Whether you are moving to a new town to experience something different or you're transferring for a job, the experience can be exciting, expensive and lonely all at the same time.
If you find yourself in a position where you’ll be packing up to move, ask yourself these key questions and consider the answers carefully before taking the plunge.
Probably one of the biggest and most important questions you need to consider is, Can You Afford The Move? There are many things to consider in this one question alone.
Take a look at your existing debt, such as credit cards, auto loans, school loans etc, and be aware of what current expenses you have that will carry over to your new location. Once you have tallied those expenses, be sure to do your research and determine the new costs you will be acquiring. For instance, moving in itself can be expensive. If you need to hire professional movers, be sure to find out pricing to your new location as the distance of the move will play a factor in their pricing. Determine if you will be renting or buying at your new location and remember that the cost of living can differ dramatically depending on location. Perhaps you’re currently living in a rural area renting an apartment by yourself… if you plan on living in a larger city after your move, it is very likely that your rent will increase significantly, along with the possibility of a tax increase and cost of transportation. Will you be able to afford this change alone, or will you need to consider a roommate?
How long do you plan to be at the new location? Are you planning to make this a permanent move or are you looking for a change of pace with the possibility of moving on again in the future? Even if you are currently living alone now, if you are planning to make this a permanent move, consider things such as school systems if you hope to have kids in the future. If there is a chance you will stay long-term, does the new location offer nearby activities that interest you? What is the culture like, and does it fit your desired lifestyle? You want to make sure there are enough things going on there, enough museums, trails, parks that you would frequent, if this is supposed to be a long-term commitment. Research social activities and ways to network and make new friends.
Whether you’re moving for personal reasons or because of a job opportunity, make sure you find out the easiest time to move and plan the move accordingly if possible. If you’re moving in New England, try to take into account the chance of being slowed down by snow and ice if you were considering the move in the winter months. Or maybe you’re moving to a popular tourist area that has high traffic during certain months of the year. If you can take these situations into account and plan around them, your move will become that much easier.
Do you have a Plan B if this falls through? Even the best laid out plans can go awry, so make sure you have the resources and finances for a back-up plan. It is possible you might absolutely hate your new environment, or maybe the job was far less glamorous than you anticipated. Will you have a place to go back to if you have to move back home? Do you have another destination in mind that you have researched if you cannot stay? And most importantly, do you have the finances to move again so quickly?
All of these questions will make you take a hard look at everything from finances to your personal expectations. While some of them can only be answered by you, others can be answered with a little help. If you happen to know someone who already lives in the new location, use him or her as a resource. If you do not, contact a realtor in the location and ask them for assistance. If you have children, contact the schools for policy information and extracurricular activities that are available. While it might seem like a lot of work and a lot to consider, it's far better to plan it out and answer these questions in advance than to be completely shocked or disappointed after you’ve already spent the time and money getting to your new destination.