Moving To A New State? 11 Considerations To Make Before Moving
Are you thinking of moving to a new state in the near future and unsure of the impacts to you, your family, and your finances?
There are a lot of considerations to make when contemplating a big move. And to top it off, sometimes a person has to make a quick decision which adds tons of stress to the mix.
Having gone through this exact situation, I am here to help! Let's take a look at the most important items to think about in regards to moving to a new state.
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What Are The Reasons You Want To Move To A New State?
Before we get into the factors that go into moving to a new state, I believe it is important to figure out your "why" first. What are the real reasons prompting the potential move?
Are you moving for a new job or more future financial opportunities? A safer location for your family? A more comfortable climate twelve months out of the year?
Once you get this sorted out, before acting, visit the location first before doing anything! I can't stress this enough. Go there for a week, or at least a long weekend. Drive around the city or location. See if it jives with your likes and interests. You might see this as an added expense, but moving IS expensive. You don't want to be disappointed and looking to move again in two years. That would be a tough financial pill to swallow.
Considerations To Make Before You Move To A New State
Moving Away From Family And Friends
One of the hardest things about moving to a new state is leaving family and friends behind. There will be some who are happy for you and wish you well, and others who are sad, angry, and probably flat out jealous. Are you prepared to deal with this? It's draining when you have so many other things to focus on when moving.
Adding to the complexity are the feelings of your kids (if you have them), and the friends they've made in the neighborhood and at school. Nobody likes making their children sad and no matter how you try to pitch the move to them, sadness will likely happen.
Moving while the kids are young makes it somewhat easier I suppose, but seeing tears from a 5 year old hurts just the same.
However, you will make new friends in the new location. And you can make trips to visit your family and old friends. Your kids will settle in and as you become part of the new community, life will become normal again.
How Healthy Is The Job Market Where You Are Moving?
We all know how important it is to find good quality jobs. Don't let this be lost on you as you contemplate moving to a new state.
Even if you are moving for a promotion or a new job, things can change in a hurry. You may decide you aren't right for the new position and want to change jobs. Or perhaps you have a spouse that is looking for new work after this move. Moving to an area where jobs are hard to come by might turn out to be a problem in your future.
It pays to put some hours of research into the city or area you are considering moving to. Check out the job listings online, read some recent articles regarding the local market, pick the brain of any new coworkers you may have. Most people love to help and give opinions, take advantage!
Consider Tax Implications When Moving To A New State
There are only a couple of certainties in life....death and taxes. You can't do much about the death part but you can be mindful of taxes. Taxes, especially income tax, can make a huge difference in your life. There is a reason why a lot of people are moving from California to Nevada, and from New Jersey to Florida.
Even a five percent income tax change, either higher or lower, can amount to thousands of dollars annually. Unless your salary offsets a potential tax hike, it may not make fiscal sense to move to a new state strictly for a job.
Check out the 2020 State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for a guide by the Tax Foundation. Keep in mind that there are seven states that do not tax income.
Aside from income tax, property and sales tax are a couple of others to look at which will impact you.
Image Source- Tax Foundation
How Expensive Is Real Estate And Rent?
As you most likely know, housing prices vary enormously across the country. You certainly don't want sticker shock after accepting a new promotion or job and have your mind made up on moving.
Now this works both ways. Perhaps the new state you are moving to is much more affordable on average than where you live now. A person can get a nice house for $300K in the Midwest, however that same price would likely get you a run-down dump on the coasts.
A simple phone call to a local realtor would let you know what to expect in the new area. Or, check out Zillow and see what is currently available. Zillow will also give you a good idea on how high property taxes are.
School Systems Are Important Even If You Don't Have Kids
Finding an area with terrific school systems for your kids is obviously very important. You want to provide them with the best education as possible. And you want them to be in a safe environment while learning.
Even if you don't have children, finding a home near excellent school systems is important because good schools make neighborhoods attractive for future growth of the community. Home values stay up, stores and restaurants do well, and these communities are generally safer to live in.
And down the road, if you decide to move again, selling a home in a desirable school district will be an easier sell.
Beware Of A Cost Of Living Increase
Aside from the big ticket expenses already discussed, there are other pesky items that might cost more than you are used to. Utilities such as electricity, natural gas, garbage, and sewer costs could be more expensive. Internet and TV providers might cost more and/or have worse service. You may also get taxed more on your cell phone plan.
Switching states also means getting new drivers licenses, plates, registrations and often different insurance. And of course every state is different when it comes to insurance rates. Not only is money involved here, but it takes a lot of time to get things switched over.
And last but not least, one that we ran into, a price increase for daycare. The new daycare facility does stay open a bit longer and came highly recommended. But it is more costly nonetheless.
Healthcare, Hospitals, Clinics
An annoying part about moving to a new state is having to go to new hospitals, clinics, and dentists. Besides having to switch from a doctor or dentist you are familiar with, you also have to fill out the mind-numbing paperwork. You may get lucky if your dental x-rays transfer over, but they might just redo them anyways.
Oh, and check to make sure they are "in network" to avoid getting charged full price when your insurance doesn't kick in. Unfortunately, many offices don't tell you if you are covered or not. They figure it is your responsibility to check into it first before becoming a patient. Maybe it is, but it is irritating and costly if you forget.
It takes time to develop relationships with good health care professionals. It is hard to replace someone you have put your trust into after years of care visits.
Will Your Daily Commute Times Increase?
Everyone wants to spend more time with their family and have more free time. Having a longer commute to and from work will rob you of these spare moments.
When you visit the new city before you decide to move, be sure to get an idea on the type of traffic you will be dealing with during the mornings and when you get off work. You could look for housing near your work, but keep in mind jobs aren't permanent and you might be working elsewhere down the road.
Is Crime and Violence A Concern?
You can't put a price tag on safety. The last thing you want to do on your pursuit of happiness is move to a crime-ridden location. You and your family's safety is really priority #1 in the grand scheme of things.
Take a look at the state rankings for violent crime and murders. Is your potential new state or city high on the list of most dangerous?
Most cities of decent size have good and bad areas. If you are moving to a higher crime area, make sure to study up on the safest neighborhoods you can find.
Can't Predict The Weather, Or Can You?
If you are moving a great distance, you may not be prepared for the change in weather you will experience. Some people joke that moving north means buying a bigger coat. In reality, it might mean buying a four-wheel drive vehicle, a snowblower for your driveway, and a winter survival kit.
The weather should also be a consideration when and if you purchase a new home. Is the area prone to flooding? Do you need flood insurance? Does the landscaping around the house allow for proper drainage away from the home during a flash flood?
It is also important to locate storm shelters nearby if your new state is prone to severe weather and you don't have underground shelter. You can't predict the weather but you can at least try to prepare the best you can.
Do The Food And Entertainment Options Meet Your Expectations?
One of the neat things I discovered when we moved is how much I enjoy the new options for dining out and entertainment. Our restaurants weren't bad by any stretch, but the new city's dining options are far superior. Even the grocery stores have better selection and awesome meat departments.
Another positive with our move is the upgrade in entertainment. By moving to a college town, there is a fun, youthful energy here. If you are into sports, which I am, there are no shortage of live events with top talent to see.
My point is, I recommend trying to find an area that matches your interests and personality as much as possible. Since you are likely to be without the familiarity of family and friends, you might as well have some enjoyable areas of life while you get settled in.
BONUS! Relocating Tips- What You Need To Know!
Hear first hand from someone who just made a major move. He gives practical advice and talks about a few things he didn't think of until after he relocated.
11 Considerations To Make Before Moving To A New State
1. Are you comfortable with moving away from family and friends?
2. How healthy is the job market where you are moving?
3. Consider tax implications when moving to a new state.
4. How expensive is real estate and rent?
5. School systems are important even if you don't have kids.
6. Beware of a cost of living increase.
7. The impacts of new healthcare, hospitals, and clinics.
8. Will your daily commute times increase?
9. Is crime and violence a concern?
10. Are you prepared for a change in extreme weather?
11. Do the food and entertainment options meet your expectations?
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