Moving & Starting in a New Place
You or your significant other has landed the job of your dreams. The only catch is that it requires you to move out of state.
You are certainly not alone: Nearly 5.1 million people moved to a new state in 2012, reports the U.S. Census Bureau, up 17 percent from 2010.
I have personally moved overseas or out of state 6 times in the last 12 years and there are steps you can take to minimize your stress.
One useful idea for achieving a successful move is to identify the potential stressors associated with making such a big change and address them before they arise.
Prior to leaving your home state, visit DMV.org and select your current state. This site will tell you whether your state requires you to leave your license plates behind and whether they will refund a portion of the money you spent registering your car. If you choose the state you will be moving to you can learn precisely what you need to do in order to obtain a new driver license and register your vehicle. Contact a licensed insurance agent to make sure that you have all the auto insurance your need in your new state. We use USAA, but as a starting point, you can click here to find out how much more or less insurance is going to cost in your new hometown through State Farm.
If you plan on renting or buying a new home, begin the research and preparation process prior to your move. If you’re buying, Realtor.com recommends that you contact mortgage lenders in advance to find out where you can get your best rates. If you will be renting, contact area real estate agents to help with your search. There is a special challenge involved in finding a Realtor you would like to work with while you’re still living out-of-state. Ask your new employer for recommendations or interview a few agents during a pre-move visit, and if you’re a military family by all means get in touch with your peers that are already living in your destination. Because you will be depending upon that agent to properly guide you in a city you may be unfamiliar with, it is especially important that you work with someone you trust.
Thanks to the internet, forwarding mail to your new home address has never been easier. The U.S. Postal Service provides a page that allows you to do it online, simply by providing basic information. This is particularly helpful if you are going to be moving from your home state, into temporary housing, and again into a permanent home.
If you’ll be moving with children you understand the potential stress involved in finding the best school possible. GreatSchools.org suggests coordinating your home hunt with your school search. According to the organization, some people find the school they want prior to looking for a home in the area, which is exactly how we did when moving with our school-age kids the last time around. It does limit your housing options, but rather offers peace of mind. Let any agent you are working with know precisely what you are looking for in a school system or even if you’re looking for a specific school for its academic programs or ranking.
Be prepared to spend months “settling in” to your new city. I have learned that it actually takes me about a full year before I feel “home”. Spend those months investigating fun things to do in the area, introducing yourself to neighbors, co-workers, church members, and other parents. Don’t be shy about joining a club or group that interests you. As intimidating as it may feel to find your social bearings in a new situation, it does get easier. Help the process along by actively putting yourself out there.