Moving to a different place can be a very exciting time. However, the very first question you should ask yourself is if you honestly can afford it. Moving is not cheap; it doesn’t matter if you are buying or renting. Of course, when you buy a house it is much more expensive..but you get the point! Moving is a huge financial responsibility. You’ll want to make a list of your budget to determine if you can afford it or not. And we aren’t just talking about rent. You’ve got to include much more than just the living expenses or the purchase price of the house.
Do you have any friends or family there? It can be terrifying to move to a new place where you know absolutely no one. However, you shouldn’t not move just because you don’t know anyone. Sometimes, that can be the beauty of a move. Even so, you should talk to your friends and see if they know anyone where you plan to move, which will make it easier for you to make connections once you arrive at the destination.
Figure out the neighborhood. It isn’t a bad idea to fly or drive to the city you plan to move to to figure out the location. Even if you have been there before. You aren’t just visiting this time, you’re putting down roots. Even if you don’t want to spend the money, it will be money well spent. Where you live will likely be where you are spending most of your time. You don’t want to end up in an area thats far away from where you will spend your time. Do some serious research, if you aren’t able to visit. Speak to anyone you know who lives there, or who has visited. If they know you, they’ll know what area you’d fit in best, or enjoy the most.
Figure out the cost of living. Each area has different costs of living, even if the areas are close together. If you’re able to visit, walk around and talk to locals to get their thoughts. Such as the rent or mortgage, taxes, the best grocery stores and department stores. If you love to shop, you don’t want to move somewhere 15 miles away from a shopping center, more than likely. Also, if you know the cost of living, you’ll be better able to negotiate when it comes to your salary.
Figure out what the job market is like in the area. Chances are, you’ll need employment, unless you are the 1% of the world. Perhaps you already have a job lined up. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to know whether jobs are available, and if so, what they pay. You’ll also want to know what type of environment you’ll be working in.
Find out the costs of owning a car in that city and state. Registering your vehicle isn’t cheap. Even a license plate alone costs around $200. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who enjoys visiting the DMV, but you’ll need to, unless you plan on receiving a bunch of tickets, and possibly being arrested. Get it over with, that way you don’t have to think about it anymore.
Do you have children? If you do, you’ll need to check out the schools in the location. Where do you want to send your children? Education is a big deal. This topic also ties in with the neighborhood search. You don’t want to move to a specific area, only to find out that the only decent school for your child is thirty minutes away from your house, and 45 minutes away from your job.
Gasoline prices should also be at the top of your list when factoring in where, or whether or not you should move. Also, in some places, you may not even need your car, such as New York for example. This will involve selling your car. With gas prices higher than ever, you need to budget correctly. Calculate how much gas costs and then you can figure out how much it will cost you on a monthly basis to get to and from work, and also if you plan to drive home to visit. If you think you may visit home frequently, you should also factor in average flight prices.
Assess how long you want to stay there. Are you only there for a year? Or do you plan to permanently set down some roots there, rather than temporarily. This is important. Of course, plans can always change in terms of location.
Packing is the next thing you need to think about. Are you flying? Are you driving? Will you be renting a u-haul? Moving your belongings is very expensive. Unless you plan to arrive with only a carry-on, or only pack what you can fit in the car, you are going to spend at least a thousand dollars. Decide what you can, and what you can’t live without. Because when you pay to move, you’re going to have to pay by how many things you have. Now is the time to try to de-clutter.
Think about places that you frequently visit. Can you not live without living near restaurants, and nightlife? Or would you prefer to live in a quiet area, away from entertainment? These are very important questions to ask yourself.
Timing is paramount. If you are currently renting, you’ll need to find a sub-letter. You’ll also need to ask your landlord if they’ll even allow you to sublet. If not, you’ll need to factor in both rents into your budget. If you own your home, you’ll need to sell it, or be sure you have enough money to wait and also rent in your new city.
Make sure you weigh out all the pros and cons before moving. If you decide to take the plunge, make sure that you tie up any and all loose ends. Your days are numbered once you make this decision and if this is a permanent move, realize that even though there’s a possibility you may come back, it won’t be the same.
Think about what you’re gaining if you leave where you are, versus if you stay there. Will you possibly find a significant other? Will you make more friends than you have in your current city? Can you make more money if you move? Figure out what it is that you want, and how important it is. If the reasons for you leaving outweigh the benefits of staying, then you should move.
You also should honestly ask yourself the goal for moving, and why specifically to that place. Create short and long-term goals. Figure out what it is that you want to accomplish while you live there. You must have goals. Without them, you’ll find it tough to get anywhere in life. Also, by planning goals with a time-table in mind, you’ll achieve them faster.
You’re also going to need a backup plan. What happens if you fail? Well, failure is okay, and it is a part of life. It also helps us learn. Mistakes are an important part of life. The important thing is that you be sure to not burn bridges in your new city. It may come back to haunt you. All in all, be sure that you have fun! Don’t move somewhere you know you’ll despise, just because of the money. Even still, if you do, you might end up loving the city. You never know. The important thing is to ask yourself many questions and be honest before up and leaving. Good luck!