With winter slowly creeping in, the various moving companies around the country are about to get some well-deserved down time. Winter time is the so called “off peak season”, when the vast majority of people huddle up in their warm homes and postpone moving residence till next spring or summer. However, some smart movers seize this opportunity to score a more affordable deal on their relocation needs.
You might think that moving in winter would be more expensive, what with the snow, winds, and fog making navigation difficult and making packing and loading murder for the hands. However, due to fewer relocation gigs, moving companies are actually under much less pressure, and since they do not need to invest as much time and resources, they actually tend to drop the price on a lot of things. The thing is, though, that not a lot of people know about this kind of stuff. And so, this time around, we decided to put together a little handy guide on what affects the prices of these services, using the prototypical moving company in Austin TX as a template.
Are you going to be moving locally or not?
This is the most obvious and maybe the most influential factor in figuring out the price of a relocation. If you are moving into Austin from any local area in Texas, the prices are within the spectrum of those you would get if you were moving around within the city itself.
These are typically calculated according to the number of rooms a home has, so a studio or a studio alcove will average at around $330. A one-bedroom apartment will be in between $400 and $500 depending on its total size, and the steepest average price is for a four-bedroom home, which would cost around $1,400 according to average pricing data from the summer season of 2017.
Another way distance affects moving price is the number of hours it will take to complete the whole operation. For local moving, there is a minimum number of hours that you have to pay (usually two, or two and a half hours) even if the actual relocation takes a little less time. Anything above the minimum hours is further charged per a quarter of an hour.
In the case of moving over long distances, the rule about minimal hours and fifteen-minute intervals does not apply. Instead, you pay per one hour of movers’ work, and the final bill is formed by adding those total hours to the distance factor and the price of any additional services you signed on for (e.g. transporting vehicles, separate transportation of valuables, etc.) This is referred to as “flat rate moving” and you can learn more about that system at this link.
Will you be needing any storage services?
Plenty of moving companies nowadays offer their patrons the possibility of holding some of their property safely in storage for some amount of time before it is brought into the patron’s new home. This is typically referred to as “storage in transit”, and the standard format of this service dictates that it should be paid for on a monthly basis.
The price rates change with the required space, just like the actual moving. According to 2017 trends, a studio or studio alcove will average at around $100, a one-bedroom equivalent will range in $140 – $180 depending on size, and the priciest storage solutions will house four bedrooms worth of your “stuff on standby” at an average price of around $470.
At what time will you be moving?
As we already mentioned, most people prefer to move in the summer. The favorable weather makes it the busiest, most hectic time for movers, appropriately named the “peak moving season”, and spring is not far behind either.
On the other hand, the “off peak season” encompasses the winter and late fall, and the relaxed pace reflects on the prices as well, as we had previously mentioned. Now would be a good time to start packing!
If you do decide to go for it in the summer, though, the smart thing to do is to schedule in advance and aim for the middle of the given month. This period is not as busy and therefore the moving rates are lower. To get some more info on moving estimates and how to stay safe, check out this link: https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/the-threat-of-moving-scams-what-you-need-to-know
Who will be providing the packing materials?
Yep, this factors in too! Since not many homeowners have piles of boxes and sacks handily lying around, modern moving companies have added packaging materials to the list of services they provide. Your movers’ team can bring the boxes, sacks, tape, etc. that the company provides, and this is usually quite handy. Not only do you not have to scavenge for cardboard yourself, but they tend to come in predetermined sizes too, which makes packing a lot more efficient.
However, this efficiency has a price. Always make sure to inquire about the price of the company’s moving supplies before you book your packing day. You can usually get a standardized price sheet if you ask for one. This can help you decide whether you are good to go with a full packing service option, or if you should back up and still do some of that business yourself.
What about the deposits and discounts?
This important question is often overlooked. Always directly ask your mover if they offer student discounts, veterans discounts, or currently have promotions going. Taking advantage of these can save you a pretty penny, you just need to ask.
Finally, factor in the likely deposit requirement. Many companies will need you to fund one before you can book the date and time of your relocation. Depending on the size of your move, a standard deposit will usually range in the price span of $200 to $500. Sometimes it will be more or less but will never exceed 15% of the estimate.