1. The Housing Market
The housing market varies from state to state and buying or renting in a new state sometimes brings sticker shock. Be sure to do your research to get a grasp on home prices in the area you’ll be moving to (online real estate listing resources like Zillow are a great place to start).
2. Cost of Living
Once you have an idea of what your housing costs are going to be, think through how much groceries will cost in this new state, along with gas, utilities, and other miscellaneous expenses. Since those types of expenses can vary significantly from state to state, it’s important to factor them in while you are evaluating your new cost of living.
When you move to another state, you’ll need a new doctor and a new dentist (among other healthcare providers). Do your research when it comes to healthcare systems in the new location, see what insurance coverage costs are typically like in the new state, and try to estimate prices and the overall quality of physicians through online research. There are a lot of informative reviews and resources online to help with your search, and you can also reach out to family and friends in your new area for referrals and advice.
It’s important (and fun!) to find new things to do in a new city. Music, food, art, sports — all important. You can check out sites like MeetUp© and Eventbrite© to see if there are specific events that fit your unique interests, too.
If you’re moving somewhere else, it’s important that your career moves with you. Job markets and opportunities can vary between one city and another, so if you don’t already have employment secured spend some time on different job postings and employment sites to see what the market is like before you move.
People tend to forget about transportation, but it’s a significant expense that should be factored in. Some cities have better public transit systems than others, and in many parts of the country, you’ll need to have a car to get around. You’ll also want to think about your commute to and from work, as well as the impact your commute will have on your overall budget.
If you want to go to school (or go back to school), consider moving to a state with a reputable education system. This will also be beneficial if and when you want to start a family since you’ll probably also want your children to be in a strong school district.
Not only can weather impact your mood, lifestyle, and social plans, but it can also impact your utility bills. Don’t forget to research average seasonal temperatures and make sure you’re prepared for changes in weather and related heating or cooling costs (big or small).
There can be substantial differences in tax laws from state to state, which can have a big impact on your paycheck. You won’t want to be surprised come payday or tax season, so brush up on income tax, property tax, and sales tax requirements in your new home state.
The U.S. Census Bureau offers information on demographic data, including age brackets by state. If you’re considering a move, it’s probably a good idea to move somewhere you’ll be able to meet like-minded locals and make friends who can help you adjust to your new surroundings.