Plan Ahead for the Challenges and Rewards of Fall Moves

AUTHOR: Alex McGlue

Prepare for seasonal factors and challenges that arise when moving in the fall

Moving in the fall has a number of benefits, but here are a few challenges you should prepare for to ensure a smooth move.

Each season has advantages and challenges for prospective movers. Moving in the spring means that you can enjoy the summer in your new location. Summer lets you take advantage of slower business and school vacations. And fall comes with great weather, discounted real estate, and the quiet to prepare for winter. As a bonus, moving companies have flexibility when scheduling moving dates because fewer people move in the fall.

Real Estate Prices Dip in the Fall
Falling demand leads to sellers more willing to make a sale. A study by NerdWallet found that although listing prices stay consistent from summer to fall, final sale prices dip by 2.96 percent or $8,300 on average. The takeaway? Put all of those hours binging Shark Tank to work and negotiate the cost of your dream home to a slightly more-dreamy price.

Anticipating School Issues Helps Kids Transition
If you have school-age kids, there are a few steps you can take to make the transition easier. The educational nonprofit GreatSchools suggests keeping a positive attitude and making sure children introduces themselves to the teacher. The school guidance counselor can facilitate the introduction and can be essential in adjusting your child to the new school curriculum as they can vary significantly from school to school.

You can also contact new teachers directly to explain your child’s specific moving and learning situation. Teachers already have assignments planned from previous years, so feel free to request work for the period your child is missing. Often, teachers use the first few weeks to review schoolwork from the year before, so this is an excellent opportunity for you to go over that material with your kids and help them learn concepts they need more time with to truly grasp. Added plus – you’ll relearn all the American history and chemistry you had forgotten about.

And be aware that school districts in the South often start the year in the second week of August, while districts in cooler climates tend to start the first week of September.

Don’t Forget to Register Early for Kid’s Activities
While we are on the topic of making the move easier on your kids, be sure to check registration dates for any fall sports or other activities they enjoy. These deadlines could be 4 to 6 weeks before the first practice. With so much else on the mind, you could easily forget until it is too late to reserve a spot for your kids. Every parent is concerned about how their children will makes friends after a move, and after-school and weekend activities are the perfect way for your child to meet the other kids in the new community.

Weather Is Less of a Concern
Fall’s cooler weather will make move-in a much more pleasant experience than a summer move. However, there are some weather considerations. If you are moving to a place where the leaves fall, be sure to clear those from the driveway ahead of the move. If it rains, the leaves can become slippery and present a safety risk. In addition, wet leaves will stick to shoes and boots – the same shoes and boots that will be walking in and out of your home on move-in day. Don’t risk your safety or the mess or damage that can leave to the interior of your house, clear the leaves and enjoy the cooler temps on move-in day with peace of mind.

Additionally, have layers to take off or put on temperatures can vary drastically when the sun begins to set.

Take Advantage of Holiday Deals
A move is a great opportunity to purge your closets and rid yourself of items that don’t work or have spent the better part of the last few years collecting dust. For most of us, purging broken, neglected or marginally used things is easier said than done. But fall sales give us added incentive to replace such items with things you really need. Take advantage of the boatloads of discounts that start at Black Friday and continue through the holidays to do just that. Whether it’s new clothes, new gadgets, or something a bit more permanent, (Admit it – you want a smart washing machine, even if you don’t know what that means.) take advantage of the time of the year and make your new home shine inside and out.

Winter IS Coming
Game of Thrones references aside, a fall move means you have only a few short months until the weather deteriorates. After months of packing and planning, it will be hard to have the motivation to do even more, but taking the time to prepare your new home for winter will ensure no costly contractor visits come January. A few to keep in mind: Check the roof for loose shingles, examine the attic for leaks, make sure your pipes are insulated, and make sure your gutters aren’t clogged.

With its favorable prices, flexibility, and pleasant weather, the fall can be an opportune time to move. But it’s not without its challenges. Kids may have to start school late, and the weather can turn from pleasant to pitiful in a blink of an eye. Plus, winter is just around the corner. If you plan ahead, you can prepare yourself to handle these challenges, and finally execute the move to your dream home.