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Moving from NYC to Philadelphia – How do you find reliable movers?

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Ross Sapir

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Year after year, the number of people moving from NYC to Philadelphia keeps touching new heights. It’s not a surprise as Philadelphia has many things to offer that the Big Apple doesn’t. Not that the former is a better city, but it’s all about your priorities. As you are reading this post, your priorities certainly match with Philly.

However, deciding to move and moving are two different things. We don’t intend to scare you but moving is not a piece of cake. It is a stressful experience and can worsen if you are not prepared. Movers or moving companies come as a savior, but how do you find a good one? We give you the answer along with essential information that you need to know before moving from NYC to Philadelphia. Let’s get moving!

Moving from NYC to Philadelphia

Why are people moving from NYC to Philadelphia?

New York is full of opportunities as 54 of the Fortune 500 companies are located in New York. It is a buzzing place that gives you a vibe like no other. However, this is not what many people want, and that’s why they are looking to move to places like Philadelphia. Let’s look at what Philadelphia has to offer before you decide to move to Philadelphia from NYC.

Cost of Living

One of the things that bugs most New Yorkers is how expensive the city is. It is the most expensive city in the US. Such living costs might not suit all, especially after the pandemic, many jobs have turned remote, and it doesn’t make sense to bear all the expenses while you can work from an affordable city.

Being almost 38% cheaper than New York, Philadelphia offers a great escape from the expensive living of NYC. The added advantage is that it takes just a couple of hours of drive or 50 minutes of flight to reach NYC. So, it’s super convenient if you need to go to your company’s New York office once in a while. 

Housing

Many people want to purchase their house at some point, but the prices in New York scare them away. The median cost of a home in New York is 654,300, a number that is bound to put off many.

On the other hand, Philadelphia has a median home cost of $153,400, less than one-fourth of New York. Such affordable real estate prices give a big incentive for people looking to raise a family without huge loans hanging over their heads. 

Weather

There’s an old saying in Philadelphia: “If you don’t like the weather in Philadelphia, just wait ten minutes.” It might seem gloomy and wet, but it can suddenly get better and surprise you. The city has four seasons, and it hardly gets extreme here. In Philadelphia, natural disasters such as tornadoes, forest fires, earthquakes, or floods are unheard of.

People

Many people move to Philadelphia and get surprised at how friendly and open its people are. The city houses 44.8% Black or African American, 43.6% White, 7.8% Asian, and 3.8% other races. Thanks to such a diverse population, the city has a unique culture. 

Here’s what Patrick Murray, a Philly resident who moved here 34 years ago, shares on Quora about his experience:

“In my experience, people in Philly are better than friendly, they’re real. They’re friendly, but not quite the kind who show up on your door step with a pie when you move in. Generally, I find a lack of arrogance, and an open-ness to differences in others.. a kind of live and let live attitude. Some call it an inferiority complex in comparison to NY and DC, but I think its genuine humility. We know who we are, we know we’re not as “important” or “influential” as some other places, but Philadelphians have their own greatness that doesn’t need to be flaunted.

I wasn’t born here… moved here 33 years ago from Seattle. But I consider myself a Philadelphian.

What makes Philadelphia great is that its a very diverse city… 44% black, 14% latino, 36% white. And it’s a city of neighborhoods with strong identities. They survived and come through red-lining, the gangs, the engineered crack epidemic, the war on “crime”, and now the opioid crisis. They are survivors. Philadelphians tend to accept differences because we respect ourselves, not because we’re “great”. That’s what make Phialdelphians truly great.”

Nature & Peace

It’s no doubt that New York is an attractive city and its skyscrapers are a sight to behold. Plus, the New Yorkers live an extremely fast life. Many fall in love with it while the rest struggle to cope up. If you have had enough of the concrete jungle and want to build a nest in nature’s lap, Philadelphia could be the place for you.

The city offers plenty of green spaces and has lush green parks, including Fairmount Park, the world’s largest urban park. Overall, your life in Philadelphia is going to be less stressful and easy-going.

Living in NYC vs. Philly: A factual comparison

ParameterNew YorkPhiladelphia
Cost of LivingThe living cost of New York is higher than that of any city in the US.The cost of living in Philadelphia is almost 38%  less than in NYC.
House PricesWith an average median home price of $680,500, New York ranks the highest in the US.The median home price in Philadelphia is $153,400, less than 25% of New York.
WeatherNew York averages 233 sunny days every year and gets 46.6 inches of rain. It averages 25.8 inches of snow every year.

The weather in New York is pleasant, but you can face severe cold during the Winter.
Philly averages 207 sunny days, almost a month lesser than New York. It averages 47.2 inches of rain, the same as New York.

The winter in Philadelphia is less harsh with 13.1 inches of snow.
Per Capita Income2019 Census shows that the per capita income in NYC during 2015-19 was $39,326.Philadelphia had a per capita income of $27,924 during the same period.
Crime RateAs per crime statistics, New York is a safer place than Philadelphia.Philadelphia witnesses a higher crime rate compared to New York.
Unemployment Rate10.6%11.2%

Aman Sehgal, a Philadelphia resident, shares also in Quora various aspects of the Philly vs. New York debate.

“Philly is much better than NYC to live in ! Of course when I say that I mean in the certain nice neighborhoods in the city.

The real estate prices in Philly are much more affordable and realistic as compared to the real estate prices in NYC. A working yuppie or a student could afford a decent apartment in a nice neighborhood in the city.

You could also afford to buy a nice apartment in the city if you have a good job that pays an above median salary for white collar professionals.

Parking is more widely available much more cheaply.

The city tax is way lower.

Philly is much more bikeable than NYC. More Philadelphians are switching to biking as time goes by. Most streets have bike lanes and the traffic is much more realistic and “bike aware”. People also drive sanely so there isn’t usually a chance to getting hit by a vehicle.

You could easily afford the nice restaurants in the city since, for a comparable quality of food and hospitality, philly restaurants are a lot cheaper.

Since the philly social scene is pretty much restricted to a handful of few locations/neighborhoods, you can be sure to explore all of philly even if you live there just for 6 months.

Philadelphians arent as snooty and rough as New Yorkers (especially manhattan residents). Even the rich ones can be quite easy to talk to.

There are only a handful of clubs and bars that have really good crowd and the women are gorgeous and decent.

Dating can be difficult though because the dating pool isnt very diverse and is quite small as well.”

Is Philadelphia better than New York? Well, we or anybody can’t answer this question as it all depends on you. Both places possess unique characteristics and give a different experience. You must jot down your expectations and how living in either city will make a difference to your life.

Moving from NYC to Philadelphia: hire movers or do it yourself?

If you are moving from Philadelphia to New York or the other way round, you need to think about how you will move. It means you have to choose between hiring a moving company or doing it all by yourself. The latter is an obvious choice if you have a few boxes to stuff in your car and get to your new home. However, it is not the case for most, and that’s why you need to make an educated decision. 

Let’s see the pros and cons of both the options:

FactorHire MoversDo it Yourself
Physical & Mental StressYou hire movers to relieve yourself of all the stress that comes with moving, be it physical or mental. With a moving company, you don’t need to do or lift a single thing. 

The movers are experienced in handling things and don’t need any instructions.
Doing it all by yourself can be a scary proposition as you need to take care of a lot of things and do all the heavy lifting. 

It can get really stressful if you don’t have any experience or the right people.
TimeThanks to the experience they have, moving companies perform your move in a breeze.Moving involves a lot of hassle and can take way longer than you would expect.
Moving CostHiring a moving company is costlier than doing it yourself, but not always.As it doesn’t involve any fees, it is usually cheaper than hiring movers. However, it could result in the other way as well.
Additional ExpensesYou don’t have to pay for anything else apart from the truck fuel expenses.You will need to spend on the moving equipment and fuel. Plus, if yours is a long-distance move, then you will also need to take accommodation and food expenses into consideration.
Moving Costs (in numbers)Local Moving: $1,100 to $2500
Long Distance Moving: $5,000 to $8,000
Local Moving: $1,300 to $1600
Long Distance Moving: $4,000 to $7,000

“I didn’t last time, but I will this time. Last time I moved, various friends offered to help, and I took them up on the offer. But there was much more work involved than any of us had expected. Partially, this was because I had not packed everything as thoroughly as I’d been meaning to, so there was a considerable amount of loose stuff still needing to be packed. But also I just turned out to have more crap than I thought. To make matters worse, my physical condition was very poor at the time, so I spent considerable time watching my friends work without being able to contribute as vigorously as I thought was appropriate, which was embarrassing. Everyone was extremely tired by the time the whole thing was finally over, and nobody was very motivated to place items in the new apartment in any sort of orderly manner, leaving me with a living room so full of furnishings and boxes that I could hardly move through it.

I think that I could have made this work with more preparation, but in all honesty, it’s not worth it, and I don’t want to do this to myself or my friends again.

I do plan to do a lot of my own packing; in fact, I’ve already packed up 15 boxes of books. This is not just to save money. It’s also that this way, I can throw out things I don’t want to take along, and I can pack and label things according to the room they need to end up in rather than where they are coming from.”

READ MORE: Move yourself or hire movers: Here’s how to decide

Moving basics: How to find reliable NYC to Philadelphia moving companies

Not all Philly to NYC movers are the same, and you cannot hire any company that calls itself a ‘moving company.’ You need to do a simple and quick vetting process to find a reliable moving company. We’ve come up with several factors that could point you in the right direction.

  • See if they can conduct long-distance moves: You need to confirm whether a moving company can do long-distance moves since you might be violating state laws if you’re with the wrong team. That’s because some states and areas are strict with regards to interstate moving, and some states require special licenses and certificates before certain teams can conduct business in their area. 

As such, if you’re living anywhere like New York City and want to find long-distance NYC movers, you may need to ask if they are even allowed to move your things there in the first place. 

  • Confirm all service options they have to offer: When looking for moving companies, it is important to confirm the services you are going to get before hiring them as moving companies conduct different sorts of moves, and many even charge separately for certain services. 

Moreover, while most moving companies are likely capable of doing almost any kind of move, it may help to stick to a company specializing in your specific moving needs. For example, if you are going to do the packing by yourself, you don’t need to pay for it. You can simply get a company that gets your stuff as fastly and reliably as possible.

  • Check their logistic: Before you hire a moving company, it will help if you understand how their overall operations work. This is important, as they have to confirm with you as to whether they’re equipped to conduct your move or not. 

Also, ask how many people will be assisting with your move, what equipment they’ll bring, and how long your move will likely take if you choose them as your movers. This might seem a bit too restrictive and specific, but you should know these aspects of logistics so you can coordinate your end of the move. 

  • Pay attention to your quotation: Perhaps another important tip you shouldn’t forget is to stay alert whenever moving companies give you quotations. When you ask for an estimate based on your existing inventory, always ask whether the quotation they will give you will have all costs taken into account. That’s because some companies may even have on-the-spot “fees” on the moving day. To steer clear of such scenarios, it is important to communicate everything in advance in writing.
  • Check Online Reviews & Reputation: Before hiring movers, you want to be sure of their reputation and the recent jobs done by them. That’s why you should check online reviews by their customers, especially recent ones. Plus, also find out how long the company has been in business. The older they are, the more you can rely on them.

Finding reliable moving services isn’t as hard as you think

If you take care of the things mentioned above, finding reliable movers can be extremely easy given. The above tips will hopefully always remind you to find a moving team not just based on their quotation and your budget, but on their reputation and skillset as well. 

Don’t forget to always pay close attention to how they perform their duties and how aligned your perspectives on moving are. And don’t take too much unnecessary stress as you will start a new life in a new place. Happy moving.

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