Costs of self-storage

Dec 21, 2014 | | Say something

One of these storage units contains lots of money

This article is going to look at the financial viability of securing yourself a storage space. In many ways it is an investment that might mean an extra chunk of money out of the bank account each month, but which could result in a better quality of life overall. Plus there are times when you simply need a cheap storage unit, particularly when preparing for a house sale or when dealing with a house move, or you may even be a landlord who wants to get items out a property fast so that it can be regenerated with more suitable rental level furniture.  Is the extra financial burden of acquiring budget storage going to impact on your financial plans in the long run? Is the big trip around the world going to get an accommodation downgrade once the storage of your domestic possessions has been accounted for?

The very nature of self storage means that you get what you pay for. Property and land is pretty expensive these days, even more so in a big city, and as you are essentially occupying some property with your goods, you may find yourself paying a sizeable fee for a few square metres of warehouse space. It is imperative therefore to shop around a bit and find out where the good deals are lurking as prices may vary substantially. Maybe you might find that an area slightly out of your locale might have notably¬†lower rates and be a more attractive proposition than the storage facility down the road. However you must always ask about whether any quote includes tax or any other such hidden costs, as the last thing you want is an extra slab of money added to the storage rates, just because you weren’t canny enough to read the fine print, and the company were sneaky enough to not let on that quotes did not include tax. So do ask, as this is an area where you do not want to be caught out by unexpected surprises.

You must also look into the insurance requirements for items you are storing. On occasion a storage deal might look very good, only to be negotiated higher once the storage company have imposed their insurance policy on top of the existing one. This is another area where you need to probe into the storage place’s contract and find out what their expectations are. It should suffice on many occasions that if you have an insurance policy of your own, this can be provided to the storage company who can verify whether this caters for their needs as they also need to demonstrate an element of responsibility for the security of your property and ensure they are covered by law. Some storage places may take this to an extreme though and insist you even pay up for the locks they are providing you with, providing them with further legal guarantees but also more money one would strongly suspect.

One other area to be mindful is when it comes to introductory offers. These are the main attractions for people seeking self-storage space, in that the company will advertise an unbelievably good offer for the first few weeks or months of the contract that would blow all competition out of the water. However, this can be more than made-up for once the main payment rate is invoked and you will find yourself paying at least double the original agreed rate. So you really need to be careful and budget for the long term strategy, as just taking the costs a week at a time will throw up some financial headaches later down the line. This is one of the main routes that storage companies get their business however, so it is very likely that you will need to take this advice on board and calculate your cashflow way ahead with the self storage budget in mind.

Notice periods are very important to find out too, as you wouldn’t want to be strung along in a contract that lasts way beyond the necessary time period without being able to break it off early and not lose out. If you need flexibility in the arrangements, then this is something that definitely needs looking into. And of course you must get the storage space requirements fully nailed up front so that you aren’t paying for too large a space – ask for a frank response to the question of what items and quantity are normally stored in the unit sizes you are being quoted for, as this can often give a better picture of what you can fit than the usual abstract quote of square or cubic metre space.

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