From 2010 to 2014, approximately 16.9 million people moved to different counties within the country, according to the latest available data from the United States Census Bureau. And whether they moved to retire, start jobs or seek employment, many were probably unaware of the ups and downs of relocating. You may be in a similar situation, contemplating a move to another city. If so, here are some important facts you may not realize about relocation.
1. There’s More to Do Than You Think
Uprooting your family takes a lot of work. You must find new schools for your children — hopefully ones that are of comparable quality — get out of an apartment lease or sell your home, and find a new place to live. Finding new schools for the kids and searching for a residence may require multiple trips to your new city. And this can cost thousands of dollars, depending on how far you move. If you’re moving for a job, check with your company to find out what expenses they cover for home searching and moving. It’s best to negotiate this perk before you accept the job. You must also disconnect all utility and cable services and arrange for these connections in your new residence after you move. And you must pack all of your belongings and arrange your relocation with a reputable moving company. Again, your new employer may help you with many of these tasks and expenses.
2. Expect Very High Stress Levels
You and your family probably have emotional attachments to your old city, whether you’re leaving loves ones, friends or your church behind. The kids will be leaving their schoolmates, which can be traumatic. Whatever the case, you’re going to experience some sadness with the move. Therefore, arrange to stay in contact with family and friends through email, texts, phone calls or Skype. When you arrive in your new city, start building a new social network through special interest clubs or through online services like MeetUp. It will also take you some time to unpack and familiarize yourself with getting around in your new city. This can also create a great deal of stress, so set your GPS and start driving around to locate stores, health clubs and other venues you enjoy.
3. You Could Be Worse Off Financially
If you haven’t already done so, use a cost-of-living calculator to determine how the cost of living in your new city compares with the old one. This really needs to be done before you accept the job, realizing a move from Cincinnati to Chicago, for example, comes with a significant increase in living costs. The best way to compute and compare cost of living expenses between two cities is to use a cost-of-living calculator. Some of the most widely used calculators are the ones through CNN, Bankrate.com and Salary.com. These calculators show you how much you need to make in your new city to maintain your current lifestyle. They also highlight where the main disparities lie, such as housing costs. It’s best to plan in advance for cost of living changes. And if the move appears too costly, don’t move.
4. You May Not Like New City
Whether you’re moving to the Sunshine State or a glitzy locale you’ve only seen on television, you may not like the place once you get there. This follows the logic of the old aphorism, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” Whatever your situation, give yourself time in your new venue before you make a final decision on it. You may like your job, for example, but hate the traffic. If that’s the case, move closer to work. Forbes recommends that you rent a home or corporate housing before making any permanent housing commitments in your new venue. This can prevent you from having to sell a house if you leave. All told, stay where you are for at least six months or a year before making a decision to move. Certain corporate benefits packages require minimal time periods for staying on jobs.
Weigh the pros and cons of relocating to a new city in advance. Then, once you’re there, give yourself time to get acclimated. “You might find that your new home is the perfect place for you and your family,” said Commonwealth Movers, Inc.