First-Time Homebuyer Guide: How to Move into First Home Without Professional Help

Moving into a new home

Moving into your first home without professional help

Congratulations!  You’ve just completed the exciting process of designing and purchasing your new home and the big day has arrived – it’s time to move in!  If you decide to conquer the task of moving to your new home on your own, here are a few tips for tackling the process ahead:

Rent the correct size truck for your moving needs

When deciding how large of a truck you’ll need for your move, utilize online estimate tools and work with local rental agencies to more determine the best size.  When in doubt, it’s always better to have more truck than needed!

Here are some general size guidelines: 

Full-size cargo van or 10’ to 12’ truck:  Best for moving from a studio or one bedroom apartment.  Especially true if your move is local and multiple trips are possible.

14’ to 17’ truck: Suitable for moving from a 2 to 3 bedroom apartment or house.   A 17’ truck is one of the most common sizes offered by rental companies and will typically not cost too much more than a 14’ truck.

20’ to 24’ truck: Designed for moves involving 3 to 4 bedrooms or moves with an abundance of larger oversized furniture or appliances.

26’ truck: The largest rental truck offered. Suitable for 4+ bedrooms or moves involving extremely large pieces of furniture such as fully assembled entertainment centers or bookcases. If your move may require a truck in this size range, and the price differential is not too much compared to smaller options, this may be your best choice as it’s usually better to have too much truck to work with versus finding out on moving day you need more cargo area.

Consider hiring movers to load and unload your rental truck.

A few experienced loading professionals may be able to maximize your trucks cargo area.  If you live in a midsize to larger town, a quick internet search will usually list results of loading professionals available in your area.  Established websites such as are available for this purpose.  Be sure to inquire if laborers to unload the truck will be available in your destination city as well. 

If you decide to hire professional movers to help you out, we recommend checking out this article.

Should you purchase rental moving truck insurance?

Unlike renting a standard size car, your credit card or personal auto insurance rarely, if ever, will cover damages related to a larger moving truck.  If you have little to no experience driving a larger truck, or have any concerns related to doing so, it is usually best to opt for some type of coverage when renting a moving truck.

Must-knows when renting a moving truck

Most moving trucks are designed to transport a maximum of 3 people in the cab area.

Check to make certain the truck includes a loading ramp up into the cargo area for easier and safer loading.

Are you comfortable driving a large vehicle?  If in doubt, visit a rental agency and ask to sit in and drive a truck around the parking lot to better understand your comfort level.  Handling a larger truck on crowded freeways can be a daunting prospect for many drivers.

The larger the truck the lower fuel efficiency.  If your move involves a lengthy drive you may need to include possible fuel costs into your moving budget.   Rental agencies can offer you fuel consumptions estimates and gas tank sizes by model allowing you to properly estimate and plan for this expense.

If needed, ask truck rental agencies about the feasibility of towing your personal vehicle behind the truck on a trailer.

It definitely pays to spend time price shopping all rental options in your area and don’t be shy in asking one rental company to beat another’s price quote to help ensure you receive the best price quotes possible.

B. Ford spent more than a decade in the specialty appliance retail industry, and now devotes his time to freelance print and video content creation. 

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