Timing a big move from one rental apartment to another can be tricky. Summer is the peak moving season, with a whopping 80 percent of all moves occurring between April and September. Summer is the most popular time to move, but is it the best time? What factors should you consider when you’re planning a move? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions – because timing really is everything.
When is moving season? When is a good time to move out?
Most renters move during the summer, which is also when the demand for movers and rental units is highest. If your goal is to keep moving costs as low as possible, avoid moving during the summer. By moving in the slower months – between October and March – you can often find cheaper rental rates or other financial incentives landlords offer. Additionally, moving companies typically have more availability (and often lower rates) during this time. Financially, this is often the best time to rent. Plus, you can avoid hauling heavy boxes in the blazing heat!
Of course, moving during the fall and winter is not always possible. Many renters base their moving dates on the school year, with academics dictating the schedule. Despite the high demand and high prices during peak seasons, there are plenty of advantages. Because this is a hot time to move, many apartments are up for grabs as renters vacate. There is plenty of competition, but you can shop around to find the perfect apartment.
Keep a few things in mind whether you’re moving during peak or slow season. Book movers as early as possible if you plan to move on a weekend. Weekend time slots are typically more in demand, thus harder to come by. Additionally, demand is highest at the beginning and end of the month when many leases start and end. If you’re moving during these prime times, book early.
When should I start looking for an apartment?
Wondering how far in advance to look for an apartment? Apartment availability changes quickly, so there’s no point in finding your dream apartment too early. Instead, start your apartment search about two months before a potential move-in date by scouting out neighborhoods and buildings. Then, begin seriously touring 30 days prior. Once you’re one month out, plan on submitting rental applications and completing paperwork ASAP to secure your spot.
Should my leases overlap?
Figuring out how to time a move between rental apartments is one of the trickiest pieces of the puzzle. Rent prices are high, and it’s painful to consider paying rent for two places at once. Life is easiest when you can overlap your leases for one day. If your lease for Apartment #1 ends on June 30th and your lease for Apartment #2 begins on July 1st, you might be scrambling for an overnight storage solution. The easiest strategy, if you can finagle it, is to have your new lease begin on the day your old one ends, that way you (and your belongings) don’t spend any time in limbo. That said, some landlords will give their tenants a little wiggle room if this is an issue.
When should I start packing?
If you’re an overachiever, you can also start packing up your nonessential items at that 30-day mark. Make the moving process easier by decluttering and tossing out anything you definitely don’t want to bring to your next home. About two weeks before moving day, ensure you’ve got all your packing materials and confirm your moving plan (i.e. confirming your movers, borrowing a friend’s truck, etc.). Then, it’s time to start packing up your belongings room by room, labeling each box carefully. Start with the nonessential items and go from there. It can be helpful to keep a box (or three) of items you’ll need every day before you move, like toiletries, chargers, and so on.
Finally, ensure you collect your valuables and keep those with you throughout the moving process. You do not want to lose your passport or your grandmother’s beloved ring on moving day.
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