Summer is the peak moving season, with over 80% of U.S. moves occurring between April and September. In addition to preparing for this busy season, those gearing up for a summer move must also navigate the current seller’s market and high inflation rates.
There are several factors that families and individuals should consider before making a summer move to help them cut costs, ensure a smooth transition into their new home and get the most value out of their previous house.
Engage in proactive planning
Proactive planning is key to successfully navigating peak moving season and cutting costs. This is especially true when it comes to booking moving companies, as rates become much more expensive the longer you wait to book.
By planning ahead, you can save on costs and shop around to compare rates between multiple moving companies. You can also engage in pre-moving activities to alleviate additional work and stress when your actual moving time comes.
For instance, I always encourage people to begin decluttering their homes and packing unneeded items four to six months before moving to allow for a more leisurely moving day.
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Eliminate unnecessary costs
With the current inflation rates, one of the best ways to save on unnecessary moving costs is to consider what you can do yourself versus hiring out. For instance, rather than paying for movers and cleaning services, consider which tasks are feasible for you to tackle on your own.
Try reusing and recycling materials when possible rather than paying for packing services or moving supplies. Most grocery stores also allow you to pick up cardboard boxes for free— which can be a cost-effective solution.
Be flexible and prepare for the unexpected
Adopting a flexible approach and mindset will help you best prepare as you begin to plan your move. For instance, flexibility with your exact moving date can help you save on costs, as weekday moving times are much cheaper than weekend slots.
It’s also important to remember that things don’t always go as planned: closing dates can shift, mortgage rates can fluctuate and delays can occur, but developing a contingency plan for these “what if” scenarios will help set you up for success.
Anticipate future needs
As you prepare for your summer move, it’s essential to consider your unique needs and anticipate tasks that will have to be completed when you settle into your new home. Finding doctors, dentists and childcare service providers may be very challenging when pushed to the last minute, as most of these service providers have long waiting lists.
Suppose you’re moving to a city like Nashville, which has continued to experience exponential growth.
In that case, it’s important to note that the portions of the healthcare industry are still working to adapt to their growing client bases. For that reason, it’s best to reach out several months in advance.
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The same applies to internet providers, as many companies may be weeks behind schedule. Setting aside time to call providers and schedule appointments can ensure a smooth and timely transition into your new home.
Lastly, you should also consider whether you need a storage unit, as availability at these facilities can also be limited.
Sell, rent and build strategically
While navigating peak moving season and the current interest rates can be intimidating, it’s essential to recognize that it’s still a seller’s market.
The current inflation is not permanent, and we have seen these cycles before. Most mortgage companies and banks have competitive and flexible solutions, allowing you to refinance three to five years down the road if needed.
I would encourage those planning to sell their home this summer to recognize that this is an excellent opportunity to get as much equity out of their home as possible. If you’re selling and looking to build, consider renting for a year rather than trying to time your closing and home construction dates perfectly.
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This will provide some buffer time, allowing you to take advantage of the current seller’s market while considering potential delays.
In conclusion, planning a move amid peak moving season and the current economic climate can be formidable, but you can cut costs and reap valuable returns by planning ahead, being flexible and thinking strategically.
Matthew Martin is the CEO of Dalamar Homes, a custom home builder in Middle Tennessee founded by Dayla Martin.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: How to prepare for peak moving season (and save some money too)