Moving is a very big deal and, while exciting, at the same time it’s also quite stressful. Prior to taking the leap to change your digs – whether cross town or across country – there are some critical questions to ask yourself before moving.
Why Do I Want to Move?
This may seem like an obvious question but there are many reasons for people to move which play an important role as to where you move and the type of home, apartment or condo you look for. For example:
- Is the move to a new location to get out of the city?
- Are you ready to buy versus rent?
- Are you looking for a larger space to accommodate a growing family?
- Do you want a better school district for your children?
- Is a new job offer available in another city or state?
Depending on the answer, you’ll have more flexibility in the choices you make, such as where you can move and what you can afford. Let’s look at some other questions to ask yourself before moving.
Can I Afford to Move?
Look carefully at what you can afford to pay before making a move to a new place. If you plan on moving to a new city, take into consideration all the expenses that come into play before you move. The cost of living in a new location may be higher than where you live now. This includes the cost of everything from groceries and sales tax to mortgage/rents and property taxes.
Do I Know Anyone Where I’m Planning to Move?
If you live in an area right now where you’re close to family and have a circle of dear friends, moving to a new place in a new location can be lonely and isolating. Of course, if the move is based on a job offer, you may not have a choice. But if your decision is based on the lure of a particular city or town, think carefully about what you’re giving up for that “close-to-the-beach” walk or “once-in-a-life-experience” to go West before you commit to a move. How often will you be able to visit family and friends? Will family come to visit you? If the pull for a new place, a new location is strong, go for the move. It’ll take some time to get your footing, but eventually you’ll make the connections you need to feel like home again.
Is the Job Market Good Where I Am Planning to Move?
If your move is taking you to a new location, perhaps even out of state, be sure to thoroughly research the job market before you go. You may be able to work remotely (as many of us are now doing). But if this isn’t the case, check out what career opportunities are available. Look at salary ranges and the company culture at each opportunity if you can. If you’re moving because of a job offer, talk to some of the people at your new firm to find out what neighborhoods you should check out when house or apartment hunting.
Is the School District a Good Fit for My Kids?
Right now, many kids are attending school online. But whether it’s remote learning or in-person attendance, how well a school district is run, the caliber of its teachers and the quality of education are all critical when choosing a new location in which to live. Depending on the school district’s reputation, this may change your whole game plan. As school funding is a blend of federal, state, and local dollars, with local funding largely coming from property taxes, you have to also be prepared to budget this amount as a homeowner. Take the time to research the school district where you plan on moving. Talk to other parents about the schools to gain insight on how happy they are with their children’s education.
How Long Am I Planning to Stay in My New Home?
Depending on your flexibility, your move may be an easier decision than others. If you’re single and looking to change things up, you can always rent and go back home after a year. If you have a partner or a family, changing course is not that simple. You have to consider the age of each of your children and what it will mean if you uproot them from everything they know. For example, you may have a high schooler who doesn’t want to leave his or her friends. Before you move, make sure the planned change ticks all the boxes.
Do I Need to Take Everything I Own with Me?
Packing everything is a lot of work. You can use professional movers to eliminate the time spent packing and to ensure all your furnishings and things are properly packed. Yet even before you get to this phase, decide what to take with you and just as much, what to leave behind. We accumulate a lot of stuff over the years, many things we either don’t use or wear. Moving is the perfect time to edit, to begin fresh. Go through all your things to determine what to donate. Have each family member do the same. It’ll cut down on costs and you’ll have a cleaner slate to design your new place.
Take the time to consider these and other important questions before you move, especially your motivation behind the move. Knowing the answers will help you choose the right place for yourself and your family.