Although it may seem that packing and physically moving your belongings is the worst part about moving, coordinating the entire thing is no easy task (we recommend using a checklist). You can't just pack up and move whenever you feel like it; there are factors to consider that lie outside your control. If you are renting, for example, you may not be able to move out until you fulfill your obligation of occupation–typically for one year to avoid incurring penalties. If you are moving into another rental unit, you need to wait until your next apartment is ready. If you are selling, you need a buyer to take your home off your hands at a reasonable price. Answer these questions to get a feel for how to time your move.
Leasing agreements come standard in any rental situation. It is vital to thoroughly understand what you have agreed to, particularly anything related to moving in and out. Each lease should come with a "release clause" which outlines your responsibilities as a tenant: how many weeks notice you must give when moving out, penalties for not giving enough notice, and the state of the apartment upon your departure. Usually, 30 days is the minimum amount of notice you must provide when leaving your rental, with some places requiring 60 days.
It feels a lot like walking on a tightrope, but you don't want to be left without a home once your place sells. Buying a new home while your current home is on the market is the best way to avoid temporary homelessness. As with renting, the closing date of your new home determines when you can move in.
If you are moving to start a new job, you might have to sacrifice moving within the restrictions of your leasing agreement if it requires you to start work on a specific day that's right around the corner. If your new boss is not flexible on your start date, keep in mind that starting on that day is more important than keeping true to a leasing agreement. After all, this move is only happening because of that job. If you can, negotiate your new job contract so that your move is covered. They may even be able to cover the costs of your first visit to the area so you can see what is available for you and your family in terms of housing.
When planning a residential move, it is important not to forget about school start dates. These are generally flexible for grade-school aged children, but college students have the least flexibility. If possible, they should be on campus at the start of the new semester; if not, they should wait until the following semester to start their next term.
Did you answer "yes" to any of the above? Then you need a bit more planning to determine the right date to move out of your current home and into your new one. First, decide which date is the least flexible. As with the example of the new job, if you must start on a specific date, everything else revolves around that date.
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