Are you thinking about moving to a new state? We understand that can be daunting, especially with the amount of information you may need to know. Here are some vital steps to make sure you’re prepared with everything that you need to know.
- Do your research.
When researching your new city, check out crime rates, school ratings, job offerings if you’re not moving with an employer, commute times, weather and natural disasters that you’ll need to prepare for. If you are unable to travel to the new place beforehand, use Google Maps to get a feel for what specific neighborhoods will look like.
- Create a moving binder.
Gather important documents, and create digitized backups. This includes medical records, school records, birth certificates and marriage licenses. Your moving file should contain a moving checklist, important documents and notes or receipts from the moving process.
- Create a budget.
Moving, especially to a new state, can be expensive. When creating a budget, you should get quotes from different moving companies to find the best deal. Factor in costs like potential ad valorem taxes, moving supplies, overnight hotel stays or emergency funds. Additionally, research the cost of living in your new state to understand how your finances will change.
- Settle on a place to live.
Refer back to the research you’ve done to find your ideal home. You can contact real estate agents or leasing agents to organize in-person tours, or virtual tours as well. Once you’ve found a place, choose a move-in date and plan your move-out date. Remember to give your current landlord a minimum 30-days notice (check your lease for the required minimum amount of time) and get your security deposit back.
- Pack and clean your home.
To cut down on moving costs, try to find free boxes from local stores or Craigslist. Begin packing early, and try going room by room. Designate a place for items that you will be donating so that you only need to make one trip at the end of the packing process. You can also use secondhand apps or hold a yard sale in order to make money back from items that you won’t be bringing.
- Handle the legal matters.
Change your address with USPS, and forward your mail. Once you arrive, make sure to update your address for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance, employer and memberships. Let utilities companies (gas, electric, water, cable) know of your move-out date in advance, and set up utilities at your new home so that they will be taken care of when you arrive.
- Pack the essentials and move.
You’re almost there! Make sure to pack essentials, like clothes, nonperishable foods, important documents and medication, in a bag that will stay with you.
Once you’re there:
- Register to vote and finalize changes of address.
Don’t forget to visit the DMV to apply for a new driver’s license and visit a local community center to register.
- Become involved with your new community.
You’ve successfully moved, and now is the time to get settled in. Visit local attractions, sign up for new clubs, start working and meet new people. Enjoy your new home!