Relocating? Here's What to Consider First.
Relocating out of state can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. Sometimes both at the same time! While you're facing a considerable move and life change, it doesn't have to be scary. Here are some tips to consider as you plan your move to make the process a little less daunting, hopefully.
Plan a Decent-Sized Relocation Budget
Relocating could cost more than you think. According to Home Advisor's data, moving out of state costs, on average, $4,568. Moving longer distances – across the country, for instance – could run you $10,000 or more.
These costs factor in many different things. Here are just a few of the expenses you'll need to budget for:
Selling your current home or ending a lease.
A security deposit or down payment and closing costs.
Moving furniture and other belongings.
New or upgraded furniture (if you're moving into a bigger place).
Utility fees, including set-up fees for internet and cable.
General moving expenses.
If you're relocating for a new job, your employer could cost some or all these expenses. Make sure you check in with the company to see what they offer for relocation assistance.
Plan a Visit to Your New Area
Whether you're relocating in a few months or thinking a couple of years out, it's a good idea to actually visit the new city you're moving to. Plan a slightly longer trip so you can get a feel for the neighborhoods, the downtown areas, the nightlife, the local culture, and the public transportation system.
Since you're already planning to live here, no need to take sightseeing trips or hit up must-see sites that won't help your reconnaissance. After all, you'll have plenty of time to do all these things when you live here!
Research Your New Area
If you're moving out of state, there's a lot of unknowns! Do your research before planning the big move. You'll want to understand the cost of living in this new area as well as any tax laws that might be different from where you currently reside.
State tax changes could impact your homebuying journey and will undoubtedly affect your tax statements at the end of the year. If you're moving to a new state, you might end up paying income tax to multiple states.
Additionally, you'll want to look into any local laws that might be new to you. For example, some cities have specific traffic laws that could affect you while driving in your new city.
Line Up a Job Before Moving
You might be relocating for a job, which means you can skip this step. If not, it might be a good idea to have a job lined up before you move. You can certainly start the job search while you're in the process of relocating, but having a job in place will make the entire move less stressful. If you don't plan on getting hired somewhere locally, plan in-person interviews around your visit to the area.
If You're Working Remote, Check on Benefits and Pay Changes
Many jobs offer remote work, so you might be able to expand your job search beyond your new city. Or you might be able to continue working at the same place you're at now. If you're planning to do the latter, you'll want to check on possible benefits or pay changes.
Health insurance might be the biggest benefit that will be affected here. You'll likely need to switch plans if coverage doesn't extend to your new city. Providers in your area might not accept your insurance, or your copays and premiums might change.
The cost of labor varies state by state, which means it's possible your pay could change depending on where you're moving – for better or worse. These shouldn't be deterrents to your relocation but additional factors in your decision.
Planning a big move to a new state – or even across the country – is exciting! Take the time to prepare for your relocation, plan ahead to visit, and start enjoying your new city right away, and you'll be set up to have an easier transition when the time comes.