Are you considering an out of state move? Before you load up the moving truck and hit the highway, there are several important factors to think about.
15 Factors to Consider Before the Move
Moving to a new state involves much more than just changing addresses. Set aside some time to do your research and prepare your finances so that your move can be as stress-free as possible.
If you have school-age children, it's imperative to research the quality of the public school system in the new state. You should also inquire about the cost of tuition for daycare and private schools (if applicable) to determine if the rates are comparable to what you're already paying.
Unless you're moving to a state that does not assess income taxes, you should reach out to the Department of Revenue to determine what percentage will be deducted from your income. Also, be mindful of state-specific sales and use tax rates.
3. Employment Market
Are there lucrative job opportunities in your new state? How's the unemployment rate? Is the average salary enough to survive on and complement your lifestyle? These are some of the factors you want to find answers to when considering an out-of-state move.
4. Housing Market
You should analyze the housing market to determine if it's comparable to where you currently reside. If the prices of rentals or homes are significantly higher, you'll need to ensure your new income is sufficient enough to fill the void. To conduct your research, start with sites like ApartmentGuide.com, Trulia, Realtor.com and Zillow. It's also a good idea to reach out to a real estate agent in the new area.
If you enjoy spending evenings on the town or hanging out with your little ones on the weekend, you'll need to find an area with a culture that suits your interests and lifestyle. Otherwise, you'll be forced to travel to other cities to find sources of entertainment.
Are there reputable healthcare providers in your new state? What health insurance options are available there? How does the healthcare system rank in comparison to other states? If you or a family member have a medical condition that requires specialized attention, this could make or break the deal.
Beyond health insurance, how will the move affect your car, renter's or homeowner's insurance rates? You can check with your current provider to obtain a quote or referral for a recommended provider if they don't offer coverage in your new state. This will also give you an idea of the average premiums in your state.
8. Physical Costs of Moving Out of State
Unless your new employer has already agreed to cover all your moving expenses, chances are you'll incur at least a few thousand in expenses. Get quotes from a few moving companies to be sure you have a realistic idea of the cost. Keep in mind that little expenses that can add up quickly are bound to surface.
9. Transportation/Traffic Patterns
Before moving to a new state, familiarize yourself with local public transportation options and traffic patterns. Commute times definitely play an integral role in determining where you should live and whether a particular position is worthwhile. Traffic patterns also determine what your monthly transportation costs will be and if it's better to take public transportation.
Moving out of state can pose major emotional and financial issues if you're in a serious relationship or married. If you cohabitate, you must sort out the living arrangements. Plus, you want to be mindful of the negative emotional impact that could result if the move calls for an extended long-distance relationship.
11. DMV Costs
It's illegal to keep the same license, tag and registration when you relocate to a new state. Therefore, you'll need to inquire about the fees in your new state. Unfortunately, you may discover that the price variance is significantly higher than expected.
Setting up home in a new state requires quite a bit of up-front cash to get started beyond the obvious expenses. For example, when you move into your new home you'll need to fork over cash to get your utilities up and running. You'll also need to pay a security deposit if you rent or a down payment and closing costs if you buy.
13. Mental Health
Are you mentally prepared for the move? Relocating to another state means lots of changes and for some, increased levels of stress that could hinder your progress in your career and personal life.
Does your current bank have a branch in the new state? If not, ask your financial institution for recommendations in your new state. Also, touch base with creditors to update your address so you'll receive all correspondence and your credit rating will be protected.
Have you spent any time assessing your current financial situation? An out of state move may be enticing for several reasons, but it could also place an additional strain on your finances. Therefore, it may be best to wait if your finances are in shambles and you are having trouble making ends meet.
Preparing for the Move
Once you've determined that an out of state move is right for you, use helpful moving tips to create a detailed plan to make the transition as smooth as possible. Also, be sure that your plan is realistic so you won't be blindsided with a slew of unexpected costs and setbacks while you're relocating.