Around the country, things are starting to thaw. Temps are climbing, and people are getting back out now that it's no longer bone-chilling outside. Aside from going to work and running weekend errands, you may have been holed up in your apartment. It just so happens that you've grown tired of your current place, and you're looking for a new living situation. Now that the weather has turned, is it the right time to start looking for a new place? What are prices like right now, and is this the best time to make the change. We give you advice on the best time to move, as well as what to do to get ready for move day.
Spring has Sprung
Pretty much nobody wants to move in the dead of winter, and we can't blame them. If you were of the same mindset, you're certainly not alone. Especially for those who rent trucks and do the moving themselves versus paying a pricey moving company, it's uncomfortable to drag a sofa through the snow, carry boxes up flights of stairs, and drive a truck on icy roads to get to a new place.
While some of the best rental rates occur during the winter, most folks don't do it then. But the months before Memorial Day still matter when it comes to renting. Prices climb in the summertime when most people plan on moving. School is out, people are transitioning jobs, and there's more free time during the summer. Beat the rush, and you can save yourself time, money, and headache.
- As you're hunting around for ideal places to move, inquire about any special rates during the slower moving season.
- If you plan on moving to a bigger place, adjust your budget to about a 20% increase as an estimate and start saving.
- Look for areas where you can cut back in order to make things work out financially.
Weather and Equipment Availability
You should definitely think about moving during the spring months and not just because rates are lower than in the summer. You have to consider the weather. Moving in the winter is not just uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous to walk (much less, carrying heavy boxes). What might seem like a good idea when rent prices are really low could actually be a bad idea for your safety.
Sure, there's the risk of rain in the springtime, but 60 and 70-degree temperatures will make it much easier to move than it will be in the 80 and 90-degree temps in the dead of summer. Warm weather means it's generally more desirable to move, but you don't want extreme temperatures in either direction. Even more, the availability of rental trucks/vans and reserving freight elevators in your apartment building will become scarce during the busy summer moving month.
- Check with friends and family who can help you move. If someone has a pickup truck, even better.
- Call local truck rental companies to see what availability is like on the weekends when you might move.
- Look at local weather forecasts to see when it's going to be clear for a streak of several days.
- Call your current and future apartment management companies to see when they have available move dates.
Planning is Everything
Should you seriously consider moving this spring, you should start your planning now. Start searching for the apartment you want and one that would work for your employment and family situations. It's more than just about finding a nice place. Location really is everything. Also, think about setting aside moving costs now and cut out things like movies, eating out, and even streaming video on your TV. You don't want to be blindsided by the cost, and you may even consider paying more rent for a better place.
Put a planning calendar together with estimated moving dates, and start calling around to reserve a moving truck, find a good place for inexpensive boxes, and also get any relevant information for the area you plan on living in. City stickers, parking permits, utility companies, etc. This is all very important, and you don't want to find out you didn't do your homework beforehand. Moving doesn't have to be a nightmare. Spring is almost in full swing, so get going.
- Create both a planning calendar and a task list of things to do prior to moving.
- Know when you have to get the moving truck, reserve freight elevators, who is helping you, and all relevant contact information.
- Get your supplies early: boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, labels.
- Plan on utility service termination at your current apartment and schedule service at your new place.