How to Get the Best Deal on a Moving Company

You’ve finally found the perfect apartment. It has a great location, just the right amount of space and all the amenities you could ask for. Now, how are you going to get your stuff there?

How to Get the Best Deal on a Moving Company

Hiring a moving company is always the easiest way to move but the expense can squeeze an already tight budget. Here are some tips on how to save money on professional movers to make the service much more affordable.

Don’t Get Scammed

Learning how to save money on moving isn’t without its lumps. If you hire a company based on low pricing, and they turn out to be scam artists, you could lose money and your property. While staying within your budget is always important, take the following steps to hire reliable professional movers and avoid scammers:

  • Make sure the company is licensed and insured.
  • If a mover is quoting you a price that is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Have the mover do an in-home estimate to get a feel for their professionalism and to get a better idea of what they will charge. Most professional won’t guarantee an accurate quote without one.
  • Ask for referrals from friends and family, and look for online reviews. You’re less likely to be scammed by a business that has provided satisfactory service to others.

Compare Companies

Now that you have a list of professional movers that won’t scam you, it’s time to take a look at their quotes. The price variations probably have a lot to do with the extra services they offer. Ask for an itemized quote and take note of services you don’t think you’ll need. See if any companies are willing to lower their prices if you drop any extras.

Downsize

Some companies charge a flat moving fee, while others charge by the time and materials it will take to move your possessions. You may be able get a better deal on moving services if you can reduce the amount of items that need to be moved. Donate things that you don’t absolutely need to charity or move smaller items such as clothing, bedding and dishes with you in your personal vehicle.

Be Aware of Extra Costs

Movers often charge more for moving large or specialty items. It may make sense to have a couple of friends come over to move your jet ski instead of paying extra for the movers to do it for you.

Movers may also charge extra for packing and moving appliances. If your new apartment already has appliances, and you will just be putting your old ones in storage, it may be a good idea to sell your extra appliances before the move. This will prevent your from paying extra moving costs and give you more cash to use on your relocation.

Pack it Yourself

Avoid a packing fee by doing all the packing yourself, which can drastically reduce your moving company’s fee. Packing yourself also ensures peace of mind in knowing everything has been packed safely.

Negotiate

Remember, it never hurts to negotiate. Movers know they are competing with other companies to get your business, so they may be willing to lower their quote to match or beat their competition. This is a good tactic if you like a moving company more than its competitors, but its fees aren’t as affordable.

Book It Early

Some movers will charge last-minute booking fees, so you can save money by scheduling well ahead of your moving day. Call your moving company to see when the best time to book would be. Some movers may also lower their quoted prices if you’re flexible on what days and times they can move your items.

It’s also important to make sure that your items can be moved into your apartment right away when the movers arrive. If a company has to wait, you may be charged for the trouble. Double-check with your landlord about when you can move in to avoid any hold ups on moving day.

Did you save money when hiring a moving company? Apartment Guide would love to hear about it! Tell us on Twitter.

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How to Get the Best Deal on a Moving Company

Photo Credit: Meathead Movers

Money-Saving Tips for Moving

By Brian Wilson

The cost of moving is often easily underestimated—the process involves many moving parts (no pun intended), and the rundown of expenses required to transition fully from Point A to Point B quickly adds up.

Money-Saving Tips for Moving

Going as cheap as possible with your moving expenses can certainly be a bad idea, but there are a multitude of smart ways for you to save on everything from packing to installation without cutting corners. 

Don’t Buy Boxes

While this bit of advice is the simplest (and arguably the most common tip you’ll hear when moving), the impact of grabbing your boxes and other moving materials for free can’t be overstated. Local retailers, online personal ads and many more avenues will often offer a virtually infinite amount of free cardboard boxes and other leftover shipping materials completely free of charge—the only prerequisite generally being that you come and get them yourself.

Opt for the Off Season

If you have any control over the time of year that you and your family move, it can be a surprisingly wise choice to move during the months that the moving industry refers to as “off season.” May 15 to September 15 mark the busiest time of year for movers, and this bustling season comes with larger moving quotes to accommodate the high demands and higher temperatures.

Scheduling your move during the off season outside this summer rush can prove financially advantageous (and not having to lug your boxes underneath a hot summer sun is certainly a nice bonus.)

Plan for Distance

Rates and billing methods across movers have the propensity to vary largely, and the potential expenses quoted for many can be a source of confusion. It’s important to factor details such as distance and proximity into your choice of mover—long distances can give rise to the greatest spikes in the cost of your moving quote if not accounted for properly.

If you’re set to move to a new city, state, or beyond, you may find it advantageous to consider movers that place an emphasis on long-distance travel. International movers can often offer better rates for cross-country moves, due to the fact that their infrastructure and business model are better equipped to handle large demands when it comes to gas, lodging and more.

Reach Out to Friends

It may surprise you how much it can ease the stress and financial strain of moving by simply reaching out to a handful of friends—even just one or two extra hands helping you pack can be the difference between a disaster and a great memory.

Having a few close friends help you through the DIY aspects like packing and setting up your new place will save you valuable time and resources, leaving you with more flexibility to move with. Just be sure to thank them with refreshments, impromptu housewarming parties, or other informal tips.

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Money-Saving Tips for Moving

Brian Wilson is a content writer representing North American Van Lines. North American Van Lines is a moving service that specializes in corporate relocation, long distance and residential moving.

 

Photo Credit:TaxCredits.net

Find the Perfect Neighborhood for You

find the perfect neighborhood for you

Moving to a new home can be one of the most exciting times in your life. It gives you the chance to decorate a new space, a new place to create memories with loved ones, and a fresh, new energy to your surroundings. However, when looking for a new place to move, it’s important not only to keep the physical attributes of the apartment in mind, but also the characteristics of the neighborhood. After all, what’s the point of moving to a new place if you don’t like its surroundings?

If you’re thinking about moving to a new city or town, research the different neighborhoods available – what amenities they offer, what the community is like, and what attractions they afford easy access to. Want to know more about what to look for in new neighborhoods? Consider these five important factors when deciding if a new area is the right location for you to call home.

1. Price Range

Pay attention to the price of rent in the neighborhoods you’re considering. You have to be able to afford to pay monthly rent and utilities! Monthly rent prices in a neighborhood are good indicators of the prices of services and amenities in the neighborhood. If you choose a home on the low end of prices for your neighborhood, but there are other rental homes that are much more expensive, there’s a good chance that prices at stores and restaurants in the neighborhood might be on the higher end of things. Ensure that you can not only afford your rental, but also the neighborhood’s available resources.

2. Amenities and Attractions

Another important thing to look for in a neighborhood are great amenities and attractions. You’ll likely be spending the most time at places around your home, so make sure it is surrounded by plenty of activities! Think about what kinds of places you like to spend the most time at. Do you like dining out? Are you a person that spends a lot of time outside in parks? Do you want to be located near top-notch schools or daycares? Make a list of important amenities to you, then look for neighborhoods that closely meet those specifications.

3. Commute

Your work commute is a huge factor when choosing the right neighborhood. Think about how long it will take you to get to and from work, and how you will physically do that. Consider living in a place that offers an acceptable commute time and an easy way to get to and from where you need to go, whether that’s by your own vehicle or public transportation. If you have friends or coworkers already living in some of the prospective neighborhoods, find out if carpooling is a reliable option.

4. Safety

Real estate brokers can’t legally tell you how safe a neighborhood is, but it’s an important thing to keep in mind for an area that you want to call home. You can find reports about crime by geographic area online, and you might want to research different areas to make sure you will feel safe in your new neighborhood. You should also take into account other safety considerations that apply to your life – for example, whether a neighborhood has sidewalks, bike lanes, or a fire department nearby. Pro tip: drive through a prospective neighborhood during the day and at night to get the feel of a local. 

5. Home Size and Shape

Nearly every neighborhood has its own character and personality, and one of the important qualities that makes up its personality is the size and shape of the homes within it. Are you looking to live in a high-rise building? A community of townhouses? A small apartment complex? Each neighborhood has its own character, and the types of available rental homes will reflect that.

Once you’ve considered the above factors, the next step in choosing the right neighborhoods is to research your new hometown and the available neighborhoods within it. By making a list of neighborhoods that definitely have the qualities you’re looking for and eliminating the neighborhoods that don’t, you can start with a much smaller selection of rental homes, ultimately increasing the chances that you’ll find just the perfect rental for you. Look no further than Apartment Guide to begin your search. Do you have any expert tips for finding the right neighborhoods? Share them with us in the comments below, on Facebook or tweet them to @AptGuide on Twitter!

How You and Your Roommate Can Move Together

moving with a roommate

Moving with a roommate is tricky, but follow our advice to help the process go smoothly.

Trust us: Once you find a roommate that you’re compatible with, you’ve struck gold, and you definitely don’t want to give that up. So when it’s time to find a new apartment, why not involve your roomie in the process?

Deciding on a new place when you only have your own wants and needs to consider is hard enough, so multiply that by two (or more!) when you move with someone else. Compromises will have to be made, but here’s how to approach your upcoming move in a way that’ll make both you and your roommate happy.

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What are Moving Brokers? (Hint: They are Not Movers!)

movingbrokersbox600400Need a little help planning your apartment move?

You might consult the services of a moving broker.

These agents act as go-betweens between you and a moving company, helping to set the details of a move and allowing you to focus on other important matters.

If you choose to work with a moving broker, there are some important details you need to know.

Moving brokers, defined
A moving broker, also called a household goods broker, is kind of like a travel agent for a move. They can provide estimates based on rates quoted by moving companies, for instance, and can actually set up the move for you with that company.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers?

hire professional movers

Sure, you’ll save money by packing and hauling your own stuff when it’s time to move to a new apartment. But let’s be honest: Moving is hard, time-consuming work, and sometimes it’s worth paying someone else to do the heavy lifting – literally.

If you’ve decided to hire professional movers, they can do some or all of these tasks: Pack your stuff, haul it to the truck, drive it to your new place and unload the truck for you. The only thing you need to worry about is the cost.

It would be nice to tell you one figure that you can expect to pay when you hire movers. But it’s not that simple. The amount you pay depends on a lot of things – how much stuff you have, how far away you’re moving and how much you want the movers to do for you.

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Fan Submitted: 6 Smart Hacks for an Effortless Move

6 smart hacks for an effortless move | Apartment Guide

In May, we shared nine essential apartment moving hacks for an easier move. We encouraged our Twitter followers to retweet their favorite apartment hack for a chance to win prizes during our #MoveInMonday Giveaway. Our followers had so many clever ideas, we decided to share some of their own smart moving tips:

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Moving Insurance: What You Need to Know

Learn how to choose between moving insurance options to protect your stuff when you move!

Learn how to choose between moving insurance options to protect your stuff when you move!

Moving soon?

Whether you choose to hire a professional moving company or handle the dirty work yourself, you’ll need to consider how much you are willing to pay to protect and possibly replace your possessions in the event of damage, loss or theft. So what do you know about moving insurance?

For do-it-yourself movers, buying insurance falls to the individual. But when you hire the services of a moving company, the options become a bit more involved.

We’ll discuss the key ideas you need to know to affordably protect the things you’re moving. Read on to determine the best, umm, move for YOUR move, as it applies to understanding and pricing moving insurance.

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7 Tips for Moving Cross-Country Without Losing Your Sanity

Moving long-distance is going to be stressful -- there's no way around that. But our tips will help the process go a little smoother.

Moving long-distance is going to be stressful — there’s no way around that. But our tips will help the process go a little smoother.

You’d have to be a robot not to get stressed over the prospect of a cross-country move. There are a lot of moving pieces – literally – and too many details to think about without breaking out in a cold sweat.

But if you know a move to an apartment far, far away is the right choice for you, our tips for moving cross-country will help the process go as smoothly as possible. Like any big project, the secret to pulling it off successfully is to break it into smaller, more digestible pieces.

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Downsize Your House to an Apartment

downsize from house to apartment

As the school year comes to a close, families are making tough decisions about their living situation. Financial circumstances change. Happy marriages break up. Some people are finally realizing that living large in a picture perfect McMansion does not always equate to the good life. Keeping up with the Joneses isn’t all sunshine and unicorns.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeownership in the U.S. has fallen to its lowest point in nearly 20 years – just under 65 percent – as renting becomes a more attractive and affordable alternative. The last time it was that low was in 1995.

homeownership rates 2014

Source: Census.gov

It’s clear that an increasing number of people are coming to terms with the fact that downsizing from a house to an apartment is sometimes the smarter – or even the only – option. But it ain’t easy. There will be lots of new things to get used to. How will you deal with such a drastic change?

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