Relocating to another state isn't like a typical move to a new neighborhood. There are several things to consider before you cross the state line. You will have to learn about state taxes, familiarize yourself with general roadway rules, apply for a driver's license, and possibly even acquire a new insurance policy. Relocating to another state can also be stressful. You might be overwhelmed with that long moving checklist, your moving schedule, and all the small details you have to take care of before you leave familiar territory. Here are five things to research before relocating to another state.
No. 1: Neighborhoods
It's not always easy to find unbiased reviews from residents of a particular state or neighborhood, but you can discover a fair amount of information about the city by reviewing local tax information, crime data, apartment and neighborhood reviews, and school ratings online. Make long-distance house hunting easy by connecting with a local real estate agent who has a good reputation. An experienced real estate agent can give you some insights about different neighborhoods and provide you with recommendations on apartments or homes.
No. 2: Local culture
If you've never been to the new state that you are moving to, plan a long weekend trip just for exploring. Your move might be a little smoother when you have some idea of where everything is in your new neighborhood and how to navigate the roads and freeways. Spend a few days exploring the new town or city, meet the locals, learn about the local culture and traditions, and just get situated before you actually make the big move.
No. 3: Taxes
Taxes are probably the last thing on your mind when you're planning a big move, but it's a good idea to find out if the state you are moving to requires residents to pay a state income tax, and how much you will owe your former state in interest and dividend income. Take the time to meet with a tax specialist to discuss your options and review financials so you're not in for any surprises. Having a fair idea of how much you will owe your former state after you move -- and what your potential tax liability will be when you're done moving -- can help you organize your finances.
No. 4: Moving companies
Unless you're coordinating the entire move yourself, you'll need the help of cross-country or long-distance moving services. Request quotes from at least three different moving companies and ask about any specials or promotions. Steer clear of the common red flags that can lead to costly problems. Long-distance moves will be more expensive than the average in-state move and you might need to purchase additional insurance to ensure everything arrives at your final destination safely.
No. 5: Cost of living
If you've never before lived in the state you are moving to, you may have no idea what to expect in terms of the cost of living and general standard of living. Do some online research to determine the area's cost of living and compare it with your current location. Try to determine what your income in the new location needs to be to maintain your current lifestyle. You should also familiarize yourself with average home prices, apartment rent, medical costs, and energy costs in both states.