Moving your home requires careful planning. Apart from choosing where to relocate, you have to consider the financial implications attached to this decision. The overall cost of living in the new city, the employment opportunities available, and the reputation held by each neighborhood play an equally important part.
Below, we’ve highlighted 7 key aspects you should take into account before changing your address.
THE COST OF LIVING
The cost of living differs greatly from one place to another, and since some cities are less affordable than others, it’s always a good idea to check out their cost of living before deciding where to move. For instance, relocating from Raleigh to Philadelphia doesn’t require complex financial theatrics, but moving from Tampa to Washington, D.C. might. As such, it’s best to compare everything, from the median home prices, the taxes, and the average wages to grocery, healthcare, and entertainment-related costs. Pay attention to the average commute time, too; a longer ride to work implies more gas refills, and that can add up to quite a significant chunk at the end of the month.
Take time to research the neighborhoods. Some areas are pricier than others, and some have a better reputation. Start by checking the average rent and home prices, as well as the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown or your main points of interest, to get an idea of how affordable they are. Look into their main attractions, from schools and shopping centers to parks and stadiums, to see if they have the conveniences you seek. Lastly, read area reviews to learn more about the overall vibe of the neighborhood, so that you can decide if it’s a good place to live.
THE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
If your decision to move to a different city was prompted by a new job opportunity, then you’re all set. Otherwise, analyze the employment opportunities available in the area. Discover how stable the city’s economy is, which is the unemployment rate, which are the leading employers, how long the commutes are, and which are the average wages in your field. You should also look into the reputation of the leading companies, and even compare your preferred employers, to discover which are the most attractive options.
THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Compare different school districts to determine which one would be a better fit for your family. Apart from the schools’ proximity to your new home, check out their facilities, the extracurricular activities available, their rankings, and so on. Don’t hesitate to check various forums to gather more details about the quality of the educational services provided. If you want to enroll your kid in a private school, then you should also take into account all the schooling fees you will have to pay.
THE HOUSING MARKET
The state of the local real estate scene can have a significant impact on your finances, whether you’re in the market for renting an apartment or buying a house. Determine which are the most cost-efficient housing options that meet the other criteria you have set, and choose accordingly. You might discover you can afford more than you thought, or, on the contrary, that you have to compromise on some things. However, if you do your research well, chances are you will find a home to fit your needs.
THE COST OF MOVING FURNITURE
It might seem trivial, but moving furniture from one city to another comes at a hefty price, especially if you’re changing states. Decide whether you have the means to do this yourself or you need to hire a professional, then research the available option to select the most cost-efficient one. To save money, take with you only those items that are absolutely necessary and leave behind anything you can buy after relocating. You should also research what storage options you have at hand, to store those prized possessions you don’t want to take with you but don’t want to throw away either.
Your quality of life will be heavily impacted by the overall vibe of the city you’re moving to, so try to learn what defines it. The weather is one thing to consider, but the lifestyle you can lead can be even more important. If you’re the active type, check out how many sports courts and stadiums there are. If you value serenity, see how quiet the neighborhood is. If you want to be in the center of it all, check the entertainment options available. It’s easy to overlook these aspects, but they count just as much as the cost of living in the long run.
Moving your home is never easy, but careful planning can smooth the process, and the tips mentioned above give you a good place to start. Take your time before making a decision, be diligent in your research, and the experience can end up being pleasant.
With a background in communication studies, Teodora Demian joined the RENTCafé team eager to uncover the secrets of real estate. She has a BA in Journalism and an MA in Public Relations and Advertising. She is a passionate writer, researcher, and marketing specialist.