Moving to a Different State: Everything You Must Know
As careers advance, some people are presented the opportunity to relocate to a different office.
And by different office, that generally means a different state.
Whether that is the next state over or across the country, relocating to a new state is no walk in the park.
With the hassle of finding a new house, packing up all your belongings and managing feelings of anxiety and excitement, there’s a lot to do in little time.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and on edge when moving to a new and unfamiliar city.
Luckily, there are ways to avoid feeling unprepared and anxious before your official move.
To ease your transition, we have the top moving tips on how to easily relocate to a new state.
Before your visit
Research the town
First and foremost, it is highly recommended to pay a visit of your new town.
Do not skip out on the initial visit and carelessly move into an area you never set foot in.
It would be extremely unfortunate if you and your family packed up and moved hours away to a crime infested and unsanitary city.
Before you visit, take some time to research online for local amenities, crime statistics, school districts, restaurants and community rules to get a better feel for what the town is like. By familiarizing yourself with how the town functions, the easier it will be for you to adapt.
While researching, take note of how far away convenient stores, hospitals and schools are away from your targeted neighborhood. You do not want to blindly move into a new town without knowing how many minutes it will take to drive to the nearest Target.
It can be scary relocating to a new area you have never visited before.
That’s why it is important to do your due diligence and proactively research the town. Avoid moving to an area that does not meet your criteria by carefully analyzing the town’s overall condition.
Niche.com is a popular website people use to learn more about what each town has to offer, including personal reviews of the neighborhood and local schools.
Simply, researching prior to your visit will give you more clarity of what you should expect, financially, mentally and physically.
Ask your employer for help
If you are relocating to start a new job or advance your career, be sure to ask your employer for help.
Some companies offer moving assistance for their employees moving to a new state. To start off on a good note, certain employers are more than willing to provide financial assistance to cover various moving expenses.
In some cases, employers will help their employees with selling their old home and buying their new one.
This is very attractive to people that are unfamiliar with the buying and selling process, which makes their transition even smoother.
On the other hand, if you are first moving then finding a job, make sure the area you are moving to has jobs available.
You don’t want to move to a new town that has a small pool of employment. It will make your transition harder and could place you in a financially tough situation.
Before you move, research or talk with a head hunter to see if the area has jobs available within your field. Wouldn’t it be a shame to pack up and move hundreds of miles away just to figure out job opportunities are minimal?
Figure out your finances
It goes without saying, you will need to straighten and figure out your finances before your big move.
Moving is a huge expense itself, along with handling a new mortgage, finances play a vital role during this process.
To make this transition easier on yourself, find a specialized mortgage lender that commonly works with relocation mortgages. Working with lenders that focus on specific transactions will make your mortgage process a breeze.
To get a better idea of how homes are priced, you can use websites like Zillow or Trulia, so you can budget accordingly. By looking at comparable homes in the area, you will be able to get a general idea of how much money you will need to finance the home.
Looking at comparable homes also paints a clearer picture of how much homes are selling for. Because you are an out-of-towner, people may try to take advantage of you.
Avoid getting schemed by familiarizing yourself on how similar properties are being sold for.
Not only will you need to factor in the down payment, but also at least two to three months’ worth of principle interest, taxes, insurance fees and monthly mortgage payments.
In addition to other expenses like new appliances or furniture.
However, it is highly advised to wait a few months to buy new home items. Give yourself time to build up some wealth and settle into your new home so you can figure out what you really need.
During your visit
Spend your time wisely
Once you have planned a weekend to go visit your new town, be sure to spend your time wisely.
During your scheduled home tour, take into account of the home’s overall condition by looking at the foundation, furnace system, plumbing, flooring and other crucial aspects.
Typically, many people are in a time crunch when relocating to a new state for a job.
Although time is limited, you don’t want to rush through your home tours. These visits will be extremely important, so you can make a safe and informed decision for you and your family.
When you are walking through a home, refer to this essential guide of the top things to look for when buying a home. This way, there’s no way you will make an offer on the wrong home, wherever you may go!
Determining whether the home is up to your standards is a big selling point.
You and your family want to feel as comfortable as possible in your new home. Having a sense of security in your home is crucial, in addition to your neighborhood.
Set some time aside to evaluate the neighborhood’s condition, safety and road rules, such as the speed limit, stop signs and parking restrictions.
Make sure to budget even more time if you have kids.
You will want to schedule a visit to the town’s local school to see where your children could attend. As a parent, you want to send your kids to a well-educated, safe and welcoming school.
Give yourself reassurance that your move will benefit your career and your children’s academics by touring the school. You can request to see the school’s standardized test scores, ask what tools teachers use with their students and ask if there are any tutoring programs.
Not to mention, if your kids are athletically active, you will need to find what clubs or facilities offer your child’s sport of choice. This applies for any hobby, like musical lessons or artistic workshops, you will need to locate these companies to help ease your kids transition and keep their lives as normal as possible.
Factor in paperwork
During your visit, don’t forget to factor in paperwork aside from your mortgage lender, buying contract, insurance fees and monthly mortgage payments.
In addition to this stack of paperwork, you will need to delicately handle personal paperwork.
If you have kids, you will have to send in their academic transcripts to their new school. When children transfer to a new school, the board of education typically requests a transcript to evaluate the child’s behavior, academics and extra circular activities.
Generally, public schools have a higher acceptance rate versus a private school, which has a longer and deeper interview process.
In addition to your children’s academic paperwork, you will have to fill out medical papers as well. When you relocate to a new state, you will need to find a new doctor for you and your family.
If you are having trouble finding a doctor, you can always ask your employer for a referral, or a friend that is in the area.
Whether you have a complicated or straightforward medical background, make this transition easy on you and your new doctor by providing them medical documents.
Your physician will greatly appreciate this paperwork, so they can have a better overview of your medical history and treat you and your family appropriately.
Most likely, you will arrive in your new town by car.
Moving by car is somewhat easier than flying, mainly because you don’t have to ship boxes. You won’t have to worry about shipping fees, being restricted to weight limits or worry about things getting lost in transit.
In addition to plane tickets, which can be quite expensive. With the convenience a car brings, it’s almost a no-brainer.
Once you have settled in, remember to change your license plates according to your new state. Your employer will most likely require you to change it immediately, so they can register you into their system.
With all the documents, home features and school details you will hear during your visit, it can be hard to remember it all. Nothing’s worse than trying to recall something and you are 50% unsure of what is right.
Throughout your visit, make sure you have a pad and pen and take some notes. This will help organize your thoughts, observations and record details of the home, neighborhood and city.
Save yourself the headache and take notes of what you see.
Your visit will be time constrained and jam-packed with loads of information. It could be overwhelming hearing so many important details, which can make it difficult to recall later.
Avoid feeling uncertain by creating your own cheat-cheat and take thorough notes.
After your visit
Make a decision
After you have visited, you can make a knowledgeable decision.
Don’t panic if you didn’t click with the home you toured, there’s always a plan B.
An alternative solution would be to rent out a home or an apartment on a month-to-month basis, so you can become more familiar with the area.
This will also give you more time to search for a home that better suits you and your family.
Make your packing checklist
To help stay on track and plan for your moving day, create or use a packing checklist. Utilizing a checklist will help you monitor your belongings room by room so you won’t leave anything behind.
Leading up to your moving day, pack up as much as you can and live with only the bare essentials.
Avoid procrastinating and pack your belongings as soon as possible in portable moving containers to make your moving experience easier on you and your back.
Depending on your final destination, it may be smart to ship certain items out to your new home. Some basic items include a few changes of clothes, cooking utensils, an inflatable mattress and towels.
It’s recommended to ship these items before you leave so you can arrive to your new home with these basic necessities already at your front doorstep.
CAUTION – Do not pack important papers. This includes your buying contract, birth certificates, marriage license, Social Security cards or any other documents that prove your residency or homeownership status. You will most likely need these documents on hand once you arrive.
Cancel old and set up new
As a homeowner, there are several services you need set up initially.
This typically includes utilities, electricity, lawn care, Internet and TV providers.
Before you move, you will need to cancel old services and begin new contacts at your new home.
Don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with the area, your realtor can give you suggestions on which providers you should contact for those services.
Once you have your moving day scheduled, arrange for the utilities to be activated on the day before you arrive to make sure everything is working properly.
Schedule your move
Finally, you are now able to officially schedule your move.
Experts advise movers to arrive a few days or a week before their first day of work begins. This gives homeowners time to unpack, become acquainted with the neighborhood and feel comfortable in their new home.
By budgeting a few extra days before this new chapter of your life begins, you can leisurely take the time to set up your home, introduce yourself to the neighbors and explore the neighborhood.
Use this time to find the best routes to work, locate the nearest convenience store and scout out the best coffee shops. This will help make your transition easier if you take the time to familiarize yourself to your new surroundings.
By no means will this transition be completely seamless. It will take time and patience to truly adjust and adapt to your new environment. But with these tips, relocating to a new state will seem less chaotic and easy.