Whether you’re moving for your job of your partner’s, relocating is stressful, time-consuming, and sometimes a little scary. Here are a few things to bear in mind before packing up your entire life to move somewhere else.
1. What’s the cost of living like? Use a cost of living calculator to determine whether your salary, or the salary at a job for which you’re relocating, will get you by, push you ahead, or cripple you wherever you’re going.
2. What’s the healthcare situation like? If you have a medical problem or have a dependent who does, you’ll want to know where the nearest and best doctors, dentists, specialists, and therapists are. You don’t want to move, get sick or have some other medical or mental health issue, only to find that the nearest professional in your network is 60 miles away.
3. How is traffic in the area? Sure, your new job may only be three miles from home, but in, say, Los Angeles traffic, those three miles can take you 45 minutes to navigate.
4. What’s the climate? A friend of mine moved to Wisconsin for the job of his dreams and got a sweet apartment…without indoor parking. As a result, for his first year’s lease, commuting was a nightmare in the winter.
5. How much does food cost? A tiny box of cereal in a typical Brooklyn store costs around $5. When I venture to the suburbs of New Jersey to visit my parents, I can get giant boxes from Target or Wal-Mart for $3. This stuff adds up, so be sure to pop into a few supermarkets and the like when you’re house- or apartment-hunting.
6. Do you have the required state certifications? If you’re a teacher in New York and you move to New Jersey, you’ll have to get certified to teach in New Jersey. Failing or waiting to do so will mean you’re ineligible for jobs. Don’t dawdle on this!
7. What’s the auto insurance situation? Rates vary by location, and in certain areas, they can get really expensive. Keep that in mind when you’re looking for a new place.
8. What are the state taxes like? This can make a huge difference in the amount of money you actually take home every week. Get an idea here.
9. What are the schools like? Whether you have kids, plan to have kids, or plan to continue your own education, knowing where the schools near you are and how much they cost can make a big difference in whether you can afford to actually stay there.
10. What are the job prospects? Even if you have a job lined up already, it’s good to know that there may be other jobs around in case doo-doo hits the fan. Keep your options open and your resume up to date!