A cross country move, or even a move to the next state over, carries a certain amount of risk. According to The Atlantic, the number of families moving to new states is the lowest it’s been in half a century. They have pegged the young families of today as Generation Stuck.
While all the risks carry a certain amount of merit, there are many way to reduce or eliminate chances taken during a long distance move. Since moving is one of the five most stressful events in a person’s life, anything that can be done to reduce the anxiety of a move is welcomed. Here, we will explore some of the many concerns related to moving and show you steps you can take to reduce these risks and succeed in moving to your dream location.
Job Availability and Security
If you don’t have a job lined up in your dream city, your ability to find one is going to be high on your list. Do a significant amount of research on the popular industries in the area you want to move. Which businesses are growing and which are downsizing? Where industries related to your skill set fall will give you an idea of how likely you are to find a job.
Most people would prefer to have a job in place before moving. Since businesses are less likely to hire someone who currently lives far away, use the address of a friend or family member who lives in the area on your resume. If you don’t know anyone in the area, include your relocation plans in your cover letter. Mention some of your motivations for moving and any steps you’ve taken to relocate to the area. Convince potential employers you are a serious candidate.
Jump at any job that will pay the rent. While you might not end up in your dream job right away, this will get you to your dream location and employers will be far more likely to consider you with a local address.
Available and Affordable Housing
Having a job is only worth so much if you don’t have a place to live. There are great resources out there to give you an idea of how much renting an apartment or buying a home will cost. Local real estate agents often have blogs on their websites that offer tips on finding the right home for you. Create a budget based on the lowest salary you will accept and reason out how much you can afford to pay towards housing every month.
Pick the homes or apartments that look good to you and schedule to view them across three to five consecutive days. Make sure you’ve scheduled a good variety to reduce the chances of another trip. While it’s possible to move into a new home or apartment without ever seeing it, you’ll reduce your risk of poor housing by taking a trip to the area and looking around. See as many properties as you can so you can be sure of your decision.
Cost of Living
Many people move cross country to find lower costs of living. Whether or not that is your motivation, you’ll want to do some research on the cost of living in your current location and in the location you want to move to. This will help you figure out what your ideal salary should be in the new area.
Larger salaries can look promising, but cost of living is what determines its real worth. An alleged raise might actually be equal to or lower than your current wage if the cost of living is higher than where you currently live. There’s nothing wrong with moving to an area with a higher cost of living. If that city is your dream, go after it. Just make sure you budget accordingly and ask for an adequate salary.
If you are moving with children or plan on having children after you move, the quality of local school systems will be a big deal. See what people are saying on the internet about the quality of schools in the area you want to move to. You could even call the schools and have them answer your questions directly.
Discuss neighborhoods and school quality with your real estate agent. They should be well aquatinted with the area you’re moving to. In addition to providing valuable information, they can tell you specific questions to ask the schools.
Even if you’re not moving to a new country, there can be a bit of culture shock when moving to a new place. Each metropolis has its own quirks. Differences will be even more pronounced if you are moving from a rural area to urban area, or vice versa. Many people dream of moving to iconic areas like New York City or San Francisco because of what they see in the media. Before committing to a move, make sure you go there and experience some of the culture. You can combine this with your trip to look at properties so you only have to make the trip once.
One of the biggest fears related to culture is the lack of a support network. Moving cross country usually means leaving behind all your social and familial connections. Don’t let that fear stop you from chasing your dreams. There are many groups out there dedicated to helping new residents fit in. Sites like Meetup.com list many clubs and groups for you to join. Find something in your area of interest, join a social group and get out there. You’ll make new friends in no time.
Many young adults and young families still live with their parents due to financial situations. While many young adults may not think they can afford to live on their own, many can. It’s all about budgeting. Collecting receipts and balancing check books can be made easier with fantastic apps. Mint.com and CreditKarma both offer budget management tools that help you manage your income and see where your money is spent in real time. Even with student loans, you may find you can easily support yourself on your own if you cut out a few unnecessary expenditures.
Practice living off your new budget while living with parents, putting an amount equal to your estimated monthly rent into savings. This will quickly add up and provide you with the monetary means of paying first month’s rent and a deposit on your new home.
No matter how well you prepare, moving long distance will always come with a certain amount of risk. Make sure you have a backup plan, including saving extra money for unexpected expenses. Moving is often mixed up in dreams of better careers and different cultures. There’s no reason you shouldn’t chase after your dreams. Just be sure you think carefully and fully plan out every aspect of your move. Take these tips to heart and you will significantly reduce risk and increase your chances for success in your dream neighborhood.
Still stressed out about the move? National Van Lines can take the burden of packing and transport off your shoulders so you can focus on preparing your new home. Give our moving consultants a call at 877-590-2810 and ask how we can help.
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