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  1. #1
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    Sep 2010
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    Moving Cross-Country: Need Advice

    So I'm getting ready to make a big move back to my old stomping grounds. Almost 1700 miles away. Sad, but a brother's gotta do what a brother's gotta do. Moving's never been that hard for me, but now I have the complication of having 2 kids and 2 big rambunctious dogs in tow, plus selling/buying homes. We're (hopefully) about to close on the house we're selling and then we'll be free to roam about the country. I know the area we're going to pretty well and will be buying a house straight away as to avoid yet ANOTHER transition. We've been staying in temporary quarters for the last few months and all the running around's been tough on the family. Anyway, things are about to get pretty complicated these next few weeks. Gotta go pack up and clear out the old house before we move. Move all that crap to our storage unit a couple hundred miles away to where we're staying now. Then we gotta clear out and clean up the place we're currently crashing at.

    Now here's where I'm not sure about the logistics. We're on the fence about whether to fly down for a week, get our stuff figured out, then fly back and wait for closing and make the big haul with the moving van/kids/dogs. Just checked into airline tix and holy balls is it expensive x 4. Considering playing it by ear and just driving down, taking as long as we need, then driving all the way back (ugh...) to get our stuff, the dogs, the other car, etc. and return upon closing on the new home. That's a lot freaking driving for 2 babies, though, but it would save thousands on airfare, rental car, and we can stay a few extra days if we need. NOT going to claim our dumb Marmadukes as "service animals," so they'll have to be boarded while we're gone. We got an awesome kennel-less place by Bozeman where they can run around like maniacs, so we're ok on that front, even if it is 150 miles away.

    Assume no help from friends/family on either end (although we do have a place to crash on both ends) and having to be as frugal as we reasonably can be. I've never made a big family move like this before, so any advice you may have would be helpful as we try and plan things out. Even the house hunting seems a bit daunting since homes at the destination are FLYING off the market about as quickly as they go up for sale. Hot market. Just gotta wait to get there to do any serious shopping I suppose. Just mostly trying to figure out how to travel/shop/move and juggle it all.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2012
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    Any relocation benefits you can take advantage of?

  3. #3
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    May 2007
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    Sandy, Utah
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    So I'm getting ready to make a big move back to my old stomping grounds. Almost 1700 miles away. Sad, but a brother's gotta do what a brother's gotta do. Moving's never been that hard for me, but now I have the complication of having 2 kids and 2 big rambunctious dogs in tow, plus selling/buying homes. We're (hopefully) about to close on the house we're selling and then we'll be free to roam about the country. I know the area we're going to pretty well and will be buying a house straight away as to avoid yet ANOTHER transition. We've been staying in temporary quarters for the last few months and all the running around's been tough on the family. Anyway, things are about to get pretty complicated these next few weeks. Gotta go pack up and clear out the old house before we move. Move all that crap to our storage unit a couple hundred miles away to where we're staying now. Then we gotta clear out and clean up the place we're currently crashing at.

    Now here's where I'm not sure about the logistics. We're on the fence about whether to fly down for a week, get our stuff figured out, then fly back and wait for closing and make the big haul with the moving van/kids/dogs. Just checked into airline tix and holy balls is it expensive x 4. Considering playing it by ear and just driving down, taking as long as we need, then driving all the way back (ugh...) to get our stuff, the dogs, the other car, etc. and return upon closing on the new home. That's a lot freaking driving for 2 babies, though, but it would save thousands on airfare, rental car, and we can stay a few extra days if we need. NOT going to claim our dumb Marmadukes as "service animals," so they'll have to be boarded while we're gone. We got an awesome kennel-less place by Bozeman where they can run around like maniacs, so we're ok on that front, even if it is 150 miles away.

    Assume no help from friends/family on either end (although we do have a place to crash on both ends) and having to be as frugal as we reasonably can be. I've never made a big family move like this before, so any advice you may have would be helpful as we try and plan things out. Even the house hunting seems a bit daunting since homes at the destination are FLYING off the market about as quickly as they go up for sale. Hot market. Just gotta wait to get there to do any serious shopping I suppose. Just mostly trying to figure out how to travel/shop/move and juggle it all.
    Following...same plan coming up for me this summer probably...2600 miles EAST....I dont have any real answers, though my plan is to list house, close, pack, fly kids and wife back east. I drive back with full truck and 2 dogs. Havent decided on who's/how were moving out shit, but we have paired way down and will be dumping shit when we pack. Mostly its like 4 beds, a dresser or 2, and some tv's. I will probably buy a trailer or rent a uhaul.

    Good luck man...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2,835
    If you've got 2 kids, 2 big dogs, and it's a 2000 mile move, you need to stop trying to do it all yourself, and you need to avoid going back and forth. Hire movers, clear out the old house, put it all in storage (or, if you're really cheap put it in PODS and have the PODS stored). Obviously, keep the stuff you need to get by day to day for a couple months. Move once, take the kids, the dogs, and whatever stuff you're hauling and go to the new town and find temp housing. Take our time finding a house to buy. The closing on the old house can probably be handled remotely, the MT title company finds a local-to-you title company, and they work everything out. The money you just saved on going back and forth to MT pays for the movers and storage.
    "Judge me by the enemies I have made." -FDR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by that dude who did that thing View Post
    If you've got 2 kids, 2 big dogs, and it's a 2000 mile move, you need to stop trying to do it all yourself, and you need to avoid going back and forth. Hire movers, clear out the old house, put it all in storage (or, if you're really cheap put it in PODS and have the PODS stored). Obviously, keep the stuff you need to get by day to day for a couple months. Move once, take the kids, the dogs, and whatever stuff you're hauling and go to the new town and find temp housing. Take our time finding a house to buy. The closing on the old house can probably be handled remotely, the MT title company finds a local-to-you title company, and they work everything out. The money you just saved on going back and forth to MT pays for the movers and storage.
    I've never done anything of this sort, but this seems like sound advice to me. Flying a family of 4 across the country and back, then driving across the country, seems nuts.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2,835
    Also, if you're trying to leave furniture in the house hwile it's on the market, yhou can work that out two ways. One is leave the furniture there, and just have a moving company come get it when the house is sold. Only leave behind the minimum needed to "stage" the house. Or, if you're using a listing agent, get them to pay for or at least split the cost of hiring a staging professional to furnish the house.
    "Judge me by the enemies I have made." -FDR

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    champlain valley
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    5,706
    when my family did this - sold house - wife split with kids on plane

    i packed and hauled shit to new location

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,314
    Strongly consider ONLY do the drive once. Try to find a moving /trucking company that let's you pack your own trailer and drops it off at the destination, also consider what their storage fee/policy will be, ideally you only want to unpack once at your destination.
    MY friend used these guys to move cross country but i don't know much more than you load/unlaod https://www.upack.com/abf. You might consider short term rental while you find a house to buy at your destination, don't buy emotionally(leave that shit to your wife) but out of utility/value. Only thing worse for a marriage than a home purchase is multiple home purchases. Great advice by the Pilot flipper on taking what you need for day to day life and pack everything else. If you are moving two vehicles you might consider paying a hauler for the second one to be moved. Long distance driving is hard enough with two young ones so eliminate as many hassles as possible and good luck moving on to your next adventure.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2012
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    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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    We just did this, but with only one dog and no kids, and it was still a huge pain in the ass.

    My $.02 - in a hot housing market, don't even think about doing any house shopping til you're ready to pull the trigger. Anything you see online from MT, or something you see when you are down there doing preliminary scouting, will be long gone. Just use it as pricing and neighborhood research. Seems obvious, but you can get emotionally attached to houses that you will never get to put an offer on. This is a mistake we made. We were out to visit and found a couple houses we loved, but were three weeks from being able to put an offer down and it was a bummer.

    As for moving, absolutely do everything possible to only make one trip. Whatever it takes money wise will be worth it. If you hire long distance movers they can unload your stuff into a storage unit even without you there, and it will be waiting for you when you arrive. Some will have options for temporarily storing your things for a couple of months too. They pack you up in MT, then when you close on your house they show up with it all. It's not cheap, but I think it would be worth it. We packed up a UHaul, drove it to our new city, unloaded in a storage unit, then a few more things in our temporary housing, then had to pack it all back in the UHaul a month later when we moved into our new house. What a pain in the ass. And again, we have no kids and relatively few things compared to many people.

    What's your plan for getting your vehicles where you are going? That turned out to be the biggest challenge for us. Two cars, a motorcycle and the UHaul was more than we had drivers for. It worked out, but was an extra headache we hadn't really thought about until far down our planning path.

    Edit - looks like Fat N Slow beat me to it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    livin the dream
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    5,906
    Uhaul has a service where you can contract with local labor to pack/unpack and load/unload the uhaul on both ends, you just drive.

    Just an option to consider. It is significantly cheaper than a full service.


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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,969
    Im cheap and a glutton for punishment, but even I have limits.

    Rent a Uhaul once house sells. Pack up all your shit in it. Wife and babies fly to new town.

    You take a leisurely cruise down in said Uhaul with dogs. With any luck you wife will have found housing in the 3-4 days it'll take you to get there.
    Live Free or Die

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Tejas
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    Quote Originally Posted by hatchgreenchile View Post
    Any relocation benefits you can take advantage of?
    I wish! We're on our own with this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by that dude who did that thing View Post
    If you've got 2 kids, 2 big dogs, and it's a 2000 mile move, you need to stop trying to do it all yourself, and you need to avoid going back and forth. Hire movers, clear out the old house, put it all in storage (or, if you're really cheap put it in PODS and have the PODS stored). Obviously, keep the stuff you need to get by day to day for a couple months. Move once, take the kids, the dogs, and whatever stuff you're hauling and go to the new town and find temp housing. Take our time finding a house to buy. The closing on the old house can probably be handled remotely, the MT title company finds a local-to-you title company, and they work everything out. The money you just saved on going back and forth to MT pays for the movers and storage.
    Wish we could hire movers. I've checked into it, and partially due to our old home's remote location, it's pretty cost prohibitive. Even with PODs. We thought about temp housing, but due to the way the market cycles there every single year, our odds of getting a decent buy later on get even worse. Plus, we'd like to avoid yet another transition. We've had too many of those lately. This is the last time we want to go from place to place for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I've never done anything of this sort, but this seems like sound advice to me. Flying a family of 4 across the country and back, then driving across the country, seems nuts.
    It does seem nuts. Not looking forward to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by that dude who did that thing View Post
    Also, if you're trying to leave furniture in the house hwile it's on the market, yhou can work that out two ways. One is leave the furniture there, and just have a moving company come get it when the house is sold. Only leave behind the minimum needed to "stage" the house. Or, if you're using a listing agent, get them to pay for or at least split the cost of hiring a staging professional to furnish the house.
    Thankfully we're now past this stage. House is under contract and we're maybe a week or so out from closing. Huzzah! So we'll be headed out there this weekend to finish packing up the home and start working on consolidating all our junk to our storage unit 3 hours away.

    Quote Originally Posted by DBdude View Post
    when my family did this - sold house - wife split with kids on plane

    i packed and hauled shit to new location
    That's not a bad idea. We might go this route. Maybe just go down with the family to shop, buy, and leave them there while I go back and get the moving van and dogs myself. Maybe drive one vehicle down on the first go around, and get the second one with a trailer on the back of the moving van? I'm also heavily leaning toward just selling the vehicle up here where it's maybe worth a bit more being 4WD and all. Then there would be one less vehicle to worry about. Not like I want it that much anyway. I hate SUVs, but its more than served its purpose for me. Its services will no longer be required.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    between campus and church
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    We sold our house, packed it all for movers who then delivered our shit to a storage unit near where we were looking to move. We then left and took a 2 week vacation driving across country with wife, 2 young kids, and a cat in our two vehicles. This was before we had cell phones so we used walkies between the cars.

    In the overall scheme of things it's SO worth paying movers.

  14. #14
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    Nov 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post


    Wish we could hire movers. I've checked into it, and partially due to our old home's remote location, it's pretty cost prohibitive. Even with PODs. We thought about temp housing, but due to the way the market cycles there every single year, our odds of getting a decent buy later on get even worse. Plus, we'd like to avoid yet another transition. We've had too many of those lately. This is the last time we want to go from place to place for a while.
    Missed this before I replied. Pack up your stuff and move it to where movers can accept it (local self storage facility). Then have them to the bulk of the driving and unloading.

  15. #15
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    My $.02 - in a hot housing market, don't even think about doing any house shopping til you're ready to pull the trigger. Anything you see online from MT, or something you see when you are down there doing preliminary scouting, will be long gone. Just use it as pricing and neighborhood research. Seems obvious, but you can get emotionally attached to houses that you will never get to put an offer on. This is a mistake we made. We were out to visit and found a couple houses we loved, but were three weeks from being able to put an offer down and it was a bummer.
    True that. We've seen quite a bit come and go since we started searching. Of course the things we like the most go under contract within moments of it hitting the market. Like you said, it's been good for pricing and neighborhood research though. When it's go time, it's go time, and we'll be prepared to make an offer with a rapid closing. We're waiting 'til we're down there to get serious. We're working with an old agent of mine and she told us that that last Spring/Summer, the market got so stupid that she'd be driving clients from one showing to another, and by the time they'd get to the next place the first would already have multiple offers on that. That's exactly what we've been witnessing with different homes we've viewed online. So if we really like something, we have to be ready to throw down an offer. I hate markets like that with that sort of pressure, but it is what it is. We'll find something great I'm sure, so will try not to get too swept up in it. Houses always come and go in a large city.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Central OR
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    5,964
    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    My $.02 - in a hot housing market, don't even think about doing any house shopping til you're ready to pull the trigger. Anything you see online from MT, or something you see when you are down there doing preliminary scouting, will be long gone. Just use it as pricing and neighborhood research. Seems obvious, but you can get emotionally attached to houses that you will never get to put an offer on. This is a mistake we made. We were out to visit and found a couple houses we loved, but were three weeks from being able to put an offer down and it was a bummer.
    Talk to your buying agent (you have one, right?) We did a similar move a couple years ago, into the hot Bend housing market. Our agent told us that if we saw something we liked, make an offer asap, sight-unseen; if we tour it later and don't want it, she could break the contract, since "Every house has something that will fail inspection, voiding the deal." We did this; made an offer on a place, then did a tour two weeks later. Ended up buying it, but could have walked away due to several inspection issues. Gotta be aggressive.

  17. #17
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    Talk to your buying agent (you have one, right?) We did a similar move a couple years ago, into the hot Bend housing market. Our agent told us that if we saw something we liked, make an offer asap, sight-unseen; if we tour it later and don't want it, she could break the contract, since "Every house has something that will fail inspection, voiding the deal." We did this; made an offer on a place, then did a tour two weeks later. Ended up buying it, but could have walked away due to several inspection issues. Gotta be aggressive.
    Yup. We have a great agent there who helped me buy and sell homes before. Your situation in Bend sounds so nuts. Hope we're not in for a ride like that, but we might. Kinda wish it was a slower market. Long gone are the days when I could pick up a nice 3/2 for $60-80K and call all the shots with the seller.

  18. #18
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    Missed this before I replied. Pack up your stuff and move it to where movers can accept it (local self storage facility). Then have them to the bulk of the driving and unloading.
    That's a great idea! I'll look into that since everything will already be at the storage unit. Renting a moving truck for a one-way haul isn't cheap, so maybe it won't be a huge difference. I'll post what I find out.

  19. #19
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    Apr 2005
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    The land of Genesee Cream Ale and homemade pierogies!
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    Driving cross country with two dogs, (you said big active dogs?) takes some advance thought.

    Not all hotels/motels allow big dogs, and in big urban areas if an animal lover sees dogs left in a vehicle overnight it'll be the animal control swat team and headline news with you as the bad guy. Pushing the drive an extra hour to get to a motel that allows big pets can be hit or miss, call ahead to avoid surprises late at night after a long drive. You get one surly desk guy saying "our website is wrong, sorry..." and you're screwed.
    “The best argument in favour of a 90% tax rate on the rich is a five-minute chat with the average rich person.”

    - Winston Churchill, paraphrased.

  20. #20
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    Aug 2007
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    United States of Aburdistan
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    7,281
    Pack everything, hire a moving company, send the family to new town via plane, take the dogs and vehicle to AK and create a new life. Would be just as hard as what you want to do.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    none
    Posts
    8,410
    Get rid of half your shit.
    I bought a trailer and saved $30k.
    Sell it when your done, if you don’t need it.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Central OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    Get rid of half your shit.
    I bought a trailer and saved $30k.
    Sell it when your done, if you don’t need it.
    Yep. Sold everything large; couches, bed, etc and bought new once we moved. Made the move so much smoother, and our new stuff fits the new place better.

    Trailer is a good idea, those things hold value.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    803
    We’ve used ABF Upack twice and highly recommend it. They drop off a semi trailer and you load it up as efficiently as you can since you pay by the linear foot. They give you a bulkhead that you put behind your stuff and they then ship it with commercial stuff to your destination and drop it when and where you want. You can rent moving blankets from uhaul. Just pack efficiently. Cost for us was comparable to renting a uhaul one-way rental, this was like 14 years ago. It was so nice to wave goodbye to all our shit and just hop in our cars and go. I can provide more tips if you end up going this way.

    Also consider hiring some strong bodies if you don’t have friends you can hit up for help. Look on Craigslist. Not that expensive and worth it.

    Oh-yeah, purge! Get rid of half your shit. When we sold our house last year we did a major declutter so the house would show well and we didn’t miss any of it.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    14,040
    Moving 1700 miles *away* from Montana?

    My only advice: don't do it.

    Probably not helpful.


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    FEMA RGN X
    Posts
    955
    Another positive experience here with ABF Upack. 2800 miles, wife, 2 kids and 2 dogs. You can hire them to load, pack all, some or none. Make the drive only once!

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