By Marian White
While warmer temps and longer days may make summertime the best time to move for most, its steep moving prices are often a serious deterrent for many. From moving companies and moving containers to truck rentals to storage services, most moving services are in high demand during the summer months making them especially expensive (and sparse!) from May to September. Here are seven reasons why these summer months are considered to be peak moving season and why they happen to be the most expensive time to move.
Perhaps the most obvious reason that many consider summer to be the best time to move is the fact that the weather is more conducive to the moving process. As anyone who’s moved during the cold winter months can tell you, carrying boxes and furniture down slippery walkways – all while wearing layers upon layers of clothing and heavy boots isn’teasy (or fun!). Frigid temperatures make everything harder – and unfortunately, moving is no exception. Those moving themselves using a truck rental will find it especially difficult (if not downright dangerous) to navigate the large vehicle during treacherous weather conditions (think: snow and ice). For these reasons, most Americans choose to move to a new home during the summer months – especially if the relocation involves moving a long distance. Longer days, warmer temperatures, safer driving conditions make summer an overall more convenient time to move. However, this convenience factor is part of the reason why summer also happens to be the most expensive time to move.
More college kids moving
Most college academic years begin at the end of August and end sometime in May or June. As summer begins and ends, college students will be packing up their dorm room belongings and hitting the road. Many who live in college apartments will need to rent truck rentals or hire movers to assist with loading and unloading their belongings. Unfortunately, the more college students moving, the more moving services will be in demand, which which means higher prices for everyone.
Home buying peaks in the summer
Summer is peak home buying season for most areas of the country. According to Realtor.com, potential buyers are more likely to shop for a house during the spring and summer months, with home buying peaking in June. Of course, once the buyers close on a home, both the seller and buyer typically move within a month or two of the purchase. As you might expect, this means the majority of moves involving a home purchase will take place during the summer months.
Less holidays in the summer
Moving during the holiday season can be one of the busiest, traffic-heavy times to move. Consequently, most people choose to avoid moving to a new home between Halloween and New Year’s. Since the summertime has less holidays to worry about (with Fourth of July as the exception), many Americans find it easier to move during the May to September stretch as opposed to the October to January time period.
School-age children are on their summer break
In general, families with school age children typically prefer to move during the summer months. This prevents children (and the entire family) from being interrupted in the middle of a year school, which can unfortunately be counter-productive to a child’s learning. Instead of focusing on school and homework, they’ll be busy packing and unpacking. If the move involves changing schools, this transition coupled with the challenges of moving can be especially difficult for all involved. For these reasons, most families try to avoid moving during the school year (if possible!). Instead, many opt for a summertime move during the child’s summer break in order to make the relocation an easier experience for everyone.
Seasonal workers move for a job
The beginning of summer marks the start of a new job for many. From college students to service workers, those looking for temporary seasonal employment will most likely have to move for their job during the summer months. Examples of seasonal summer jobs include camp counselors, restaurant staff, summer internships, temporary retail associates, tour guides, hotel staff and amusement park employees.
Many leases begin and end in the summer
Landlords in many areas – particularly those with a large number of college students (think: Boston) or seasonal residents (think: Florida) – begin and end rental leases sometime between May and September. Summer is also a particularly popular time to find a short term renter, as many people move temporarily for seasonal jobs or classes.
So when is the best time to move?
The best time to move for you will depend on a variety of factors including your budget, work flexibility, family and weather – among others. Those with children may need to spend more money for a summer move in order to avoid moving during the school year. Those with flexibility and a tight budget may need to wait until after peak moving season has ended, when moving services tend to be cheaper. If money is your number one concern, we recommend avoiding a move during the summer months. According to our research, the best time to move in terms of cost is:
- October to April – With around 70 percent of all moves taking place from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the demand for movers dramatically decreases during the October to April timeframe. With demand decreasing and supply increasing, moving services such as truck rentals and professional movers typically cost less.
- Mid-month – Most people tend to move at the beginning or end of the month (when leases start and stop). To cut down on moving costs, we recommend moving during the middle of the month when demand is lowest.
- Mid-week – Due to work and family matters, the majority of people prefer to move on a weekend. If you’re looking to save money, try moving on a week day. According to Allied Van Lines, there is less demand from Monday to Thursday. Since there are only so many weekends in a month, you can expect to pay more for moving on a Friday or Saturday (especially during the summer!)
Ready to move?
If moving during the summer when prices are high, you should make a point to seek out quotes from multiple movers. This will ensure that you receive the best price and services available. To find a reliable and trustworthy moving company, check out Moving.com’s extensive network of movers. We make it easy to compare quotes from hundreds of long distance movers and local movers near you – free of cost. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands.