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A 30-year mortgage may be the norm in America, but staying 30 years in the same home most definitely is not. In fact, American adults average a move every five years.

You'd think that with all that relocating, we'd get pretty good at it. But everyone has heard woeful tales of battered boxes, lost loads and malevolent movers who hold belongings hostage while they demand cash for their grossly inflated bill. And that doesn't even include the unfortunate tales of those who discover too late that they've unintentionally moved into a flawed community, marred by feuds or noise or pollution.

Well, help is at hand in the Bankrate Moving Guide. If there's a move in your future, and for most of us there is, here's how to do it right. Learn how to check out the new neighborhood before you sign on the dotted line, how to pick a trustworthy and competent mover and how to deal with those special situations that complicate the process. And while you're here, take a look at some people with unique moving problems -- such as the settlers in the Old West.

P R E P A R I N G

Pro or no? -- Should you rent a truck and move yourself or hire a company to haul your belongings to the next abode? What to weigh when deciding between the two options.

Look before you leap -- Facing an optional move in the near future? Here's how to find out if the area or region you're considering would be a good or bad match for you and your family.

M O V I N G

24 moving mistakes you can avoid -- Learn from others who've been there before and don't make these relocation blunders.

Downsizing: Making do with less -- Downsizing isn't just for retirees and empty nesters. Sometimes circumstances may force you to rethink and reduce your living space. These tips help make the transition smoother.

C O S T S

Uncle Sam can help pay many moving expenses -- If you moved in connection with a job, then many of your transfer expenses may be deductible.

Moving target: best mover, lowest price -- Steer clear of low-ball estimates with this plan to get the best mover at the best price.

O U T of the B O X

Tips for frequent movers -- On average, American adults move every five years. So perhaps it's time to think about alternatives to the traditional 30-year mortgage approach to home buying.

Wagons ho! When moving was really tough -- How about a six-month-long move? If you think loading up that moving truck to relocate thousands of miles across the country to the West Coast is more complicated than it's ever been, think again. You could be trying to travel across the country in 1850.

Guide to Moving
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