Moving to a new city can be frightening. Your favorite coffee shop, your gym, your local farmer’s market, and even your friends slowly fade away in your rearview mirror.
Of course, you’ll find a new coffee shop, a new gym, a new farmer’s market, and even new friends in your new city, but how does one even start, and how do you know that your new city is the right one for you?
You’ll never know the ins and outs of a city until you spend at least four seasons there, but if you ask the right questions, and do some homework, your transition can be so much easier. Here are 5 questions you should ask before moving to a new city:
Can I Afford it?
If you’re moving from the Bay Area, you’re probably thinking “I got this one.” After all, this is one of the most expensive areas in the country. It’s also one of the highest paid. A move to another city might mean lower rent, lower taxes, cheaper groceries, and a giant pay cut to match. Sites like Glassdoor will give you an idea of your worth in other areas.
If you already have a job, try to budget no more than 1/3 of your income for housing. Factor in commute time — time is money.
Do I Know Anyone?
I once moved to a city where the only people I knew were an estranged college friend and my boss. Believe it or not, that was enough. Just the comfort of knowing someone made the move a whole lot less frightening. That, and my once estranged friend and I are closer than ever.
My experience was before the days of social media. You probably have virtual friends in most metropolitan areas. Cull those friendships, safely. Ask about places to live, and places to avoid. Agree to meet for coffee once you get to town. Those friendships might not stand the test of time, but they are a jumping off point.
Do I Want to Rent or Buy?
Unless you know that you’ll be in your new city for the long-haul, or unless you can find a spectacular deal, renting might be the best option. Even if you know you’re going to be there for a long time, it might take several months before you get the lay of the land. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck with a house you don’t like in a neighborhood you don’t like. Take your time.
How are the Schools?
If you have young ones, you’ll need to check out the best schools. With private and charter schools, it might not matter where you live, but if your children are in public school, you’ll want to choose carefully. See how local schools rank. Even if you end up in a neighborhood with less than ideal schools, ask yourself if you have the time to supplement your child’s education.
How Do I Get There?
This is actually a two-part question. You already know that you can either drive or fly. If you choose to fly, there are several companies who can transport your cars.
As for everything you own, you can hire a moving company. Not only will they do all the literal heavy lifting, they’ll transport your goods, and when you factor in the cost of your time, gas, and hired labor, movers are pretty cost-efficient. The biggest downside to hiring a moving company is that your goods may take a few weeks to arrive. We’ll get into how to choose a mover and what type of mover suits you best over the next two weeks.
If you are moving out of town, FairPrice Movers specializes in moves to San Diego, Los Angeles, Oregon, and Washington.