If you live near San Antonio, you know how popular it has become. More people have been moving in than out for the last ten years, and the trend doesn’t show any indication of stopping. That can mean more opportunities for people to move up, out, or just around in the general area, or maybe you are one of the small number of residents planning to leave Texas for another state altogether. No matter why you are looking for a moving company near San Antonio, you are in the right place.
Start by developing your move plan. A local move isn’t as complicated as a long-distance move (you can go back if you forget something), but you need a plan for either kind. Here are some things to add to your to-do list:
Ask friends and family for recommendations. If you know anyone who has moved recently, ask what mover they used and if they would use them again. If you can’t find any ideas this way, expand your circle. Ask at work—your human resources or procurement department might have referrals for moving companies they use for office moves or when they need to relocate employees.
Once you have some names, that’s when you begin the research. You can start with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which tracks reviews and complaints about all kinds of businesses. If the mover you are considering conducts interstate moves (most do), it will register with FMCSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. FMCSA tracks safety records and complaint history for interstate movers and offers helpful resources for consumers planning moves. One of the publications FMCSA offers is a detailed pamphlet called Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, which tells you just about everything you need to know about moving, and how to protect yourself from dishonest vendors.
Next, get estimates.
When you narrow down your choices using the resources above, invite at least three potential moving partners to provide you with moving estimates. The estimate is the foundation of the moving contract, and seeing how the company works on it will show you more about how they work. For example, expect each potential service provider to visit your residence and walk through it to see everything that you want to move. For interstate moves, this step is required by the FMCSA regulations. While it is not mandatory for a local move, it is necessary to build a legitimate move quote, and you should insist on it. If you are in talks with a company that balks at this, move on to the next.
When the mover’s representative does the walkthrough, he will create an inventory (sometimes referred to as a cube sheet or a table of measurements) that lists everything going in the truck. You want to ensure that this list is accurate and comprehensive because it provides the basis for the weight estimate in an interstate move or the time forecast for a local move.
Weight is the basis of the cost of an interstate move. The average interstate transfer for a three-bedroom house is about 7,500 pounds, and the price is approximately $4,100, for a distance of 1,250 miles. Your move may cost more or less, depending on the weight, length, and additional services you engage the mover to perform for you—more on those in a minute. A local move will cost less in most cases, and the price quote you get will be based on how much time the mover thinks it will take to load up, drive to the new home, and unload. If the moving company gives you a standard, non-binding estimate, the accuracy takes on a high level of importance because if the weight is higher than the forecast, the price will also be higher. If the estimate is binding, then the price on the quote is the price you will pay, as long as you don’t add anything to the shipment or require additional services.
One caution about any estimate is that there are circumstances that allow the mover to add fees. You can read all about these in the mover’s tariff, which describes all potential charges related to a move. If you add services, like packing, the mover will revise the estimate. If you need to add storage or an additional stop along the way to the destination, the mover will change the estimate. Remember never to sign a blank or incomplete document. A reputable mover will not ask you to do so or tell you that he will “fill it in later.” If you are moving a long distance, there may be conditions at the destination you and the moving company are not aware of, which sometimes result in added charges. Movers call these impracticable operations, and these are described in the tariff. A typical example is a condo complex that prohibits the truck from parking in front to unload, which results in the need for a shuttle with a smaller vehicle. Unanticipated stairs or a steep winding driveway, which cause the movers’ crew to carry things farther, are also illustrative.
FMCSA recommends that you talk to potential moving companies about several essential things, besides the cost of the move itself.
The bottom line for finding the right mover near San Antonio is that whether your move is local or long-distance, you will need to do some research before choosing. There are plenty of honest, well-qualified moving companies ready to help you. It’s up to you to talk to them, determine what services you need and want to pay for, and then decide which one makes sense for you to work with. Protect yourself against disreputable companies by asking the right questions, being prepared, and not cutting corners. In the end, the time you spend getting ready will make a move easier and more successful.