings, with the contents of a large family house fitting in two train containers “Rail is by far the most efficient way to move from one state to another because we have good rail infrastructure between all the capital cities in Australia,” Nuss Removals General Manager Nigel Saunders told Realestate.com.au.

Moving your stuff interstate by driving and hiring moving vans is also one of the cheaper ways to move, while doing so by plane is possible, but more expensive. Moving to further away cities might make this necessary, so look for some cheap flights if you have to.

Does the property have good growth potential?

As with any move, you should carefully consider the property you’re buying not just in terms of livability, but also in terms of its potential price growth as well. There are lots of regional areas experiencing a post-COVID price boom, like Byron Bay, the Central Coast, Geelong and Wollongong to name a few. Capital cities can also be a good investment.

Wherever you’re buying, make sure you’ve looked into:

  • Employment and infrastructure developments in the area

  • Crime rates and migration figures (domestic and international)

  • Vacancy rates and recent growth figures

  • The amenities in the area like public transport, shops and schools

Are you selling your old property?

If you’re renting then this won’t be very relevant to you as long as you’ve told your agent/landlord you’re moving. But if you’re a homeowner, you can either sell your old house or turn it into an investment property and rent it out.

If you’re selling, you’ll need to make sure you get a good price for it, remembering you’ll have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) on any profits. There are also a few things to consider if you decide to turn it into a rental property.

How much does it cost to move interstate?

Moving interstate is obviously a challenge, and will cost a pretty penny to get it done. According to moving company Wridgways, interstate moving costs between $5,100 and $11,550, depending on the distance and how much stuff you have. These costs are made up of the following different items:




$3,000 to $5,500

Flights and accommodation

$1,200 to $3,500

Pet costs

$200 to $400

Moving insurance

$200 to $1,000

Utility connections

$100 to $400


$200/month to $400/month

Packing boxes

$50 to $100

Rubbish removal

$150 to $250

Some of these won’t apply to you - you might not have pets, or you might opt-out of getting insurance for the move. But generally, removalists are the bulk of moving costs, and there are other costs you need to factor in, like buying new furniture for the place and buying food and petrol during the move.

How to save on moving costs?

According to removalist service Muval, you could save the following on removalist costs simply by being prepared and doing the following:

  • Up to $120 by disassembling beds and furniture beforehand

  • Bringing as much to the entrance as you can (up to $120)

  • Labelling boxes and items beforehand (up to $60)

  • Selling or throwing away unneeded items ($50-$60)

  • Choosing nearby removalists ($200 on call-out fees)

You can save on everything else by:

  • Not moving during peak periods (like school holidays)

  • Throw garage sales to sell anything you can

  • Get friends to help move your stuff out first, leaving the packing and travel to the removalists

  • Decluttering your house, which also saves times

  • Looking for cheap flights/transport

  • Comparing anything else you’ll need, like energy plans, pet accommodation and moving insurance

Doing all of this can save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.

How are you paying for your new home?

No matter where you move, affordability should always be a concern. Moving interstate is already expensive, so if you can’t afford your new place then you’ll be in a spot of bother.

A home loan with a competitive interest rate and next to no fees can help you afford your new home, and loans.com.au has several such home loans on offer. A low-rate, low-fee loan with loans.com.au can help you afford an interstate move thanks to the cheap monthly repayments combined with a number of useful features like an offset-redraw.

To fund your interstate property purchase, get in touch with one of our friendly lending specialists now and compare our range of market-leading mortgages.

Other helpful resources: 

Rentvesting: pros and cons of buying an investment property while renting

Brisbane's 10 best suburbs for high capital growth

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, loans.com.au has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

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