Boston's neighborhoods are great. Boston is a city large enough to offer a ton of things to do but is also small enough that, no matter where you are located in the city, you are close to enjoy everything the city has to offer. Even though it sounds perfect, some Boston neighborhoods do provide quite the challenge for moving and the Boston movers that assist you in your relocation.
When thinking about moving to the North End, you must be prepared for tight spaces, limited parking, and the number of feasts or festivals that take place throughout the year. Almost every area of the neighborhood requires a parking permit whem moving and almost every building has some of the narrowest stairways you will ever see. It is important you are aware of the challenges faced with your upcoming move, especially if doing the move yourself. A good moving company should already know what to look for and what questions to ask, however, knowing what to expect yourself can aid you in selecting the right moving company not just in terms of trust, but also in money saved. If you are searching for a Boston mover, and they do not ask the following questions when giving you a quote, you should think twice before hiring them. Thay may not know the area well and that can translate to unsuspected costs.
1. Do you need a parking permit or does your building have a loading dock?
- As mentioned above, the North End is very, very congested. Parking in the North End is always a problem no matter what size vehicle you have. It is one of the most visited neighborhoods in Boston and looking at the vast number of restauraunts and toursit attractions it is not hard to understand why. Local movers understand this and this is why all of them will encourgage you to get a parking permit, no matter which street you are moving to. Even streets that are not as busy in terms of restaraunts and tourist attractions have limited parking. Most parking spots on these streets are "residential parking" only, so your chances of finding a parking spot (Keep in mind you need three parking spaces for an average sized moving truck) are very slim. This is why parking permits are so essential. They not only make it easier for the movers to move your items but they also eliminate the risk of adding extra time to your move because the movers had to park so far away from your home. If you are moving in from out of state, you are not charged by the hour but you still need to be wary of adding unnecessary time to the move because you can be charged a "long carry" charge. Always ask your mover how much feet is included with your delivery to better prepare yourself for long carry charges. We wrote about long carry charges in detail in a previous blog post, and they work pretty much the same across all moving companies.
- Some buildings in the North End have loading docks for movers to move residents in and out. Most of these buildings can be found along the harbor off of Commerical St. In most of these buildings, your mover will have to provide the property management company managing the property a certificate of insurance in order to be allowed to work on the property. This form notifies the property that you are in fact using an insured moving company that can pay for serious damages if they occur. You should NEVER use a mover that cannot provide you with a official certificate of insurance.
2. Check to make sure your stairs can accomodate the furniture needing to go up to your apartment
- The stairs in the buildings around the North End are also problematic, because they are often to narrow to fit larger pieces of furniture up them. If you are doing the move yourself, you should also keep in mind that these staircases are usually very steep, and if you are not working with professionals someone could get hurt. Always have a backup plan for when your mover arrives if the furniture does not fit into your new home. A better strategy is to check out your place beforehand, so you can decide what to take with you on your move and not waste money on furniture that does not fit in your new home. Remember, moves that require stair carries can also incur extra fees and/or time. If you are charged hourly, make sure you tell your moving consultant what floor you are on and whether or not there is an elevator available. Stairs and even elevators can add time to the move so it is important to know if there are any additional charges for each situation. A good moving consultant will add some time to your estimate to anticipate the extra time needed for stairs or an elevator.
- If your items cannot fit up the stairs but you still want them, you only have two options. You can place them into a storage facility or you can hire a company who provides crane services in order to hoist your items through the window. Always check your windows first though, as windows in North End buildings can be very small as well.
3. Shuttles are a must
- If you are coming in from out of state and used a moving company not familiar with Boston, ask them what kind of truck they plan on delivering your items with. A truck size smaller than a tractor trailer is an absolute must in this neighborhood and on some streets, even the larger box trucks moving companies use are too large. Morton St and Wiget St are just two examples of streets where the smaller the truck, the better.
- Ask your mover if shuttles and/or shuttle fees are included with your move. If they are from the Boston area, they most likely will automatically come with the appropriate truck to get the job done right and not charge you. If they are from out of state or do not know the area well, there is a chance they could come unprepared and delay your move while increasing your bottom line. DO NOT ASSUME that your moving company will bring a smaller truck! Save yourself the headache and investigate these questions early. You can read more about shuttle services in our blog.
4. Be Aware of the Various Festivals and Feasts
- The North End is an Italian neighborhood and they are VERY proud of it. To celebrate their heritage and culture, they throw a number of feasts and festivals throughout the summer. It is not uncommon to be inside your home and hear a marching band march down the street. The reason why you need to know if there are any feasts on your street is because they make it impossible to move out/in on certain days. The roads are blocked off from vehicles and this means a parking permit cannot be acquired. If you are unsure if there is a feast at the time of your move out, you can check out North End Feasts for a complete schedule.
- It is very important that you communicate with your mover about any feasts/festivals happening in your area at the time of your move in. Moving companies deliver within a window but once they are in your area, there is not too much flexibility with delivery. This is because most trailer drivers for moving companies get paid according to the distance they travel and the volume of household goods they move. Therefore if they are sitting around for two days waiting for a feast to end, that is two days they do not get paid. To avoid this headache, always communicate with whichever mover you choose about the upcoming feasts in the area.
- So what happens if you schedule a move in/out during a festival? Well my first recommendation is to avoid this if possible, because there is a 90% chance you will not be able to complete your move on these dates. If, for whatever reason your household goods arrive to Boston on the day of the feast, and your mover is pressuring you to find a place for them immediately, you can have them deliver to a local mover that can redeliver it on the first day possible. This will cost you, but it will help you avoid having your current mover put your items into a private storage and finishing the move yourself. If you don't mind doing the rest of the move yourself, you can save some money by having them place your items into a private storage nearby and renting a truck to complete the move yourself when the feast is over.
- If you do get a parking permit(I strongly recommend it) the parking office in city hall will most likely not give you permits for your street if there is a feast taking place the same day. The feast/festival coordinators usually have to pay for permits for the whole street during the length of the event, and already take up the whole space. It is still important you check yourself though, because after all, we are all human and sometimes mistakes can be made.
5. Moving During the Winter
- The winter season poses even more challenges to your move as it tends to reduce the already cramped spaces the north end has to offer. Last year in 2015, we got the unpleasant surprise of what seemed like a limitless amount of snowfall. So much in fact that we literally ran out of places to put the snow and already narrow sidewalks became narrower or non-existent. One can only imagine how much trouble someone would have moving a large couch or bed to a truck from those sidewalks. Because of the weather, the winter is usually hit or miss. It is a great time to move if the weather permits, because moving rates are generally very low, but if you cannot allow the movers clear access to your home they will not be able to move you. If you do snag one of those low winter rates and there is snow on the ground, just make sure you clear some space for your movers to move safely and efficiently. You can find more information about moving in the snow through our blog.
By no means do I wish to discourage you to live in the north end. I live here myself and I think it is the perfect neighborhood to live in. The TD Garden is right next door, and there is an umlimited amount of restaraunts, sub shops, and stores to stop in. I personally recommend Pauli's on Salem st. You will not be disappointed. The truth is once you actually get through the moving process, the rest of your time here will be pretty great.
Haymarket and North Station are close enough for walking distance, and Causeway st provides many choices for bars and pubs. If you have a car and do not want to deal with the hassle of fighting for a pakring spot on your way home every night, you can park at the Government Center Garage, which offers monthly parking and a commuter program as well for a little less.
Eagle Lines has over 20 years of experiencing moving people in and out of the north end. Because of our location, we have a variety of trucks in all different sizes that allow us to accomodate any move in the north end. We are so familiar with the streets within the neighborhood that most of our moving consultants will know the streets without needing to investigate a map or GPS.