Moving to a new home is always a big task, even if you’re just relocating down the street. But when moving means packing up and making the long haul to a new state, the extra planning and logistics required can certainly add stress.
The secret to a smooth transition is to be prepared! We’ve put together this helpful guide with tips to help reduce the stress of relocating.
Stay organized. This should always be step No. 1 for any move, especially if you’re making a long-distance trek. Make two to-do lists: one for everything you need to accomplish in your current location and one for all that needs to be done to help you get situated in your new home. Delegate tasks so you don’t get overwhelmed and be sure to keep important documents and moving-related receipts in an easily accessible folder. Staying organized will help you keep your sanity throughout the process. This helpful checklist from HGTV provides a week-by-week checklist to keep you organized in the two months leading up to your move.
Explore your resources and seek assistance. If you’re relocating for a new job, your employer may offer relocation assistance to ease the transition. These services may include financial assistance to cover moving expenses such as professional movers and truck rental, as well as travel costs, temporary housing, help selling your current home and covering closing costs on your new home. To find out just what your employer offers, check with your company’s human resources department. Even if your employer doesn’t provide a standard relocation package, you may be able to negotiate some assistance. Some moving expenses may qualify as tax deductible*, saving you money. You can learn more about that here.
Plan the paperwork. If you have children, once you’ve selected a new neighborhood, go ahead and start on school enrollment paperwork and have records sent to the new school. Get copies of all medical and immunization records from your current doctor and don’t forget to transfer any prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new city.
Check your insurance. Find out if your homeowner’s policy provides moving insurance. If not, consider full-value insurance from the moving company. This type of insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that if something is broken or damaged during the move, the company will cover the full cost of repair or replacement. Note that most moving companies’ standard repair coverage only covers about 60 cents per pound. If a 100-pound, $1000 appliance gets damaged in the move, you’ll only get back $60.
Pack strategically. This is the most difficult and most tedious part of a move. If you have the time, purge before you pack. There’s no better time to declutter and get rid of items you no longer need, ultimately saving you money. The cost of your long-distance move may be based on volume or weight so the less you take with you, the less you’ll pay. Get rid of the excess and start fresh in your new home by selling or donating what you no longer need, use or wear. As you pack, clearly label each box. Use colored dot stickers to label boxes by room so the movers know exactly where to drop every box in your new home. If you’re moving into temporary housing, arrange storage for everything but the essentials. When the time comes to make the trek to your new state, keep all important documents including birth certificates, your marriage license and social security cards with you, rather than in a box.
Get to know your new city. Transitioning to a new location can be difficult for adults and children alike. Turn your move into a vacation, scheduling fun stops along the way. When you arrive, take a break from unpacking and explore your new city. Visit a popular attraction, dine at a local restaurant and be sure to locate the nearest grocery store, hospital, coffee shop and any other amenities you’ll need to help you feel at home in your new state.
Set up new services. Cancel services at your old home and schedule set up for services in your new home, including cable, Internet, utilities, lawn care, phone, etc. Arrange for water and electric (at least) to be turned on the day before arriving so you’ll be prepared for your first night in your new home.
Research cost of living in your new city. In most cases, your salary will reflect cost of living in your location, but do your homework so you know what to expect. Remember, property taxes, state income taxes and sales taxes may all be different than where you currently live. These are just a few of the numbers to check out before you relocate to a new location.
Take your time. If you haven’t already purchased a new home before your move, and temporary housing is an option, take advantage of it. The work of moving alone is enough without the added stress of trying to find the best home for your family on your first few days in your new location. Even if your company doesn’t offer temporary housing, month-to-month renting is an option at most apartment complexes and rental agencies. Take time to get familiar with the area before you make a long-term commitment to a new home.
Relocating to a new state is an adventure, and while it can be difficult to leave your old home behind, setting yourself up for a smooth transition can help make your move enjoyable for you and your family.
Are you relocating and house hunting in a new state? Contact a PrimeLending home loan expert to help you get prequalified** for a home loan to make purchasing a home in your new city as simple as possible.
* PrimeLending is not authorized to give tax advice. Please consult your tax adviser for tax advice for your specific situation.
**A pre-qualification is not an approval of credit, and does not signify that underwriting requirements have been met.