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Moving from New York to South Carolina

Looking for a break from the bustle of NYC?  Want to leave snow and winter behind?  If so, moving from NY to SC might be the answer.

By the national average, South Carolina is quite a bit smaller than New York State, coming in as the 40th most extensive and 23rd most populous state in the United States.  But even though the Palmetto State lacks the landmass of both New York and North Carolina, which covers its entire northern border, South Carolina is a great place to call home.

Each year, thousands of tourists and new residents visit South Carolina to enjoy warmer weather, beautiful beaches, great hiking, an incredible food scene, and more.  Depending on your choice of residence, you can enjoy the bustle of a larger city like Greenville or Columbia or a small town life somewhere in between. 

At best estimate, the state population has grown by around 11% over the last decade, with over 200,000 New Yorkers already present and accounted for.

So, what does it take to move from New York to the easternmost state in the Deep South?

This guide will talk you through the key details of the moving process and provide resources to help you start planning your relocation.

Let’s get started.

NY to SC: Average Moving Costs

The cost of your relocation will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the moving services that you use, where you’re relocating from, the distance you need to cover, and more.

Like its sister state to the north, South Carolina is wider than it is tall — but the state’s compact size means that you’re unlikely to experience a huge variation in moving costs.  Unfortunately, the road to the Palmetto State is longer because you’ll need to travel through North Carolina to get there.

Roughly speaking, Relocating from NYC to Columbia is about 700 miles.  On the fringes, relocating from a place like Syracuse to North Charleston could see a distance of around 950 miles.  At a fundamental level, this basic calculation will have an impact on the cost of your move.

A self-service truck rental is likely to run you anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000 (plus fuel costs).  You’ll end up paying for any savings in both time and labor as you pack items, load your truck, and relocate to your new home.

If the cost of a self relocation is already eating into your wallet, a full-service move may be out of reach.  That’s common for most people.  When you factor costs for packing, shipping, and unpacking, professional relocation services can cost tens of thousands of dollars — even more, if speed is a priority.

It’s rare for a long-distance move to cost less than $5,000.  Relocating a fully furnished home over thousands of miles can even cost upwards of $40,000 or more!

Ultimately, you’ll have to determine the scope of your budget in advance of your moving date.  Even if a full move is off the table, you may still be able to take advantage of some moving services while keeping costs low.

Lowering costs

Let’s take a closer look at a few ways to drive costs down during the moving process.

Whether you’re comfortable paying for a full service move or every penny matters, there are still ways to lower costs when selecting your long distance movers.

Price matching

Even though it might not be obvious when picking your movers, many companies will price match with competitors if presented with a valid quote.

If you can find affordable movers in your area, request a moving quote from several movers using the same basic guidelines and leverage those results to overcome high costs.

However, price matching may not be as simple as filling out an online form or calling a company representative.  Most movers will want to provide an accurate estimate by visiting your home to take inventory or by asking you to submit an itemized list of furniture and other sundries before sending a final quote.

The quoting process is made even more complicated by COVID-19, but many companies have adapted to this new reality.  Your Hometown Mover and other moving companies have implemented Live Video Estimates, where a live operator can guide you through the steps required to inventory the items in your home.

Gathering accurate estimates can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but you can save thousands in moving costs by driving the costs down among competitors if you’re willing to invest the effort early in the moving process.

Moving labor and packaging services

If you’re comfortable driving your own truck, you can offset the total cost of your relocation and stick to a tight schedule while still taking advantage of some professional moving services.

For most moving companies, the biggest time sink for a move has to do with the logistics that take place behind the scenes.  Everything from the way the truck is loaded to the time commitments required for long-distance transportation increases the overall cost.

However, if you can drive your own truck, you can remove the lion’s share of your relocation cost by simply paying for help when and where you need it.

This is where moving labor comes in.

Rather than paying for end-to-end service with your move, search for companies who hire out their movers on an hourly or daily basis.  These professional movers will apply their expertise to your problem, help you pack and load your contents, then leave the rest of the relocation to you.

When you reach your destination, hire movers in your local area to help you offload your goods and settle into your new home.

Keep in mind that by-the-hour services typically handle specific aspects of your move and what you pay for may vary depending on the complexity of the problem.  It may also be more valuable to you in some places than in others.  

If you’re trying to get out of a fifth floor apartment in Brooklyn or Manhattan, the extra labor may be more valuable than if you just bought real estate outside of Myrtle Beach and can take your time while unpacking.

Overall, hiring services piecemeal is a great way to compromise on the cost and complexity of a move.  Services like this can be a lifesaver when trying to get out of high-density urban areas like New York City and may be worth the cost in time saved.

Your Hometown Mover offers compartmental services to help you get started.  Explore our packing services and moving labor options to learn more.

Financing options

On occasion, you may find financing options available to help you cover the cost of a full-service move.

These “move now, pay later” options allow you to finance the cost of your move over a set term and pay it back with a small amount of interest.

Historically, these options are very limited and have become even more scarce with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transit times

As we discussed in the previous section, moving from NY to SC comes down to covering an approximate distance of between 700 and 950 miles. Moves from New York City are shorter than those from Upstate New York but may potentially cost more due to the higher cost of services.

Regardless of your starting point, most moving companies will estimate delivery between 7 and 15 business days from the date of pickup.

This delay is almost a guarantee because of how your goods will be relocated. After pickup, most traditional moving services will take the contents of your home back to a warehouse, where it will be combined with other shipments bound for the same destination.

This is an effective (and profitable) strategy for the moving company because it allows them to make the most of their resources. Unfortunately, this process also adds additional lead times to your relocation.

Can I request expedited delivery?

Don’t want to wait a week for your furniture to arrive at your new home? Be sure to ask your moving provider about expedited delivery options.

Expedited services typically offer turnaround times of 1 to 3 business days. This is done by avoiding the traditional warehouse consolidation that takes place with a standard delivery. Once your goods are picked up in New York, they’re driven straightaway to your South Carolina home.

As you might expect, speed comes at a premium. These expedited services can add thousands to the cost of your relocation and, depending on the shipper, may only save a day or two on your estimated delivery time.

Be sure to clarify with your shipper before you commit to the costs that accompany an expedited delivery schedule.

Can I request expedited delivery?
Regardless of whether you choose to ship with standard or expedited rates, long-distance moves require the goods inside your home to cover hundreds of miles in a moving truck.

The amount of time that your goods are in transit is one of the key differences between a local move and a long-distance relocation.

Another major factor is your personal visibility while your goods are in transit. When you’re just moving across town, your items are only out of your sight for a brief period of time. You might even be able to follow the moving truck from departure to destination.

With a multi-day move, those options are off the table. Your journey to your new home will be far different from the one that your goods will take. For this reason, it’s common for customers not to know where their shipment is located during transit.

This lack of knowledge can add additional frustrations to your move because you may not have clear insights into when your goods are scheduled to arrive. This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to plan your own logistics.

Shipment tracking

Regardless of whether you choose to ship with standard or expedited rates, long-distance moves require the goods inside your home to cover hundreds of miles in a moving truck.

long distance moving new york to north carolina

The amount of time that your goods are in transit is one of the key differences between a local move and a long-distance relocation.

Another major factor is your personal visibility while your goods are in transit. When you’re just moving across town, your items are only out of your sight for a brief period of time. You might even be able to follow the moving truck from departure to destination.

With a multi-day move, those options are off the table. Your journey to your new home will be far different from the one that your goods will take. For this reason, it’s common for customers not to know where their shipment is located during transit.

This lack of knowledge can add additional frustrations to your move because you may not have clear insights into when your goods are scheduled to arrive. This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to plan your own logistics.

Your Hometown Mover solves this problem by offering GPS real-time tracking information on every shipment. Our software updates every single minute, so you’ll always know where your goods are located.

Other shippers may offer this service, too. If not, see how you can get regular updates on the goods sent through your carrier so that you know when to expect them.

Insurance

ny to nc moving insuranceDeciding on insurance options may be one of the most important and overlooked decisions you can make when relocating over a significant distance.

While most carriers do everything in their power to protect your items and create a worry-free moving experience, accidents can and do happen — and they come with a cost.

Here’s a brief overview of how insurance works and how your items are valued by most moving companies.

Basic liability insurance

Many moving companies offer basic liability insurance as part of their standard moving package.

While this might sound acceptable, these insurance rates are based on the weight of the item rather than its perceived value.  By using this form of insurance, you may be putting the value of your shipment at risk.

For example, if you were given a basic liability rate of $.60 per pound and a valuable painting or precious jewelry was lost or damaged in the move, you would only receive a fraction of the cost when filing your claim.

Premium insurance

For full-value protection, be sure to take advantage of a premium insurance option.  This type of insurance is based on the value of your items rather than the weight. 

However, securing premium coverage requires additional work.

When using premium insurance, you’ll need to provide the estimated value of your items to your moving company.  The company will calculate a price based on the value of the move.  

Often, this includes a deductible that must be paid before a full payout is issued.  If your shipment is lost or destroyed during transit, you can receive the full value of your items (less deductibles).

Using premium insurance is a much better option if you have large antiques or lightweight valuables, where the value of the item is worth more than its weight.Careful consideration should be given to high-value items like oil paintings and antiques when packing for your move.  Your Hometown Mover offers custom crating and packing solutions to ensure that your valuables arrive safe and sound.

Moving vehicles and boats

Like most states in the Deep South (and in Upstate New York, for that matter), the transit system in most major cities across the Palmetto State may be insufficient for your personal needs.

Especially if you plan to explore everything that South Carolina has to offer, you’ll need to invest in a vehicle. If you don’t have one, it may be best to wait until you arrive in South Carolina before making that purchase to avoid the logistics involved with relocating a vehicle.

If you already have a car, the most practical way to relocate it is to drive it down the East Coast. Unfortunately, this may not be viable if you’re not interested in a long road trip or if multiple vehicles (or boats) are involved.

When relocating yourself, you can attach a rig to the back of a moving truck and pull your car along with you. Be aware that any trailer attachment drastically extends the length of your vehicle. This can create additional difficulty if you’re unfamiliar with handling larger vehicles.

When working with professional movers, vehicle relocation requires specialized equipment that most moving companies won’t have on hand. Instead, your movers will contract out with auto-transporters or riggers to fill that need.

These services are hired on a contract basis and may not be a part of the delivery schedule outlined by your mover. As a third party, your vehicle may be excluded from expedited delivery windows and similar services that are guaranteed by your moving company.

South Carolina Resources

Overall, the cost of living in South Carolina is slightly below the cost of living in cities like Syracuse, Rochester, or Buffalo.  One notable exception is Hilton Head, where costs are slightly higher than other cities and towns across the state.

For New Yorkers relocating out of any of the five boroughs, the cost of living is considerably lower, but you should expect to incur additional costs that stem from a need for reliable transportation.

Cost of living

Overall, the cost of living in South Carolina is slightly below the cost of living in cities like Syracuse, Rochester, or Buffalo.  One notable exception is Hilton Head, where costs are slightly higher than other cities and towns across the state.

For New Yorkers relocating out of any of the five boroughs, the cost of living is considerably lower, but you should expect to incur additional costs that stem from a need for reliable transportation.

Regions

Overall, the cost of living in South Carolina is slightly below the cost of living in cities like Syracuse, Rochester, or Buffalo.  One notable exception is Hilton Head, where costs are slightly higher than other cities and towns across the state.

For New Yorkers relocating out of any of the five boroughs, the cost of living is considerably lower, but you should expect to incur additional costs that stem from a need for reliable transportation.

Upstate

Located in the westernmost part of the state, the Upstate or Upcountry region of South Carolina backs up against the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains and encompasses cities like Greenville, Anderson, and Spartanburg.

Great hiking and camping are available in this region, with a variety of state parks clustered in the foothills of the Appalachian Range, including Caesar’s Head State Park, Table Rock State Park, and others.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a two hour drive from Greenville and certainly worth the trip.

Midlands

The economic hub of South Carolina, the Midlands region is home to Columbia, the state capital, and is full of history, museums, and a robust nightlife.

Just outside the city, you can also visit Congaree National Park, the largest old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the Southeast.

Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, a strong urban scene, or a new job opportunity, you can find it all in the heartland of the state.

Low Country

The South Carolina Low Country (or Lowcountry) comprises the coastal regions of the state.  If you love water and water-based activities, this region is a slice of paradise.

In addition to paddling, surfing, and fishing, this region is also home to some of the best golf courses in the Palmetto State.  You’ll also find hot vacation spots like Kiawah Island, Myrtle Beach, and Mount Pleasant right in your own backyard.

No matter where you’re from, you’ll always find a way to relax when you visit the coast.

Weather considerations

Due to its position between the mountains and the coast, South Carolina experiences a wide variety of weather conditions.

The Upstate will sometimes see snow in the winter months.  While these flurries aren’t as intense as anything a New Yorker will have experienced, the region isn’t equipped to handle this precipitation and any snowfall will shut down schools and businesses.

While the coast is in danger of a direct strike from a hurricane, the entire state is prone to tropical storm- and hurricane-force winds as storms move across the Deep South.  

When major storms make landfall in Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi, they often turn east as they make their way inland and pass through the Upstate and the Midlands.

Be sure to prepare for flooding and severe weather.  Even without hurricanes, the southern heat gives way to afternoon thunderstorms, squalls, and occasional tornadoes throughout the year.

Coronavirus considerations

South Carolina’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been dramatically different from responses in New York and other states in the Northeast.

While New York has worked diligently to suppress the virus since becoming the epicenter of the disease in April 2020, officials in many southern states have taken a less restrictive approach.

Across the state, bars and restaurants remain open, as do fitness centers, movie theaters, tanning salons and other businesses.  You can find out more about ongoing restrictions and closures by checking the COVID-19 resources page.

YHM is a NY to SC Moving Company

Relocating from New York to South Carolina can be a massive undertaking, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Your Hometown Mover can help.  With locations in New York and South Florida, our teams can work with you to create a long-distance moving solution that makes sense for your family.

We offer guaranteed pricing and offer expedited delivery within 1 to 3 days for many moves.  Get a free moving quote today.

Our team will do the heavy lifting so that you can spend less time worrying about your relocation and more time enjoying your new home.


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