Moving is a stressful, chaotic experience regardless of how far away you are moving, but the challenges mount when you are relocating to the other side of the country. After all, the expense can be considerable, and you cannot make multiple trips back and forth between houses. You also may not be familiar with the new town, the culture, local laws or even how to register your car or get your kids enrolled in a new school. While you should approach you cross-country relocation with considerable patience, it also helps to follow a few important tips.
Choose Your New Home Carefully
If possible, travel to your new hometown to meet with a real estate agent for an extended period or on multiple shorter trips. Spend as much time as possible getting to know different areas of town. Pay attention to the vibe or ambiance in each neighborhood that you visit. Learn about local tax rates, traffic congestion, the location of stores, crime stats and more. Remember that these factors can vary dramatically if you look at home even just a few miles away. If possible, rent for a year or two so that you can get to know the area better before you commit to purchasing a home.
Create a Plan
Because relocating hundreds of miles or more away is such a monumental event, you need a strategic plan. Make a to-do list of everything that requires your attention. Focus on which rooms you plan to pack and in what order. Identify when you will contact utilities provides, hire movers and potentially contact a cleaning company for service after you move out.
Prepare Your Finances
Moving can be an expensive endeavor, and you need to have a healthy budget available for this project. Your moving budget should include money for deposits for your new house, deposits for utilities, moving supplies, moving services, cleaning services and more. Preparing your finances ahead of time will prevent you from feeling financial pressure related to a lack of funds at a critical point.
Downsize Before Packing
You can save a substantial amount of time and money by downsizing before you start packing. This effort reduces the number of boxes that you need to pack and unpack, and it also can reduce moving costs. Remember to declutter and get rid of everything from clothes to furniture, dishes and more that you do not plan to use in your new house.
Make Travel Arrangements
Moving across the country requires you to take a long-distance trip after you get your belongings loaded into a truck. The primary options are to fly or to drive your cars. If you fly, remember that you will need to pay someone to tow or drive your cars. Make flight and hotel reservations as needed ahead of time.
You can see that a cross-country move is a serious endeavor that requires ample planning and attention. It is best to begin walking through these steps at least a couple of months before your relocation, if possible.