Moving can be difficult, especially if you’re planning on moving across the country. You’ll obviously want to plan your packing and cleaning processes well in advance, but you should also take special care to include one of the most crucial planning points of all: seasonal scheduling. If you’ve properly timed your move, you’ll be surprised at how smoothly everything goes. Here are a few tips to help you start scheduling your relocation.
The best way to plan your move is to plan forward — to focus more on your new location than where you currently live. Try to consider things like climate or population during your planned relocation season. Moving from Florida to Boston in February, for example, will definitely mean a big change in the weather you’re used to. Or, if you’re moving to a college town in the fall, you should expect younger (and possibly rowdier) neighbors than you would if you moved during summer break.
CHASE THE OFF-SEASON
One thing to strongly consider is that housing markets have peak seasons and off-seasons. During the late summer, when many people are moving into new houses or apartments, prices tend to be higher. If you can time your move to find a rental in the off-season, on the other hand, you stand to save a significant amount of money.
Bear in mind that while you’ll likely encounter better deals on new housing in the off-season, the opposite is true for selling your home or lease. It will be a bit more difficult to find a buyer during fall and winter, but it’s certainly not impossible. Make the most of what you have — a home with tasteful decor, for example, can still net a good amount of interest.
CONSIDER ALL SEASONAL PROS AND CONS
Ultimately, there’s no perfect time to move. If you opt for the ease and availability of a summer move, you’ll have to sacrifice some affordability, and vice versa for a winter move. You’ll have to consider all of your specific needs — scheduling, budget, property preferences — to determine exactly when is right for your relocation. Each season brings its own set of advantages and disadvantages; you just need to figure out which matches your personal circumstances.
Housing Market: Good news for buyers, the housing market begins to slow down in August through October. As demand declines because families with children don’t often move at the start of the school year, the prices begin to drop as well.
Weather: The cool temperatures that fall weather brings makes it an ideal time to move, as you likely won’t be dealing with rain, extreme heat, or snow.
Housing Market: As a seller, the dip in the housing market means you might not get the sale you had hoped for. As a buyer, this also means that you won’t find the same number of options you would during the summer months.
School: If you have kids, you will have to add changing schools to your moving checklist.
Housing Market: Properties will be significantly less expensive as landlords and owners try to sell during the off-season months of November through February.
Housing Market: If you’re a seller who is motivated to sell your home quickly, it is highly likely that you will have to lower your asking price to accommodate the dive in housing market prices during the winter months.
Holidays: Prepping for the holiday season can be difficult as you pack up belongings such as decorations, cookware, and gifting supplies. And if you’re typically the holiday host, chances are you’ll need to pass the torch until next year.
Weather: Planning a winter move may mean having your move held up or delayed because of bad weather — especially if you’re moving north. Moving in winter is doable, but will require additional planning. You’ll have to keep a constant check on the weather, protect your belongings from becoming wet with snow on moving day, and cover your floors to avoid mucking up your floors — just to name a few.
Housing Market: Sellers can rejoice as the warmer months of March through April see a giant leap in housing sales. Buyers will be able to find high availability all across the U.S. and rentals in college towns will likely be prevalent.
Weather: The change in weather from winter to spring is significantly better for moving, so long as you schedule around the rain.
Housing Market: As the demand for housing goes up, so will your budget and the time you spend navigating prices as peak season begins.
Moving Company Availability:As many other people will be moving, you may encounter difficulty reserving moving truck rentals and companies to assist you with your move.
Housing Market: The search for housing only increases during May through July, making it prime time to sell your house for the price you want.
Weather: The chance of inclement weather is much lower than in other seasons.
School: If you have kids, moving during the summer makes switching schools much easier since you won’t have to bother with it mid-year.
Housing Market: If you plan to buy a house during the summer time, don’t plan on doing much negotiating on price. Instead, expect to be outbid by other buyers and be prepared to bid above your budget.
Moving Company Availability: If you want to hire a moving company to assist you with your move, you will be at the mercy of their schedule.
While you may not have a lot of flexibility in determining your moving date, don’t write off the possibility of rescheduling. Before you reserve your moving truck, consider the different benefits and obstacles each season offers — you may find that a small delay can save you a lot of stress and money.