The US Census Bureau estimates “that a person in the United States can expect to move 11.7 times in their lifetime based upon the current age structure and average rates.” So of course you have contemplated moving. You’ve thought about how awesome it would be to live in ____. Perhaps too much HGTV House Hunters?
But, realistically have you weighed the cost and lifestyle of a permanent switch? So what are the costs of moving out of state?
Coming from someone who moved from coast to coast, literally Pacific to Atlantic, I have found that these steps were helpful when we made the move.
Discover the place you would like to live. Make a list of why you want to live there. Envision how your life would be everyday in this new location.
To truly put this into perspective you must first think about the lifestyle that you want to live. If you love the outdoors think Colorado or California. If you love the city life think New York, Chicago, DC, or Los Angeles. If tiny apartments and exciting night life are really what you dream of these places can provide a great lifestyle as long as you are willing to sacrifice. Use websites like Wikipedia, Yes Wikipedia has good info on weather, population and overall links to city websites.
Find out the difference in cost of living and if the cost is worth it to you.
Great, you found a place to live, now get ready to move! Actually, you should make sure you can afford the cost of living first.
There are plenty of tools to help you get an idea on the difference of cost it takes to live in one location compared to another. Check out the Cost of living calculator. Try Payscale to input your current job and salary and see how that would compare to the new place you are thinking of moving to. The biggest cost are going to be rent/mortgage and transportation. The non deal breakers are food, utilities, clothing because they are all pretty much the same cost everywhere in the US. Transportation can be a big deal. Do you want to ride public transport or have a car? How far is your commute and the gas that comes with that? Key decisions and big life differences to both of those questions.
Make a budget as if you were already living in your new location.
Get the budget ready. You can’t research where you are going to live for no reason. As you continue to research start penciling in a budget. For example, how much gas would cost in a certain city? Use Gasbuddy to find gas prices. Look into specific places to live using Zillows or Craigslist. How would your budget change now that your rent is more or less? Would you eat out more, or save money using public transportation? These are important things to consider while moving. If you don’t get to have the lifestyle you want by moving why move?
Calculate your moving cost. Use this awesome site for a quick estimate. Moving.com
What’s the moving cost? You can’t move for free … That’s what companies like PODS and Uhaul are for. Find the city you are looking at and start doing some comparisons. How much would it cost to make that move to Chicago from California? You may be surprised by the cost. When I moved to Virginia from California I was quoted $4,000 for 1 room sized POD. If you plan to move, incorporate moving into the cost. Seems logical yet, we never find out the cost until a month before our move? Why? There are more cost like, how much gas would it take to get there and are you driving, flying staying in hotels? This cost add up so don’t forget to do this important step.
Move. Or don’t, but at least if you are contemplating moving make a commitment to think through this big decision.
The why. Although the above steps may make great reasons for moving why do you want to move? Is it to expand your business, find a new job, or just make new friends? There is no right or wrong answer, but remember a change of scenery can mask other problems. There will always be a terrible boss, an annoying coworker or friends who we have fallen out with. Move for the right reasons.
My last piece of advice is this. Maybe moving out of state would make your life awesome? But you will never know unless you do it!
Have you moved and now your life is awesome? Let’s hear it in the comments below!