Approximately 10% of the U.S. population will move this year. That’s about 32 million people packing up their lives and moving to a new home. Roughly 85% of those moves will be within the same state.
Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, moving can be stressful. Combine that with possibly trying to time the sale of your house with buying a new one and you might be a stressed-out mess.
What can you do to make the process easier? Is there a best time of year to move? Let’s find out.
Believe it or not, the time of year affects your home sale. For example, people are busy and distracted during the holidays so November and December are typically slow months for real estate sales.
In places where it is cold and snowy, sales slow down drastically during the winter months. The opposite is also true. In places where it gets overly hot and humid during the summer, sales take a dip.
In both cases, it’s miserable to be outside and people just plain don’t want to go house-hunting.
Spring and early summer are good times to sell in most markets. Buyers are coming out of their winter hibernation, eager to find their new home.
More competition (among buyers) is also likely to drive up the sale price — a plus when you’re the seller. However, remember that you may also be buying a new house at your new location, which might not be the ideal time as a buyer.
Nice weather also makes a great backdrop for making your home seem more appealing. Every little bit helps to get your house sold.
This is particularly important if you’re selling your house as-is. This means that while you acknowledge that your home needs a few repairs, you won’t be making them before the sale.
This will turn some buyers off. But some buyers may jump at the chance to save on the sale price and take care of the repairs themselves. It’s important to find the right buyer and doing so when the market is flooded with buyers gives you the best chance.
Talk to a local real estate agent or another market expert to find out when is the ideal time to sell in your neighborhood.
The move itself can also be easier or more complicated depending on the season. For example, in a snowy area, moving during the dead of winter may be difficult or even impossible. Not only will it be uncomfortable to be outside hauling boxes, but also ice-covered pavement can be slippery and dangerous.
Driving the moving truck to your new house may also be dangerous if road conditions are bad.
The opposite is also true. Loading up a moving truck on the hottest day of the year isn’t exactly pleasant either…unless you live in Alaska. Then you might want to consider it. But the rest of us should avoid the heat waves if at all possible.
That being said, summer or from about April to September is considered peak moving season. Most people move during this time.
However, moving companies are booked up and you may have difficulty finding a company with availability for your dates. This is especially true if you have to wait until the last minute to finalize your plans.
If you live in a milder climate, moving during the winter may not be too big of a deal. Avoid the holidays so as not to stress yourself out even more, but take your pick of the other months.
Save Money on Your Move
Winter is also when moving will be the cheapest. Since fewer people are moving, companies will be offering promotions to attract customers during these slow months.
Fall and spring are also good times. The weather will be nice and moving companies will have more availability, allowing them to be more flexible. It will be a little more expensive to move during these months, but still cheaper than during the summer.
Whatever time of year you choose, aim to move on a weekday (Monday-Thursday). Movers charge a premium for weekend moves since those days are busier.
Lastly, you will want to consider what’s going on in your life.
Summer is a hugely popular time to move among families with school-age children. Most people would rather avoid uprooting their kids in the middle of the school year and putting them into a different school.
If you’re moving for a new job, the timing of your move may be dependent on when you start. You may want to move a few weeks ahead of time so you can get settled before you begin working.
Of course, you may not have that luxury and have to plan a move the week before starting your new job. In that case, do your best to be as organized as possible so you can find the essentials. It’s likely you’ll still be unpacking for a few weeks if you’re gone at work all day.
So What’s the Best Time of Year to Move?
Turns out there really isn’t a solid answer. The best time of year to move for you will be different than someone in a different situation. We hope the tips and considerations we’ve provided here will help you choose the best time for you.
Consider the market if you’re trying to sell a home, buy one, or both. Consider the season if you live in (or are moving to) an extreme climate. And last but not least, consider your life situation.
Looking for more great tips? Feel free to check out more articles on our blog!