8 things to do before moving out of state

To move or not to move, that is the question. 

Have you ever thought...
There has to be more opportunity for growth?
There has to be more ways for me to make income?
There has to be more than shoveling snow off my car before going to work?There has to be more to life then waking up every day, going to work, partying on the weekend with the same people and dreading Sunday nights?

Have you ever just wanted to pack up your things and leave for a fresh start somewhere else?

If you answered yes to any of these I feel you, because each one of those has been me. I've moved out of state 3 times in the past 12 years - NH to PHX, PHX to DC then back to PHX, and PHX to MIA. What I learned is simple, leaving your hometown is one of the best experiences. If you've ever wanted to move out of state do it! Just make sure you have a plan.

Here are 8 helpful tips before moving to a different state for a job. AKA things I wish I knew before moving. 

1. Figure out the cost of living

Depending on where you move the cost of living may be higher or lower than where you currently live. A tool to figure out how much you would need to make to maintain the same quality of life you currently have is PayScale. Do your due diligence before deciding to pick up and move.

2. Create a budget and know your salary offer 

Before moving anywhere you want to take into account what is the lowest salary offer you can accept based off of your spending, expenses and where you want to be at salary wise. Research state and local taxes when it comes to salary and bonus. If you’re moving to a state with no sales tax even better! You’ll still want to know what your take home pay is going to be so there’s no surprises. Make sure to get everything in writing before making a decision. To help you figure this out use this take home pay calculator

3. Apartment/house hunting

Have you ever moved to a city and had 24 hours to find a place? I have….and here’s what I learned - Don’t ever move to a city without knowing what the average cost of rent is and the process. Just don’t do it. If you’re moving to a new state one of the most important things you will have to do is secure housing. DO NOT learn the hard way and think you can move to a city and just “wing it”. Most cities require a solid credit score, proof of job/income, as well as a deposit. Which leads me to my next tip… 

4. Cash is Queen

Most major cities require first month rent, last month rent and a security deposit. If you’re moving to a city like Miami where the lowest rent for a 1 bd is about $2000 a month you’re looking at $6000 deposit. Save accordingly! Also ask your hiring manager about relocation benefits (more to come on this). Check to see if your bank has a branch where you’re moving to. This can make things easier due to daily limits on how much you can take out at the atm. If you have to withdraw a large amount of money or get a cashiers check it’s usually easier to do it with your bank.

5. Give yourself time

One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that they will be able to find a place in a few days. The chances of that happening are slim to none,  there are currently waiting lists in most cities for housing. Give yourself time to look at multiple options and a 2 week lead time for paperwork processing and approval. If you’re renting an apartment or condo that has an HOA many times your application will take longer because the landlord has to approve then the HOA has to approve the application. 

6. Parking, tolls and registration

Most major cities have a toll system some even have more than one! In Miami for example I had to learn the hard way that a “Sun pass” and an “EZ pass” are not the same thing. The DMV is the best place to ask what toll systems there are and how to go about payment. I also suggest finding out what the HOV rules are. Some states offer discounts and additional perks for drivers with electric vehicles too so be sure to ask. When it comes to car registration you may have to pay an initial fee to get your information transferred to another state if the car is not fully paid or leased. For parking make sure to download the apps - most cities offer discounted pricing for residents. READ parking signs before you park, I know this seems like a no brainer but you do not want to get towed because you parked in resident parking thinking it was regular parking. 

7. Sell, Pack, store, drive or ship

Depending on your budget and how much stuff you have this is a personal decision. Here are some thought starters when deciding which route to go. 

  • Is the cost of the things you own greater than what it would cost to store or ship? Can you resell and then purchase at your new residence? 
  • Yard sale, offer up, Facebook marketplace whichever platform you use plan on selling anything you will not be taking 2 weeks before. Take pictures of everything post them online and then let the offers come in. Do not hold items for people because sometimes people will ask you hold something and never show up.
  • Car drive or ship? I personally prefer to have my car shipped just because I never felt comfortable driving cross-country by myself in my Honda Accord but it's completely up to you. One thing to consider when researching companies is if they charge a flat fee or if they charge per mile? Most car shipment companies do not allow you to pack anything into the car for liability purposes. 

8. Set up mail forwarding

You can change your address here and set up mail forwarding for the first 12 months. This is an easy way to make sure you're not missing out on any important mail that's being sent to you. 

I hope this tips helped! If you can think of any other questions or things you wished you knew before moving please share them in the comments below. 

-Coach T


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