Moving out of state can be intimidating and more complicated than moving within the same city or town. There are several extra considerations that you and your family will need to think about before taking the big leap.
Regardless of why you are moving states, there are a few tips and must-haves that you need to accomplish, whether you’re moving to a house the next state over, a cabin in the Colorado Rockies, a house at Isle of Palms Wild Dunes in South Carolina or a skyscraper apartment in New York City. Follow these seven tips to be better prepared to move between states and make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
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1. Visit and Research
Before you move, it is important to check out your future home area. Even if you’ve visited before or know the place well, it is a good idea to visit and research neighborhoods and amenities. Visiting a place with the specific intention of looking for a good neighborhood will change how you look at things and help you find the right place for you and your family.
Explore the amenities you need to support your lifestyle. Check out good schools if you have children, proximity to doctors, dentists, supermarkets and shops. Look into local municipal tax codes, HOA rules or other specific regulations.
If you cannot physically go before moving, use Google Street View or similar websites to check out a neighborhood and determine the distances to services and shops.
2. Choose a New Home
There is no secret formula for finding the perfect new home, but there are some excellent tips to follow. Finding a good realtor is crucial, especially if you cannot visit the property in person.
What might be even better is purchasing a home in a master-planned community with a single company responsible for all aspects of the development like some of the homes for sale in Mount Pleasant, SC. These communities are centrally run to ensure the area is beautiful, safe and well maintained. They can offer peace of mind to those looking to move states and ensure their future home will be a good place to live.
3. Budget Your Move and Find the Right Moving Company
Interstate moving is more expensive than moving locally. The average cost of moving 7,500 lbs. of belongings, roughly the furniture of a 2- or 3-bedroom home, 1,000 miles, is $4,890.
This cost will rise or fall depending on how much you move and how far. Get a few quotes from different moving companies and make sure any company you consult has worked in your future home state before.
If you are flexible with arrival times, it may be possible to save money by shipping things slower, particularly if you are moving to Hawaii or Alaska. It may take a few months for your belongings to arrive, but it offers significant cost savings.
4. Sort and Pack Your Belongings
Before you move, you will need to pack your home and belongings. Number and label boxes meticulously so you don’t have to dig for things when you arrive and pack fragile items with extra padding and clear labeling for the movers.
Moving between states and the associated costs can be an excellent opportunity to downsize your belongings. Perhaps you will be moving between climates, and your furnishings or possessions don’t fit with the new location, or maybe you have just over-accumulated things. Carefully choose what you send and what you either donate or put in the trash; it can help you make a new start in your new home.
5. Cancel or Transfer All Subscriptions, Memberships and Bills
If you have subscriptions local to your current home, transfer or cancel them before you move. Many gyms and other facilities have locations around the country, so you may be able to seamlessly move that membership or check to see if they have an affiliate in your new area.
People planning a permanent move may wish to change their phone numbers to their new area code, which may require switching service providers if their existing company doesn’t cover the new area.
Ensure you update or cancel all address-based subscriptions to delivery services, newspapers or magazines and update your billing address on all bank accounts and cards.
Depending on your health insurance, you may need to switch companies to one that covers more medical care facilities in your new home. You’ll also need to contact your utility companies to cancel or transfer your services to your new home.
6. Switch All Licenses
If you drive, own a motor vehicle or firearm or have a professional license, switching everything to your new state is essential. Also, update your voter registration so you can participate in your new state’s elections. Here are some common deadlines for updating your documents:
- Driver’s license – 60 to 90 days on average
- Vehicle Registration – 30-60 days on average
- Firearm – Will greatly vary from state to state, but the ATF requires you to inform any moving company of the presence of a firearm
- Voter Registration – No deadline, though how far in advance of an election will depend on your new state
- Professional licenses – Must change before beginning any employment in your field
- Medicare – If you are on Medicare parts A or B, it is as simple as informing the Social Security administration of your new address; for parts C and D, you will have 63 days to update your plan to your new area
7. Build a Life and a Community
After you’ve settled in, it is important to build a new community around yourself. Take part in activities you enjoy to meet new friends, join local clubs, PTAs or social organizations to network and build a community for yourself and your family. The sooner you can create a social network, the sooner your new location will feel like home.
The Opportunity of a Lifetime
Moving between states can mean leaving behind an established life, friends and family, but it can also be the start of a great new chapter. Moving states allows you to find your dream house and begin new adventures.