Planning to move from Sacramento to San Francisco is exciting, and maybe a little intimidating. San Francisco is known to be far more expensive, but once you have found your new house or apartment, you are ready to get the relocation completed. Now you have to find the right moving company and get started. The distance between the two cities is only about 90 miles, so this is considered a local move. If you are moving over 100 miles, the move is long-distance.
Local move charges are determined by labor costs and how much time it will take to move your goods. Naturally, that means that the amount of time will vary according to your residence size and how much stuff you have. On average, loading up a three-bedroom house takes three movers about three to four hours. Unloading adds another three hours, so that’s a total of seven hours of labor. Add in the drive time (and in California, the movers will charge you for both ways) so calculate three to four more hours for driving. If the labor charge for three workers is $150 per hour, the cost could total over $1500.
On the other hand, if you have two movers at an hourly cost of $100, and they can load in three hours and unload in three, with three hours of driving time, the charges may be under $1000. You can see from these examples why it is essential that you obtain several estimates for your move. Whether you have a small move or a large one, you want to meet in advance with several moving companies to discuss the specifics. If you are engaging the movers to pack, you should inquire about the cost of packers, because the hourly rate should be less than what the company charges for the movers’ labor.
Moving is not cheap, but you can make it more affordable if you are savvy about choosing the right mover and take care of the packing on your own. Doing the packing yourself allows you to cut down on the total that is being shipped, plus it’s a great time to dispose of things you don’t need anymore. Donate old clothes, books, and furniture (don’t forget to take the tax deduction when you file your taxes next year if you qualify), and the rates you pay for the movers will most likely be less. Keep in mind that your new home in San Francisco will probably be smaller than the one you are leaving in Sacramento, so it may be that you need less furniture, or possibly it’s time for a new look.
Moves that occur within California are regulated by the Bureau of Household Goods and Services, which does not allow them to supply quotes based on verbal or online descriptions of the job. If you receive a verbal or online estimate from a moving company in California, it is most likely not enforceable. California regulations require the mover to conduct a visual survey of the items you want to move and base their estimate on that. They must also give you a “Not to Exceed” price representing the most you will pay for the move. If you ask for additional services, the mover must reflect the update in a change order that you agree to.
California requires moving companies to maintain a license with the state. You can check the status of a company you may want to work with by searching the licensing database at the California Bureau Of Household Goods and Services.
California regulations, like Federal rules governing interstate moves, establish movers’ liability for protecting your household goods while they are in the care of the moving company. As part of the move’s cost, the mover will provide valuation protection at a level of $0.60 per pound. The carrier agreement will explain this Basic Coverage, as well as two additional coverage levels; Actual Cash Value, which is the default if you do not make a selection, and Full Value. Both Actual Cash Value and Full Value protection come at a cost to you, and the rate for the coverage is stated on the moving agreement or estimate provided by the moving vendor. Experts recommend that you take the time to consider what protection you need. The Basic Coverage is unlikely to provide adequate reimbursement for you if anything goes wrong, and your shipment is damaged or lost. The actual cash value is better, but remember that what it offers is the current value of an item (meaning it has been depreciated if it is not new, so you won’t necessarily receive a reimbursement sufficient to replace it). Even the Full Value coverage has limits and deductibles. Any of these might be the best option for your circumstances; just be sure that you are aware of the potential pitfalls of each choice.
Any moving company in California that you hire more than three days in advance of the move date must provide you with a copy of their moving service agreement, and the Bureau of Household Goods and Services informational pamphlet called Important Information for Persons Moving Household Goods (within California). This publication explains the rules governing carriers in the state, and highlights other important information about moving terms like long carries, elevator charges, minimum, and other vital facts.
A full-service mover will handle more of the details, and that will make the process easier for you. Whether it is worth it for you to do so depends on your circumstances. If your employer is paying for the move or contributing to your relocation costs, perhaps it may be advantageous to consider. A full-service mover can organize, pack, load, and unload while you attend to other pressing matters. They may also arrange for clean up, disposal of rubbish, taking away items tagged for donation, and other ancillary services related to the move. A full-service mover is an excellent choice if you have a complex project. For example, if you have artwork that requires special care or a challenging destination residence, you may want to consult a high-value mover.
Ask people you know for referrals if they have moved recently. If you belong to any civic organizations, you may have moving company members in one of your groups to consider for the business opportunity. Your employer may have recommendations, even if the move is personal rather than undertaken on behalf of the company. Ask the companies you are considering to supply you with references and call those customers to ask about the positive and negative aspects of their experience. If you limit your search to licensed movers, you are less likely to encounter a scam or rogue operator. When the movers come to your home to complete the visual inspection, take the time to ask questions about the company, and develop a sense of their professionalism. Is this someone you trust with your possessions? Finally, always check the Better Business Bureau, which maintains records of complaints and positive reviews about movers and many other consumer service providers. You can determine whether other customers have had a good or bad experience with them in the past.