Whether you’re moving locally or across the country, choosing the right time of year to do so can make the process easier. On the other hand, choosing the wrong time can make your move more stressful. Before you mark the big day on your calendar, use these seven factors to determine what time of year best meets your needs:
If you’re working with a tight budget, avoid moving between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is “peak season” for moving companies and rates may increase during this time. Instead, plan your move for the “off-peak season,” which is fall and winter. Another way you can save money on your move is to schedule it during the work week or in the middle of the month. These are times moving companies don’t have as much business, so you may get a more competitive rate.
The climate where you are moving from and where you’re moving to is an important factor to consider. If you’re moving to/from a hot climate, summer is not a good time to move. Hot weather tends to make people irritable, which will add to your stress. Plus, high temperatures coupled with physical labor can present a health hazard. To help avoid these problems, move during a cooler time of year, like fall or spring.
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Moving to/from a cold climate during winter is less than ideal. Snow and ice make loading and unloading the moving van dangerous, and can slow down the moving process. Plus, bad road conditions may increase travel and transport times. This is not only inconvenient, but could also add to the cost of your move. Plan your move to take place when there’s little or no risk of severe weather. If moving during ideal weather isn’t possible, be sure to read through our tips on moving during winter weather.
Even if you currently live or will be living in a hot climate, summer is probably the best time to move if you have school-aged kids. Moving during summer gives you a few months to help your children adjust to their new home and make friends before school starts. It also eliminates the stress of trying to keep up with homework during the hectic moving process. If a summer move is out of the question, consider scheduling it for a time your child is out of school for a semester break or holiday.
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Moving during summer has its advantages and that carries through to the housing market. As we mentioned, summer is a great time for families to relocate, which means there may be more houses on the market for you to choose from, and more potential buyers interested in your home. However, because of the increased interest in home buying, there will be increased competition for all the available homes on the market. It may take six to nine months or more to actually land a house in a busy market. But in the winter, there are several advantages for buyers, including lowering mortgage rates and less competition, so plan around the weather for both a move and home buying.
Having a few extra helpers around on moving day can make the process easier, no matter if you’re planning a professional or a DIY move. To have the best chance of recruiting volunteers, don’t schedule your move during holidays when people are traveling or want to spend time with family. Another reason to avoid a holiday move is traffic. During the holidays, there are typically more cars on the road, which can slow your move to a snail’s pace.
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The end of May through the beginning of August is the busiest time of year for moving companies, and that limits their availability. Fall, winter, and spring are typically less active seasons and that means there’s a better chance the company you want will be available. Start comparing moving companies at least three months prior to your anticipated move date to help ensure availability. If you’re planning a summer move, you may want to secure a moving company six months in advance.
Ultimately, your personal circumstances will determine when the moment is right. But, if you have some flexibility with choosing your moving date, keep our tips in mind when deciding the best time of year to move.
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