Moving During the Coronavirus Pandemic? Here are Some Important Considerations
The coronavirus has detoured many people’s dreams of moving. For many of us, moving to a new city represents a new job or relationship or maybe a fresh start. Then everything changed. The good news is that real estate is considered an essential business. So whether you found an ideally located apartment with awesome amenities like a Chicago-style hot dog or two-dollar slice of pizza stand just down the street, or a pet-friendly home, your dreams may still come true.
As an essential business, it is still possible to buy and sell homes or rent an apartment in most cities and states. Both moving companies and self storage facilities are still operating too. Just not as usual.
Millions of people move in the U.S every year. With more than 45-years of storage industry experience, our teams understand that life is unpredictable and are experienced in guiding people through unexpected life transitions at a moment’s notice. All Metro storage locations took immediate precautions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by offering contact-free storage rentals and payments in addition to our extended telephone customer service hours.
Know Your State and Local COVID-19 Ordinances
Planning a move during a pandemic takes more preparation and research. Whether you’re moving within your state or to a different one, the process of moving to a new home changed dramatically for most of us. The process of moving is different depending on whether you are looking to rent a house or apartment or to buy a new home.
For example, if you’re buying a new home, be sure to check your real estate contract to determine whether or not it mentions allowable delays due to the coronavirus outbreak.
When it comes to real estate, guidelines are evolving weekly and vary from city to city. If you are able to see a home or apartment in advance of signing a lease, be sure your property management firm is following protocols to help ensure your safety in addition to having a good reputation.
Be Prepared to Rent Your Apartment or Home Sight Unseen
Thankfully, virtual tours were in place and even on the rise before the pandemic for both apartment renters and home buyers. Today, many real estate agents and property management companies are emphasizing these tools as a way to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Virtual and 3D tours offer an excellent opportunity to get a first look and feel of a multifamily community or home before you move.
Additionally, before the coronavirus pandemic, if you were moving into an apartment or rental home, the landlord or property manager would do an in-person walkthrough to denote the move-in condition that ultimately helps protect your security deposit. Now, that is no longer advisable. One alternative would be to use a video calling app like Facetime or Google Duo to do a virtual walkthrough.
Your future landlord or property manager can email you the walkthrough form to fill out during the call so you won’t be charged for appliances that don’t work or damage like holes in the walls from the previous tenant.
Metro Self Storage Offers Contact-Free Storage Rentals
Moving and self storage go hand-in-hand. While the current pandemic has drastically changed much of what we do in our daily lives, some things haven’t changed—like the need for more space to accommodate work from home offices or to move a new home or apartment due to finances, expired leases, or new jobs.
Self storage has always been here to help with life transitions, which are happening to more of us every day. However, you may still have concerns about the logistics of renting a storage unit or paying for your already rented unit. Metro Self Storage offers these services:
- Mobile-friendly website
- Free 7-day storage hold
- Online reservations
- Online leasing
- Extended customer service hours via telephone at (888) GO-METRO (888-466-3876) or by calling the individual store’s number.
- Email and phone support found on the “Hours and Directions” page of each storage facility website
- Online storage rental payments
This means you can reserve, rent, and move into your storage unit without breaking physical distancing protocols.
Here at Metro, we recognize that many people are feeling the effects in many different ways across our communities. Moving during the coronavirus pandemic will present some new challenges to an already stressful life event. We are fully committed to the health and safety of our customers and employees and the communities we serve.
Special Note: Because COVID-19 can live on cardboard boxes for up to 24-hours, now isn’t the time to use recycled boxes. Alternatively, purchase new moving boxes and packing supplies that are available at every Metro Self Storage location by calling your local Metro store.
What Precautions are Moving Companies Taking?
Most people are feeling more comfortable planning for a DIY move if at all possible if moving truck rentals are available in your city, this might be a safer option. However, it’s worth noting that professional movers are taking many steps to protect both their workers and their customers during COVID-19. Some of the precautions that are being considered include:
- Offering contact-free moving services including video walkthroughs of your home and virtual quotes
- Greeting one another with a smile—not a handshake
- Stocking up trucks with hand sanitizer
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, trucks, and dispatch offices before, during, and after the move.
Even so, movers will be coming into your home. Moving companies are currently advising that all parties remain at least 6-feet apart. Additionally, both you and the movers need to wear masks. These and other precautions are designed to reduce the risk of coming into contact with Covid-19.
Discuss all precautionary measures with your moving company before your moving date. Additionally, find out if you can cancel your move at a moment’s notice without penalty (most professional moving companies are offering this option).
The Environmental Protection Agency’s website now offers a way to look up the sanitizing product you’re using to find out if it’s effective against coronavirus.
The National Pesticide Information Center has a chart on how to use disinfectants to control Covid-19 on common household items ranging from carpeting and leather to wood, glass, and metal.
Find out what your state city’s local public health department is advising to reduce the spread of coronavirus and support their communities by visiting: naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory.
If you’re working with a real estate agent, The National Association of Realtors offers a Coronavirus Guide by clicking the link here.
The moving season begins in May and goes through September, but today the biggest challenge of being in-between homes may be in finding one. Instead of moving to Chicago, NYC, or Hollywood to try out your acting chops, you may decide to put your items in a secure, clean, and reliable storage unit and find temporary housing before acting on your dream.
Finally, to help flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19, Metro Self Storage has transitioned to a contact-free storage rental process online and by phone. Learn more here: https://www.metrostorage.com