Here are some of our agent’s top considerations for clients who are moving out of state.
Timing is everything. And in this case, it truly is; from packing and scheduling movers, to inspection deadlines (on both ends), closings, and everything in between, moving out of state can be a complex process. But stay focused, stay organized, follow our checklist, and you’ll be fine.
Whether you’ve been working closely with your Nest agent and are moving into one of our incredible Nest Realty locations, or have worked with him or her to achieve a sale on your home and are moving out of state, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some of the most important factors to think about when moving across state lines that make it a very different experience than heading down the street.
Know Where to Go
This may be obvious, but If at all possible, make a trip (or two) to your new destination before officially settling on the details of the move. It’s hard to really understand what your new home base might feel like without being there in person. This will give you an opportunity to actually walk the neighborhood you’re thinking of moving into, so you can get a feel for how the area aligns with your lifestyle. If you have a few different options to consider, spending time in each can help narrow down your choices based on layout, environment, and proximity to things that are important to you. Even if you don’t get to explore everything in the area that will play into your life there, quick visits lay the groundwork for you to go back and research more later. Make note of places that sound intriguing or raise red flags to look into further when you get back from your visit. You might even be able to make some preliminary connections while you’re there whom you can reach out to with specific questions throughout the transition.
Budget for Travel
Moving gets expensive no matter where you’re headed, but costs really add up as the distance increases. You’ll need to plan for a moving company with the capacity to transport your belongings however far you’re going. Many movers and truck companies concentrate on long-distance moves specifically, which can take a lot of the guesswork out because they’ll know how to navigate complicated routes and manage long hours with precious cargo in tow. But you’ll also have to account for getting you, your family, your pets, and any vehicles you own out there too. That means gas, wear and tear on your car, food, overnight stays, entertainment for the kids, appropriate accommodations for animals, and more, depending on the needs of your family unit. Make a list of miles to go, time it’ll take, stops along the way, meals to cover, and what it takes to keep your dependents happy. If you’re moving for a new job, be sure to check if your employer offers any relocation assistance. And before you start Googling “moving companies” be aware that there is a lot of competition out there for your business and you will immediately begin getting a lot of spam and solicitations, so it’s great to get a personal recommendation.
Account for Changing Costs of Living
On top of travel costs, be sure to compare the cost of living from your current location to your future home, even if your daily habits stay exactly the same. A good sense of how much you’ll be spending on a regular basis can help you figure out what you might need to save in backup funds before moving if you’re headed somewhere more expensive — or if you have any wiggle room to put more into long-term savings, if the cost of living is lower in your new town. Either way, it’s better to be prepared than surprised. Cost of living calculators offer an estimate based on location and salary, breaking down the difference into percentage points in a few key categories: transportation, food, healthcare, and entertainment.
While most important paperwork has adjusted to the digital age, there are certain documents that you still need physical originals of. When crossing state lines, it’s all the more essential to keep them safe, but handy. Store passports, birth certificates, tax documents, custody documents, credit cards, insurance paperwork, warranties, pet registrations, and more in one secure, well labeled, and relatively convenient location so you have them on hand as soon as you arrive. Keep digital copies on your phone for quick access should the need arise. Anyone moving out of state has a few crazy weeks ahead of them no matter what, but organizing your essentials will serve you well. Along with this, consider the transfer of medical prescriptions, professional licensures, vehicle registrations, voter registration, and other official business that involves a lot of paperwork.
Time it Out
Work closely with your agent (on both sides of your sale/purchase) to ensure your move goes smoothly. The timing of your moving truck and your packing schedule, school year considerations, your home closings and various contract deadlines, employment deadlines, and other factors may seem overwhelming. Keep a spreadsheet and a family calendar close at hand. Even small details like locating (and making reservations at) pet-friendly hotels along your move route, when neglected, can cause roadblocks to a smooth move. Your diligent organization up front will pay off with reduced headaches and avoiding potential pitfalls as the timeline unfolds. Remember, things always happen faster than you think and take longer than you think they will, so add in plenty of buffers.
Plan for the Unexpected
Our final piece of advice for moving out of state is to keep your essentials on your person. Have one suitcase per person in your family with plenty of clothes, medications, cash and cards, contact lenses, stuffies, workout clothes, laptops—anything you will need on a daily basis—and keep it with you while your belongings are being transferred. You never know what can happen so control what you can.
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