You’ve thought about it for a while, moving to another place where you’ve always wanted to live. Or maybe the opportunity has come up suddenly, because of a new job, transfer or family obligations. But the reality is that you are about to move from here to another state, maybe hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
Moving always requires planning, but moving a long distance is much more complex than moving across town.
Find your new home.
After you’ve established where you’re moving (and assuming you have a job there), the next steps are to find a home and physically make the move. Many people don’t realize that Allen Tate Company, while based in the Carolinas, has the ability to help you buy or sell a home just about anywhere in the country (and around the world). Through Allen Tate’s affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, we can connect you with a qualified, independent broker in your new destination. And even if you aren’t ready to buy a home quite yet, they’ll be happy to help you find temporary or rental housing while you become familiar with your new city.
Make a moving plan.
To get from here to there, you’ll need time, talent and money. Do you have time to make it a leisurely move? Most likely not. The time you have available to get you and your stuff to your destination will likely determine if you can move it yourself or if you need help from professional movers. Likewise, budget will be a factor about how your move is handled. Moving cross country with professional movers can cost between $8,000 and $14,000. But keep in mind, if you move yourself, you’ll need the help of some able-bodied (and willing) family members or friends on both ends to help load and unload the truck (as well as money for truck rental, gas, lodging and food.)
Don’t move the junk.
A friend of mine used to say “I don’t clean; I just move.” While I’m sure she was partially kidding, she made a good point: If you don’t need it, don’t pay to move it. For her, the event of moving was a catalyst to purge unused items, including those that were never unpacked from the last move. Think about what you really need in your new location and then include a few other things that have special meaning to you. That means it’s time to donate your wicker basket collection, toss most of those old school projects with the spray-painted macaroni and maybe consign some extra furniture or winter coats that won’t be needed in Arizona.
Check out your movers.
If you elect to hire movers, make sure you are dealing with professionals. Interstate movers are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This ensures that your movers are reputable and insured for liability and workers’ compensation, in the event something happens. You should be able to find a U.S. Department of Transportation number on the company’s website, along with other information. Also, read online reviews on Yelp or other sites, or better yet, ask a trusted colleague or friend for a recommendation of someone they have used.
When will it get there?
One of the challenges of moving to another state is trying to coordinate your arrival with the arrival of your belongings with the availability of your housing. Movers will give you what is called a delivery spread, which is a range of 1-14 days of when you can expect your stuff to arrive. Generally, the more items you move, the smaller the delivery spread. This is because movers use one truck to ship for multiple customers, to maximize efficiency and keep costs reasonable. The less customers sharing one truck, the less stops the driver needs to make along the way. If you are moving a very long distance, it’s possible that your mover will sub-contract with another company. Be sure to ask if this will be the case, since your belongings may end up on more than one truck with different arrival dates.
Don’t overlook these items.
Check and double-check every detail with the packers and movers, including your new address. Exchange cell phone numbers with the moving personnel in the event of emergency or unforeseen circumstances. Make arrangements before you move for utility hook-ups at your new home, so the lights and water will be on when you get there. Pack a box or bag for the car with essential items like clothing, medications, children’s items (and toilet paper).
Keep in mind that your Realtor® – on both ends of your move – can help answer questions, coordinate services, and suggest resources. Safe travels and good luck in your new location!
DJ Stephan, President, Allen Tate Relocation