Feature image CC0 Public Domain, by Canon EOS Rebel T3i, via Maxpixel
The commonly held wisdom is that no one moves during the winter. There’s a grain of truth to that. Kids are in school and the weather is nasty. Even in warm weather states like California, it’s slow season throughout the moving industry. Winter moving can be a real hassle, but winter can also be the best time to move.
Why Winter Moving is Great
Your home could sell faster and for more money
That might be a little hard to fathom, but homes sell faster and for more money in the winter. For sellers, it seems, desperation is their friend. Winter buyers tend to be more purpose-driven, and, well, more desperate to find a home. People move in the winter because they need to (they have a new job, a change in family situation, etc.), so things tend to move faster. People move in the summer because they want to, so they take their time. Obviously, you can find exceptions everywhere, but that’s the general trend.
A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago. And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring. Source: Money
Moving Companies are More Flexible
Since winter is the slow time to move, moving companies have more flexibility. Most companies are able to do smaller moves during the winter. They might negotiate somewhat lower prices, and throw in a few extra incentives, like some packing materials, or perhaps a month of storage.
If you have specific time restraints, you’re far more likely to find a moving company that can accommodate. That’s not always an option when moving crews are performing 2-3 moves per day, seven days a week.
How to Survive a Winter Move
One of the best things about living in California is that, for the most part, there’s no snow. You don’t have to worry about movers sliding around on ice as they’re carrying your 400-pound armoire. We do get rain in the winter, though. Sometimes lots of it.
The best moving companies (like Fairprice) take all precautions against the rain. The movers cover their feet when walking into your home. Furniture is shrink-wrapped, instead of just blanket wrapped. If your mover is packing for you, they will take all measures to ensure that your boxes are safe from the rain.
If you’re packing your own boxes
If you’re packing your own boxes, you might want to consider investing in plastic boxes. While that doesn’t sound environmentally friendly, you can reuse the plastic boxes to store out-of-season clothing, holiday decorations, and anything you might store in your garage, storage shed, or basement.
If you don’t have plastic boxes, cover your boxes with tarps. Use quality boxes. It takes a lot more rain to penetrate and weaken a brand new, solid box, than it does a used box. Take extra precautions if you are moving to a place that does see snow.
It would be naive to say that winter moving doesn’t come with challenges, but with a quality moving company and a little planning, there are a lot of benefits to choosing the road (so to speak) less traveled.