So you’re relocating for work and moving to a new state? Moving to another state will likely elicit fear or apprehension, no matter your age, but a healthy dose of excitement should follow. If not, you may want to rethink your big move out of state and the subsequent job offer. This article will cover how to move to another state properly, so whether you’re looking for tips for moving out of state for the first time, it’s been a while since your last move, or you’re simply looking for a refresher on how to move states, we’ve got you covered.
#1 The Moving Out of State Jitters
We all get cold feet sometimes, especially with significant life changes. If you have lived in your current city for some time now, you may occasionally be overwhelmed with the thought of relocating to another city and leaving your family, friends, home, and familiar locations. Remember, some change is good. Weigh the pros and cons of relocating to another state, and don’t let occasional jitters get in the way. If you decide to relocate for work and are going forward with moving to a different state, know that it will offer its own set of challenges and rewards.
#2 Moving Costs
First off, is your job offer more lucrative than your current salary? Moving out of state can get expensive quickly. If you are simply accepting a linear position to relocate to another state for a fresh start or change of scenery, that’s okay, but you must do extensive research first. Make a moving out checklist. First and foremost, what is the cost of living in the new city you are relocating to? Is it less expensive or more expensive? If it’s more costly, you must ask for a pay increase that aligns with your relocation. If the cost of living is, say, 8% higher, you will need at least an 8% raise to live the way you are accustomed to now.
Also, factor in all of your moving costs:
- Insured professional movers and/or moving truck
- Storage fees
- Travel expenses (gas, airline tickets, and accommodations)
Then, factor in costs when you arrive
- Price of rent or mortgage
- Baby sitter or pet sitter
You need to research all the costs in the moving out of state checklist above before accepting your job relocation, then set a budget. Is your place of business covering some or all of your moving costs? If you’re not sure, then it doesn’t hurt to ask. Meet with your boss, but price everything out first. Present your carefully planned moving expenses to your manager, and see what they can accommodate. If they are unwilling to cover your costs, you must plan accordingly. If finances are too tight, then you may not be able to accept the offer.
#3 Research Your New City
To prepare for moving, if you can take some time off to visit your new city, then do so. If this isn’t an option, ask your employer if they can set you up with temporary corporate housing, so you can find out if working from a new location is right for you. If your employer can’t accommodate a temporary relocation, extensive internet research is in order. Modern technology has made it easy to find out what a city has to offer while connecting with real people in that location; you can even make new friends before you go. Searching for a home has also never been easier with various apps, real estate websites, and computer programs. You can even access neighborhoods in 3D on VR headsets like Quest using applications like Wander.
What should you research?
- Hobbies and activities
- Shopping and restaurants
- City infrastructure
- Cost of living
- Crime rate
#4 Renting, Buying, and Selling Your Home
Are you renting or buying your new home? The typical rule of thumb is that you don’t want to spend more than 30% of your income on your rent or mortgage. Find a property that checks most of your boxes. What is its proximity to your new job, and how long will the commute be? What is most important to you; good schools for your children, a safe neighborhood, outdoor activities, a backyard, a pool, a view, ample space, or a close location to the city? You may have to look at many properties before finding a good fit, so try to ask for adequate time from your employer to do so.
If you are currently renting and need to rent a new property, will you have to break your lease? Talk terms with your landlord; they may allow you to find a new renter to take your spot because breaking a lease can get expensive.
Find out upfront costs and what you must do to secure your property. Often, a deposit or earnest money is required to secure a new home, and most reputable properties will require a credit check.
While renting offers perks like more flexibility, less commitment, covered maintenance costs, and certain building amenities, purchasing a home offers the opportunity to build equity. Building equity means that when the time comes, you can usually sell your home for more than you paid. However, owning a home requires a lot of responsibility; you should always save for unforeseen repairs, remodeling projects, and increases to your insurance, HOA dues, and property taxes.
If you are buying a home in a new state and still need to sell your old one, this can get complicated and stressful quickly. Will you need funds from the sale of your current home to put a down payment on your new one? You should strive for at least a 20% down payment on a property to avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) on top of your regular homeowner’s insurance.
What are your options if you find a new home you love but need to sell your old one to purchase it? Some sellers will allow for a contingency buy, whereby purchasing your new home is contingent upon selling your old one. If a seller does not offer a contingency and refuses to hold the property for you, a bridge loan is another option. A bridge loan is a short-term high-interest loan that typically provides up to 80% of your costs. This type of loan can benefit a buyer if they plan to repay it quickly (under a year). Otherwise, the high-interest rates coupled with your new mortgage can get expensive fast. Another option is to ask for more time; extend the close date of your new home for as long as the seller will allow, and get your old house on the market as quickly as possible.
Make sure you have good real estate agents on both ends; one to sell your old home and one to secure your new property. Don’t sign any binding contracts until you are sure you are working with someone you trust.
#5 Murphy’s Law
Plan for things to go wrong, but hope for the best. Don’t get discouraged. Leave yourself a monetary safety net for unexpected expenses, and prioritize your mental health by interspersing self-care routines with your large list of tasks; go for walks, meditate, or plan a fun activity in your new city.
#6 Getting Adjusted to Your New City
When you arrive in your new city, there will be lots to do; this, coupled with a new job, can be stressful. Take it one day at a time. While you might long for everything to be done immediately, this isn’t the reality. It takes time to unpack boxes, hang artwork, organize shelves, fill drawers, arrange furniture, paint, and hook up electronics. It will also take time to adjust to your new job and the responsibilities required of you. Making new friends and setting up new routines professionally and personally will take time. It will undoubtedly take some work and persistence to become comfortable living and working in a new city, but it’s not impossible, so try and have fun with it.
#7 Change of Address and Other Updates
Here’s another section to add to your checklist for moving out of state. Don’t forget to update these things as soon as possible to your new location:
- Postal service
- Credit cards
- Driver’s license
- Voter registration
- Vehicle registration and license plate
- Toll tag
- Home security
- Pet registration
Good luck with your move!
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