The average person moves to a different home about a dozen times over a lifetime. Since that figure represents the median, you can find some who live in their childhood home until they are elderly and others who move 40+ times.
When you’re thinking about a move, it helps to ask yourself a few questions before starting a new life in a different city, borough, or neighborhood. Here is a list of some things to review to ensure you can get everything off on the right foot.
Question #1: Do I Know Anyone?
Even if you only know one person, it’ll be easier to transition from your old home to the new one. Most people need six months to a year to get grounded in a new community when they’re alone or only moving with their family.
If you don’t know anyone, try to get a network started at work quickly. You can also reach out to your neighbors, attend community events, and experiment with different stores and restaurants to meet new people.
Question #2: Where Should I Avoid?
Every community has a “bad” neighborhood or area that most people try to avoid. Although you can certainly venture there, having this information beforehand ensures that unwanted surprises are less likely to occur.
You can check several online resources to find data on crime, education, and overall safety for cities and neighborhoods throughout the United States. In addition, after moving in, your neighbors can brief you on what to expect in your community.
Question #3: What Is My Budget?
Last-second expenses always come up during a move. That’s why we always recommend that our clients double their expected budget for the relocation. We offer that advice, not because of the rates and fees we charge, but due to the things you never think about much during this transition.
Do you have enough cash for credit deposits? What about the changes in your daily living expenses? If you’ve doubled your budget and can still afford the switch, you’ll be in great shape.
Question #4: How Long Do I Have to Register My Vehicle?
Most states allow you to have a 30-day grace period after moving to register your vehicle. This process includes changing your driver’s license to your new address. If you don’t take care of the change, there could be fees and fines involved.
Even though you might move to New York from out of state with tags that don’t expire for nine months, it’s easier to rip off the bandage and make the switch. Once you get it over with, your new place will feel even more like home.
Question #5: How Long Should I Stay?
Some people move to a new city to try it for a year. Others head to a place because they want to put down some roots and raise their children (and grandchildren) from that spot. You don’t need to have the answers right away, but it is still essential to keep this question somewhere in your mind. Time is a precious commodity, so try to make the most of it!
Question #6: What Do I Need?
The packing process for moving can be a little challenging. It’s often the hardest part of heading to a new home because it requires sorting, boxing, and distribution.
The act of packing forces us to value things that we don’t want to think about all the time. Should you save those high school photos? What about that sweater from Aunt Jane that stays in the closet all the time?
When you can limit what needs to move from your old home to the new one, you’ll reduce the cost of this transition while giving your home more space to use.
Question #7: What Will I Need When I Get There?
We all have different things that provide comfort and peace. For some, it might be a favorite pizzeria. Others like browsing through antiques, visiting a salon, or locating a great spot for coffee or ice cream. After a move, one of the best activities is to find a new area that makes you fall in love.
Everyone should ask one final question before signing any contracts. Is this move the right step to take now? If it is, the confidence you’ll get from your answer will make everything feel better. If not, it might be more appropriate to re-evaluate your circumstances to see if other changes might help you get everything back on track.