While winter is a great time to buy a property at great prices, moving costs can be less expensive as well (i.e., it's cheaper and an easier time to rent a moving truck or hire movers). However, you need to be aware of possible moving issues so that you can avoid them before they occur. Here are some suggestions for moving during the winter.
Preparing your new home to move in:
Make sure that the truck you rented or the moving truck can access your street and home! Regardless of what time during the year you are moving, you should always make sure there is parking for your moving truck and additional vehicles.
Make sure you have heat and lights! You should make sure to have the utilities transferred over into your name and that they are fully functioning for your move in date. Prior to moving in, make sure the heat is turned on and functioning properly as well. Make sure the house is nice and warm for the day you move in.
Make sure all the exterior walkways are clear of snow! Visit your new home the day before you move in to make sure all access points you will be using to move in are clear of snow and ice. If needed, salt or sand the area.
Make sure you create a path along the entry way! Lay rugs or towels on both sides of the front door to keep from tracking mud or water onto your floors. As you carry boxes and furniture in, you’ll catch any mud or water from your feet before it causes any damage inside.
Preparing your old home to move out:
Make sure all the exterior walkways are clear of snow! Use salt or sand to ensure areas are free of icy and slippery conditions. Parking area should also be cleared with ample room for movers to use dollies.
Make sure to protect the inside space as the new buyer will be moving in to their new home too! Lay down large pieces of cardboard or plastic sheeting to ensure high traffic areas are protected from snow, sand and water. Cardboard works best for carpeted areas.
Make sure to have sand/salt and shovels on hand in case you need to adjust during the move. Throughout the move, monitor the weather and future conditions so there are no surprises.
Make sure you have hot drinks for all the movers. This will be appreciated by everyone who is helping you with the move. Extra hats and gloves may come in handy!
Make sure you have a backup plan in case a large storm blows in. Have a backup date already scheduled with the moving company and/or friends and helpers. Some moving companies may not be willing to have a backup date, so be sure you have the conversation prior to moving. They may still pick up your belongings, but may have to delay the delivery. It’s very important to identify these things upfront! No matter what you decide, just understand this is a stressful time for everyone involved! Have lots of patience and remember to thank all the helping hands!
As I have said before, please call a local REALTOR for all your real estate needs no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals here to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances.
Lisa DiBiase is a co-owner/broker for The Landing Real Estate.