Moving can be overwhelming even if you’re just going a short distance. If you’re relocating to a new state or a longer distance, though, that can exacerbate an already stressful experience.
There are a lot of pieces that go into organizing a long-distance move, especially if you’re buying and selling real estate to coordinate with your moving date. It might seem scary, but it can be done with less stress than you might think.
All it takes is a little bit of research and organization. So, take a deep breath, relax, and check out our list of helpful tips for any move.
Research, Research, Research
Even if you were just planning a move across town, you’d need to do some research first. Out-of-state moves require even more fieldwork. Thankfully, it’s easy to research a city right from the comfort of your couch.
Check out newspapers and other media outlets in the area where you’re moving to get a sense of local issues, politics, and culture. You can also join social media groups and other forums to see what your future neighbors are talking about.
You can find a trove of information on just about any area at websites like AreaVibes, City-Data, Neighborhood Scout, and SchoolDigger. These sites provide data on a variety of areas: specific neighborhoods, livability, restaurants, crime, and school ratings.
Put Extra Thought into Choosing Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent will be your eyes and ears on the ground in your new hometown. They’ll be touring houses for you, scouting neighborhoods. Essentially, they will be acting on your behalf since you can’t be there yourself.
So, you need to select a real estate agent you can trust, someone you know will get the job done. When selecting your real estate agent, get a referral, if you can. And make sure you read all their reviews online so that there aren’t any surprises.
Visit the Area First
Sometimes big moves are thrown at you unexpectedly. Maybe you’re offering a new job that starts immediately. Or maybe there’s been a family emergency that warrants a move.
So, it’s not always possible to visit the area you’re planning to relocate to before moving. If you have the time, it’s advisable to visit first.
This will help you understand the area better. Otherwise, it’s hard to move to a neighborhood you’ve only read about online.
Do You Want to Rent or Own?
One of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether you’ll want to rent or own when you first move. Buying a home is an investment for your future.
But you might consider renting for your first year as you get to know your new city. By the time you’re ready to buy, you’ll have determined which neighborhoods you like and built your savings up.
Compare the Cost of Living
Before moving, determine how the cost of living where you currently live stacks up against where you’re going. You want your quality of life to at least remain the same if not improve. So, you’ll want to make sure your salary can afford you a similar lifestyle.
Things to compare include housing cost (rental and mortgage), utilities, taxes, food, gas, healthcare, and car insurance. There are some nifty tools available online that will do the math for you if you plug in zip codes. Also, keep in mind that some states, like Florida and New Hampshire, have no income tax.
Technology Is Your Friend
Buying a home from afar isn’t always easy. You’re forced to rely on your real estate agent and descriptions in listings. But in this modern world, there are many amazing technological tools to help you easily find your dream home even from thousands of miles away.
Three-dimensional, 360-degree recorded tours give you a true sense of what a home is like. There are also video conferencing platforms that let you tour these homes and meet with your agent in real-time.
There are also some newer full-service real estate agencies that approach the real estate differently thanks to access to technology. These streamlined companies cost less and put control of the search firmly in your hands.
Map Out Your Commute
Once you have a job lined up and a general idea of where you’d like to live in your new city, map out your daily commute before making an offer on a house or signing a lease. The ease or difficulty of your commute can impact your happiness.
Here are a few things to consider. Will you be driving to work? What does your route to work look like and how long does it take? What is rush hour like on those roads? Do you have a reliable vehicle or will you need to purchase one?
Maybe you’ll be taking public transportation. How long does the bus or train take you to get to work? Will you need to make any transfers? What’s the furthest you’ll want to live from a bus or train station?
Don’t underestimate the power your commute has over your well-being.
Calculate Your Moving Costs
It’s pricy enough moving across town. That cost is exponentially higher when you plan an out-of-state move.
Start pricing moving services early and don’t jump for the cheapest one. Sometimes companies cost less because they’re moving several families at once and it could take weeks for your belongings to arrive.
Do your research and you’ll find a company that fits your price range without sacrificing quality. And don’t be surprised that it could cost you thousands of dollars if you’re moving an entire home full of furniture and other belongings.
Research Potential Property Restrictions
Imagine this: You’ve just closed on your dream home and couldn’t be more excited.
The only thing that could make this property more ideal would be if it had a pool. You start planning the construction of a pool before moving in, but along the way, you learn your homeowners’ association doesn’t allow pools. Or maybe you learn from your local zoning agency that city ordinances limit the size and scope of your pool.
Once you’ve purchased a home, surprises like this aren’t fun. If you have big plans for upgrades at your new home, check local zoning laws and the homeowners’ association’s handbook before making an offer.
Ready to Buy Your Dream Home?
If you’re considering moving to Montana from out of state, let us help you find the home of your dreams.
To make your search even sweeter, we offer home buyers a 1% cash rebate after closing, based on your purchase price.
And our services are designed to make house hunting from afar as easy as possible through a streamlined process and a wealth of information at your fingertips.
Contact us for more information about how to start your home buying process.
See how much you can receive as a cash-back rebate when purchasing your next home with Picket: