Are you relocating for a job? Congratulations! Chances are this is an exciting and scary time for you. I know it was for me!
We are taking a deep dive into the logistics and sharing our moving to a new state checklist. So that you can tackle this transition with ease! … okay at least, EASIER.
If this is your first time here, welcome! If you’ve been here before, thank you so much for coming back and spending your time with me. My name is Lindsay and I‘m proud to be your Anthem, Arizona REALTOR® with the Wise Move AZ Team at Realty ONE Group. On our YouTube channel and blog we have a lot of fun talking about all things Anthem and real estate every single Thursday, and we absolutely love having you along for the ride.
You’ve Got This!
Moving to a new state can be expensive and a lot of work. If you are relocating for a job you might also be up against some serious deadlines. Not only have we moved from state to state and country to country, but many of the clients we work with today are moving to beautiful Anthem, Arizona from out of state. Anyways, that’s just a long way of saying, we get it and you have our sympathy!
In this post I am running through what you need to do to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. If you would rather have a printable checklist, click here.
I really went back and forth on the best way to organize this post. I thought about going chronologically, but everyone’s timing is different. Instead, I am going to break it into six main categories, each with their own set of action items. It will be up to you to set realistic deadlines for each based on how much time you have.
#1 Research the Area & Employer
I am going to assume that you have already accepted the new job or at least received the offer.
The first thing I want you to determine is if your new employer offers relocation support. They may be partnered with a relocation company. If so, I want you to research everything they offer and what the cost is to you, if any. If these services are available, consider making use of them! Moving is going to be expensive and time consuming; take all the help you can get.
Get to Know the Area
Next I want you to research the area you are moving to.
Have you traveled there before?
What are the neighborhoods like?
Are there particular areas you are more drawn to?
What are the average commute times in the area?
How far do you want to commute?
If you have kids, what is the school system like?
What will the transition be like for them into the new school system?
What does the application process entail?
Compile your Research
If you haven’t noticed, relocating is going to require a lot of research, so I suggest creating a folder on your computer to save all your findings, or if you’re more tactile put together a binder.
Visit the Area & Think about your Lifestyle
If possible, I recommend that you make time to visit the area before your move. Even if you have visited before, your perspective will be different when you have intentions of moving there.
Whether you go there in person or you are doing your research online, I also want you to explore things like ‘where will you do your shopping?’, and ‘how will you make social connections?’.
It is easy to get bogged down in the logistics of making the move, but remember, this is going to be your home. You want it to be a place where you feel a sense of belonging.
If you are religious, do they have a place of worship in the area that is a good fit?
Love working out? Is there a good gym nearby?
If your kids are into volleyball, are there local teams for them to join?
I know this stuff feels a bit fluffy, but if you have plans to take care of your social needs when you arrive in the new place, it will feel like home a lot sooner!
#2 Find a New Home
I strongly recommend that you decide on your accommodation in the new state before you move. The biggest decision for many of our clients is whether they should rent or purchase when they get here. This is a very personal decision and I think there are strong arguments for both. In my opinion, renting is a great option when you are unsure where you want to live or if you are unsure how long you will be there. Purchasing is a big commitment, but it can also help the new state to feel more like home. Take time to really think about this.
Build your Team
I recommend that you research and find a local REALTOR® you can trust. They will be able to talk you through what renting or purchasing would look like, and will have tips to help you make your decision. If you’re considering Anthem, we are happy to help. If you’re move is taking you somewhere else don’t hesitate to send us an email (Team@WiseMoveAZ.com). We work with agents all over the country and may be able to connect you with a local expert in your area.
Wants versus Needs
When finding your new place to live I want you to research and consider:
- Commute Times
- Utility Costs
- Your wants versus needs in a home
If you will be purchasing a home there are few things I want you to keep in mind. The first is that photos online can be deceiving. You may want to plan a trip to your new state for the sole purpose of purchasing a home. If you can’t, I recommend using an agent that can provide 3D virtual tours. If you want more information on 3D virtual tours, click to watch this video.
Also, if you are planning to purchase, I want you to make sure you get pre-qualified early in the process. If you are relocating to a different state and staying with the same employer this shouldn’t be an issue. On the flipside, if you are relocating to start a new career or if you haven’t been in this career for long, it may be trickier to get a mortgage. Most lenders are looking at a couple of years of employment history, and will want to assess the stability of your new position before they are willing to lend. The sooner you connect with a local lender, the more options you will have.
#3 Your Current Home
The biggest question is whether you own or rent your current home. If you rent, you will need to review the terms of your lease and determine how much notice you need to give to your landlord. Note that there may be penalties if you need to break your lease early.
Selling your Current Home
If you own your current home, this can add more pressure. You need to assess your current financials.
Do you need to sell your current home before you can afford to move?
How quickly can you realistically sell your home?
How much will you net from the sale?
Again, I recommend that you find a local REALTOR® you can trust to help you map this out.
We have a very detailed video on getting your home ready to sell in 30 days or less which you can watch here. If you need to sell your current home before relocating, I strongly recommend that you watch it. It will help break the project down into smaller, more manageable steps.
#4 Plan your Move
Whether you rent or own currently, you will need to come up with a plan for your personal belongings. We go into this in detail in the video I mentioned on listing your home in 30 days or less. Overall, you need to make decisions about what you are keeping and what you can get rid of. The things you are keeping will need to be packed. The items you are getting rid of need to be donated or sold.
Professional Movers or DIY?
Once you know what you are keeping you need to decide if you will be hiring professional movers or if you will be moving yourself. We have a whole video dedicated to answering the question of whether or not you should hire professional movers here.
Whether you are hiring movers or doing it yourself you need to get estimates on how much it will cost. If you are doing it yourself, don’t forget to budget for the cost of packing supplies, gas, and truck rentals.
Don’t forget to factor in things like pets and vehicles into the logistics of your move.
#5 Budget & Timeline
Throughout this process, I want you to be actively compiling a budget and building a timeline. No matter how small an expense seems, I recommend that you keep track of it. Your budget should include things like:
- Moving Costs: This can include professional movers, truck rentals, accommodation on the road, packing supplies and more.
- Insurance: This includes both home and auto.
- Utility Set Up Fees
- Deposits: This could include a security deposit if you are renting a home, but it could also include deposits to the moving company and more.
- Closing Costs: If you are buying and selling a home, you will need to think about costs on both sides.
- Cost of Repairs to your Current Home (and/or Future Home): If you are renting you need to think about how much of your damage deposit you are likely to get back. If you are selling you need to account for the fact that you may need to make repairs to your home before closing.
Your budget also needs to account for the fact that you may have expenses in both places at the same time. For example, if you close on your new home before your current home sells, you could be paying things like utilities, HOA dues, and taxes, in both places.
Net Sheet & Closing Cost Estimate
If you are working with a REALTOR®, on one side or both, I recommend that you have them put together a net sheet and a closing cost estimate for you. This will account for commissions, mortgage fees, title and escrow expenses, HOA dues, and more. If you want more information on the hidden costs of buying a home, click to watch this video.
You also need to consider the fact that you may need to pay taxes in two states. If you are unsure how this impacts your bottom line or what it will look like, I recommend that you speak with an accountant.
Build a Buffer
You should also be building in a buffer for unforeseen expenses. We can only plan so much and things are bound to go off course a bit. Having a buffer of extra cash will make it so that any bumps along the road don’t throw your whole plan into jeopardy.
With respect to your timeline, I recommend that you build it backwards. If you know that you need to be settled into your new place by June 1, start there and think about everything you need to do to get there. Once you have your timeline, I recommend putting it into your calendar and setting reminders. This will help to keep you on track throughout the process.
As if moving wasn’t stressful enough on its own, you also need to notify a bunch of other parties about your move. Come up with a plan to notify the following:
- Friends & Family
- Banking & Credit Institutions
- Utility providers (in both places)
- Insurance Providers
- Postal Services: You will like want to set up mail forwarding with USPS.
I recommend that you review your bank and credit card statements for the last quarter or better yet, a full year. This will give you an idea of all of the service providers you use. Make note to contact any that will need to be aware of your move.
If you have pets you will need to take care of moving their registration from one city or county to the next.
You will also need to deal with your vehicles. Licensing and registration will need to be transferred to the new state. You will also need to get your driver’s license or ID card transferred to the new state. Many states offer a grace period but I recommend you deal with this as soon as possible.
Do your research beforehand so that you have all of the necessary paperwork ready to go. The only thing worse than standing in line for hours at the DMV is having to go back more than once because you forgot something.
As I mentioned in the previous section, there can be tax implications associated with your move. Make sure that you are doing your research on how to set up the new state as your ‘tax home’. I recommend starting on the state’s website. If you still aren’t sure, contact a local accountant.
So, there you have it! As promised, if you would like to download our printable checklist, click here. Personally, I think the biggest takeaway is to take the time to come up with a detailed plan that makes the most sense for you and your family. I would love to hear where you are relocating to, so drop me a comment.