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Relocating to South Florida

South Florida is one of the world’s most exciting multicultural areas, offering plenty of sun, sand and style. Famous for its beautiful beaches and lively nightlife, Miami and Broward are full of interesting attractions. Miami is made up of many distinct districts, including South Beach, the waterways of the Miami Islands, historical Coral Gables, posh Coconut Grove and the high-rise condos of Brickell Avenue and Key Biscayne. Broward cities include Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Davie, Weston, Cooper City, Miramar, Hollywood Beach and Hallandale Beach all of which offer plenty for residents and visitors alike. The beach is a major attraction for sun seekers and water lovers, while land lovers may prefer the booming cultural and arts scenes, golf, recreational trails or shopping.

Below please find a helpful guide to assist you in the relocation process.

- First of all make a timeline. This will give you immediate control of your move and give you a visual on not only what needs to be accomplished but also what has already been accomplished.

- Research will help greatly. Knowing where you are going and what resources will be there is key. Check Our Communities or contact us for information on different neighborhoods and Our Little Black Book for information including schools, stores, hospitals, and entertainment.

- Call a moving company and make sure to ask the following questions:

Registration Number The moving company should have a registration number with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), called a USDOT number (US Department of Transportation Number). If a company only travels within one state, than they may not be registered. You can check online with FMCSA.

Rates and Estimates Ask the company what there rate is; most companies will provide a rate per pound and a distance rate. If the company offers a quote based on cubic feet – do not hire them.
A company estimate must be based on weight if you're moving long-distances. For short-distances, some companies will charge a per hour rate. Both the hourly rate and that poundage rate will not change, whereas the estimate can depending on the type the carrier provides. Keep in mind that the moving company must give you an estimate in writing and they must provide you with a copy. The estimate must include all charges and both you and the mover must sign it for it to be an agreement. The estimate must also indicate the method of payment and be dated. You can read more detailed information on estimates by going to the articles on binding estimates and non-binding estimates.
Subcontractors Some of the larger movers subcontract to a smaller company. If this is the ase with the company you are thinking of using, ask for the subcontractor’s
name and if the company uses several subcontractors, ask for a complete list.

Additional Fees Find out if there are any additional fees or when additional fees apply. Some companies will charge extra for awkward items, or if the destination does not have easy access, or if the load has to be hand-carried over a certain distance. To avoid such costs, note any larger items and pre-arrange where the truck can park, if there are any stairs, and if you are moving to a condo or high-rise, investigate any possible obstructions such as elevator usage and load restrictions. These extra charges are called flight charges and long carry charges and they should be discussed with your mover ahead of time. If you're well organized, have arranged for parking and elevator usage, these charges should not apply.

If your old or new residence is not accessible for a large carrier truck or van, you may need to have the mover arrange for a shuttle service, which will also incur additional costs.
Additional costs may also include fuel surcharges or transportation surcharges if you are moving to a remote area. In addition, if your belongings cannot be unloaded on arrival, they may need to be stored. Storage-in-transit fees will be charged along with warehouse handling charges. Try to avoid either by ensuring your new residence is ready on time.

Additional Transfers For long distance moves some companies may transfer your belongings from one truck to another. Additional transfers increase the possibility of damage and loss. Keep this in mind when you are choosing your carrier and ask beforehand. Also, if you are moving during the winter or rainy season, find out if the company protects against water damage.

Insurance Ask detailed questions about insurance.

Packing/Storage Services Find out how items are protected and labeled. Most companies will shrink-wrap our sofa and provide a free blanket wrap service; smaller companies may charge for his service. Ask how items are labeled and how they will be identified on arrival. Make sure you keep an accurate list of all your items, number of boxes, etc.
If you require storage, ask the company if they provide storage service.

Ask for Referrals/Recommendations Most reliable companies will automatically provide you with letters of happy clients. And although anyone with a printer and computer could generate supportive documents, you can usually assume they are legitimate and factual.Make note of anything suspicious. And above all, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

Set Up a Moving Timeline If you set a timeline for your move, you'll find it easy to check off tasks week by week to ensure you don't forget anything.

- Call utilities for both residences. Utilities would include electricity, water, gas, cable and trash.

- Go to your local post office to complete a change of address. They have a simple form for you to fill out that will ensure that your mail will be forwarded to your new residence.