Moving can be stressful no matter what location you choose. But moving to a new state can add some additional factors you may not have thought of. For one thing, if your new location is far away, it will be more difficult to get things situated while you’re preparing to leave. Different states have different laws, regulations, and cultures than you might be used to. Some of these things will just have to be learned once you arrive. But there are several things that it’s important to find out ahead of time.
What school will your child attend?
If you have school-age children, this could be one of the most important decisions you’ll make before you move. Many cities have strict rules on school district attendance. This means that your child will most likely have to attend the school that’s in the district where your new home is located. Many parents choose to narrow down the area where they’ll buy a home based on school district choices.
Obviously, it’s ideal to make a couple of visits to the schools you are considering. But sometimes that’s not possible, depending on the time of year you are moving and how much notice you had. If it’s not possible to visit in person, try to do as much research as possible. You can find school reviews online through various websites and social media. Try to connect with parents you might find in these groups to get first-hand information.
What utility companies will you use?
This is a bigger decision in some communities than it is in others. Small towns usually have only one choice for gas and electric. But bigger cities often have several competing companies. Either way, you’ll need to find out about your utility companies before you go. You might have to call ahead to get them connected so that they’ll be turned on when you arrive. And since you may have to pay deposits, it’s best to contact them as far in advance as possible.
The best way to do this is to ask your realtor or other connections in town for the most dependable and economical companies. But it’s wise to call around for rates before you settle on one. This is especially true for cable and internet providers. Even companies you already have service with might charge different fees in different areas.
What doctor will you see?
Changing family doctors can be difficult, especially if you’ve had the same one for a long time. But you can make the transition a little easier by doing your research before you move. Begin by asking your current physician for recommendations. You never know when he or she might know some in the area.
But if that doesn’t help, it’s usually not too hard to find information online. Start with a website that offers high quality medical reviews. And check social media and their own website to see what people have to say. If you see specialists for specific medical conditions, you might also try finding Facebook groups for them and ask for recommendations.
What services do you need?
What types of specialty services do you currently use? For example, maybe you own a Ferrari that must be serviced by specialty dealers. Or maybe you own a boat that you frequently need boat service and repair for. These are all good things to find out before you move so that you know how far you’ll have to go to find those services. It’s also sometimes a determining factor for people who work in certain industries or have particular lifestyles. If not being able to get your sports car repaired within 500 miles is a deal-breaker, it’s best to know this before you go.
How will you contribute?
Many times, people move to a new state specifically for a new job. But if you are used to regularly contributing to your community in some way, there are other things to find out. For example, you may want to find out where you can volunteer in Eastern Michigan if that’s the state you’re relocating to. Or you may wish to connect with people from your kids’ new school to find out how you can help. Of course, these are things you can find out after you arrive in your new area. But if this type of thing is important to you, you’ll probably want to line out your prospects.
How will your new state affect your taxes?
Each state in the US has its own tax regulations. Some states even have their own income tax while others don’t. Some states also have lower business taxes or varying retirement taxes. These factors can greatly affect someone’s decision to move to that state, especially if they own their own businesses or are retired.
But aside from this, sales taxes, property taxes, and other fees all differ from state to state. Your big salary increase may seem wonderful until you realize how much higher your taxes will be. Do some quick research or talk to your CPA before you move. You may be surprised to find out you’ll end up with the same amount of disposable income as before.
Will you buy or build?
The decision to buy or build can be very different for everybody. You may have specific desires for a home that you can’t find on the market. Or you may already own a piece of land you’d like to build on. Whatever the reason, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
For one thing, buying a home can be a much faster process. You can get your lender approval ahead of time. And then, you can simply shop around for homes of distinction and make an offer on the ones you love. It can also be much cheaper to buy a home that’s already built than to buy your own. This isn’t necessarily true all the time, but it is a general fact.
On the other hand, however, you may not be able to get the exact home that you want when buying an existing home. But if you build one yourself, you can get the exact specifications and amenities you’ve been dreaming of.
What moving company will you use?
Your choice of movers may not seem like a big deal. But the fact is, it can make a huge difference. Some movers add on extra costs for moving across state lines, even if it’s just the next town. Also, some movers are much more cautious with your belongings than others. And it is usually more important for your furniture to be padded well when you’re moving farther away than just across town.
You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll hire the movers to pack your belongings or if you’ll do it yourself. Many companies offer packing services with their moving packages. But it’s important to decide on this before you call around.
Don’t choose a moving company without checking reviews and asking detailed questions. You can check online reviews or ask around for the best movers. Also, don’t forget to save all your receipts from the move. If you’re moving from work, you can deduct a portion of these expenses from your income taxes.