Moving? Follow This Moving to a New State Checklist
There’s a lot of work that goes into making a move. This is especially true if you’re moving to a new state.
There are a lot of pieces to pull together as you plan this major life move. Where will you live? Where will you work? Do you know anyone where you’re going?
And are you selling a home in addition to packing up your life and starting over somewhere new? If so, that adds a host of additional tasks to your to-do list.
It might sound overwhelming, but if you do the research, stay calm and keep organized, you’ll be able to keep your stress levels low. Here’s a handy moving to a new state checklist to help you make the transition.
Do Your Research
Before you settle on a new city in a new state, do your research. Luckily, the internet makes it easy for you to research any city right from your own home.
Find blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets from the area you’re considering moving to and start reading. This will give you a feel for what life is like in that region.
And don’t forget about social media. You can join city-specific groups on Facebook, follow certain hashtags on Twitter or find forums for your future home on Reddit and other sites. You can interact with people who already live there and ask them what they like and don’t like about the area.
There are numerous websites, like City-Data and Neighborhood Scout, that rate the livability of many cities and regions, and provide data on just about anything you’re looking for. The United States census website also has plenty of information on hand for you to review, as well.
Compare Moving Companies
Don’t wait until the last minute to find a moving company. Start looking for the right company months in advance of your move.
Not all moving companies are willing to handle an out-of-state move, so make sure that’s one of the first questions you ask them. Also, be sure to ask about their rates and how long it will take them to arrive at your new home. Sometimes, moving companies will relocate several homes at once, which could delay when they deliver your belongings.
Visit the City You’re Moving to
Even if a move has been sprung on you unexpectedly—maybe family emergencies are bringing you to a new town or your job is transferring you to a new office – try to find the time to visit your new city and state first. Internet research is incredibly useful, but seeing a city in person will give you the best idea of where you’re heading.
Do the Math
Before you pack a single box, do the math and compare the cost of living in your state to the city you’re moving to. This could have an impact on your move.
If your salary remains the same, but the cost of living is higher in your new city, what do you do? Do you scrap the move and find somewhere else to go? Or do you simply adjust your expectations in your new city and find a more affordable place to live.
Some things, though, like cost of utilities, taxes, food, gas, and car insurance, can’t be controlled. Ultimately, you need to consider your quality of life and what you can live with and without.
Sell Your House Before You Move
If you’re selling a home in addition to moving to a new state, do your best to sell your property before you leave. It will be more difficult to sell it if you’re not living in the state.
If your move is unexpected, you might not have a lot of time to work with. Still, you have options. Find yourself a top real estate agent to work with in your area.
Or find a cash buyer who is interested in moving the deal along quickly. You’ve probably seen those signs on the side of the road before, the ones that say, “We buy any house.” You might be uncertain about them, but they’re often legitimate buyers who are flipping homes for a profit.
Decide If You Want to Rent or Own In Your New City
As you plan your out-of-state move, you’ll need to determine if you want to rent or own when you move to your new city. Your decision will come down to your financial and personal circumstances, and there are benefits to both scenarios.
If you buy immediately, then that’s a financial investment and provides your family with stability. You can settle into your new life.
If you rent first, though, this is an opportunity to get to know different neighborhoods and areas before making the commitment of purchasing a home. It’s also an opportunity to save up money for a down payment and make sure you’re happy in your new state.
Consider Your Commute
As you look for a home in your new state, carefully consider the location of the home you rent or purchase as it relates to where you work. Mapping your daily commute can let you know how much time you’ll spend in the car or using public transportation each day. This could impact your overall well-being.
Remember to check these times during rush hour for the most accurate sense of what your commute will be like. And also consider the distance of your home from other landmarks—your kids’ schools, supermarkets and shopping districts, friends and family, bus, or train stations.
Ready to Start Checking Off Items On Your Moving to a New State Checklist?
Now that you have a moving to a new state checklist to help you relocate, check out the Real Estate Talk section of my blog for more tips on buying, selling, and renting a home. I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and experiences to help others invest their money and improve their way of life.