Relocating to another state can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. It can be a lot more complicated than moving a town or two over. So many things could be different including the cost of living, the type of schooling, and even the local culture.
Keep reading to learn the top things you should consider before you relocate.
Know the City and State You are Relocating To
Whether you chose the location or your company chose it for you, there’s a lot to research. You can do your research on the internet, reading what others have to say about the area. However, there’s nothing that can outdo visiting it yourself. During your first visit or two, you may want to visit the state as a tourist. See what they state has to offer. Chances are you’ll look at the area in a whole new light when you look at it as a visitor, rather than a resident.
The next time you visit, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. But this time around, visit the state and your town’s visitor’s center. Learn about the area’s culture. See what ‘fun’ things there are to do. This may give you a different type of appreciation for the area, making it more exciting to move there.
Check out the Housing Market
Once you are sure about moving to the area, it’s time to research the housing market. What are the prices like? Are they prices you are used to or do you have to sacrifice? Will you be able to purchase a home of similar size to what you have now?
If you have to make changes, do some heavy research. Will you have to move from a house to a condo? Maybe you’ll even have to rent for a little while. You’ll want to research average home prices, rent prices, and which areas are the best to live. This step could take quite some time, so make sure you allow plenty of opportunities to do this. A housing purchase or even signing a lease, could be a long-term decision, you want it to be a happy one.
Check out the Schools
Before you decide on a neighborhood, you’ll want to know about the schooling. Whether you have kids now or plan to have them in the future, you need to know what schools have to offer. Buying a house before researching the schools could be a big mistake.
It’s acceptable to ask the area’s schools for a tour of the school. You also have the right to ask administration as many questions as you see fit. After all, this is a big decision that affects your children too. Find out what the school offers, if the curriculum is what your children are used to receiving, and what extracurricular activities are available for your children.
Watch the Commute
Do you own your own car? Do you rely on public transportation? Whatever you are used to now, but not be the norm for the area you may move to. Pay close attention as to how people get around. Is it mostly street parking in the areas you are looking? Do you see a lot of people walking, as you do in city areas? This may mean that parking is a premium and could be a nuisance.
How close will your place of employment be to the area you are considering moving? If you don’t have a job yet, research how easy it is to get around. Do the neighborhoods have easy access to expressways? Is there easy access to public transportation?
Know the Weather
If you are moving from one climate to another, it can be shocking. Research the typical weather for the area you may move to so you are aware beforehand. For example, moving from Florida to Chicago can be quite a culture shock. Chicago gets some brutal winters and is only ‘Florida hot,’ for around 3 months out of the year.
If the weather is drastically different, you’ll have to budget clothing into your expenses. You may also have to invest in tools, such as snow blowers and shovels. Read about the weather and make sure it’s something you can easily handle before deciding on a location.
Understand the Taxes
Taxes differ from state to state and even county to county. You’ll want to know ahead of time the average cost of taxes. If you move from an area with low taxes to an area with outrageous taxes, it can be quite shocking.
Talking to a realtor about the taxes in the area should give you a good idea of what to expect. You can also use the county’s tax assessor’s site to look at the cost of real estate taxes yourself. Make sure it’s something you can afford. You may even want to look at the historical pattern of the taxes to see if they have a history of increasing exponentially. This could affect your decision as well.
Know the Culture
Finally, you’ll want to know about the culture. Is it drastically different than what you are used to? Will you stick out like a sore thumb? Are the people friendly or will it be hard for you and your children to make new friends? Believe it or not, the culture could be the deciding factor in whether your move was a good decision. If you don’t fit in, you may have buyer’s remorse and feel homesick for your old location. If you do fit in, though, it can make the transition simple.
Use these simple ideas to help you make the most of your relocation out of state. No matter how far you move or how prepared you are, it’s going to be a shock. But, these steps can help alleviate some of the stress and best prepare you for what lies ahead.