Note: This is a guest post by Tim Eyre and I thought this article was interesting food for thought for anyone thinking of moving to a new city or country.
Relocating to a new area can be incredibly stressful and emotional for a family. Therefore, making the decision to move should not be made lightly. The following factors should help weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of making a major move.
- Your Current Home
If you’re a homeowner, one of the first things to consider before relocating is what to do with your current home. Most folks don’t have the financial flexibility to move without first selling their house, so putting your house on the market right when you make the decision to move may be critical. In our current economic climate, most areas of the country are plagued with distressed real estate markets. Therefore, relocating before you’re rid of your current home may not be a wise economic decision. After all, many homes take months or years to sell.
Before putting your current home on the market, start researching housing options in the areas you’re interested in. Because real estate prices can vary dramatically in different areas, you should determine very early on whether your proposed move is a realistic option from a housing perspective. For example, if you have a large family and need a lot of square footage, make sure that your income can support purchasing a sizeable home in the new location. Also, don’t overlook related factors like property tax rates and insurance premiums, which can also vary from one state to another. Once you’ve made the decision to move, even if home ownership is your plan, consider renting for several months, or even an entire year. Leasing will enable you to get the feel of your new location and hone in on the specific neighborhoods that appeal to you.
- Cost of Living
Once you’ve determined that you can afford adequate housing in the new location, don’t forget that the cost of other goods and services may vary dramatically from one city to the next. Before taking the plunge, research the cost of things like groceries, gas and utility services to figure out if you can afford living there.
- Quality of Living
While it’s obviously important to determine if you can afford to move to a new location, quality of living may be even more important in deciding whether you’ll be happy once you relocate. If you’re moving to another region of the country, think about whether cultural differences might make you feel like an outsider, or whether you’re likely to embrace your new surroundings. Also, consider social and recreational opportunities in the area.
- Distance from Your Current Location
The distance between your current home and your chosen destination could have a huge impact on how happy you’ll be after you move. For example, from a purely economic perspective, relocating to an area across the country will likely be expensive. And, perhaps more importantly, moving far away will also remove you from friends and loved ones in your current location. Consider these factors in determining how far may be too far for you and your family.
With unemployment rates soaring these days, the decision to leave a job should not be made lightly. In short, if you’re currently employed, don’t relocate in hopes of finding a new job once you get settled in your new town. Instead, even if an attractive new offer of employment is luring you to a new city, carefully consider your long term job prospects in that area.
- Charm is Not Enough
Too many people are charmed by favorite vacation destinations and make hasty decisions to move there without really considering the consequences. Just because you enjoy visiting a bustling, big city doesn’t mean that it will make a good home for you and your family. And just because that remote beach town seemed like paradise when you last visited, that doesn’t mean that you’ll find viable employment opportunities or that you can really establish a social life there.
If you have children, you should obviously check out the local schools. If the public schools don’t meet your standards, you’ll need to determine if a private education is financially feasible. And it’s never too soon to think about higher education. Indeed, with college tuition rising steadily throughout the country, the quality of a state’s public institutions could help justify a move.
Weather may seem like an insignificant consideration to some people, but moving from a temperate climate to a place where shoveling snow will be part of your daily routine could truly impact your lifestyle. The same might be said of warmer areas, where hot, humid summer weather can actually constitute a health hazard. And, speaking of health, consider whether any health conditions you may have, such as seasonal allergies, could be exacerbated by relocating to a particular area.
- Effect on the Entire Family
Even if a new job offer several states away seems like the chance of a lifetime for you, don’t jump the gun until you carefully consider the effect moving will have on the rest of your family. For example, how will relocating affect your spouse’s career or lifestyle? And will the kids likely be able to assimilate in a new town? If it does appear, after careful consideration, that relocating will be good for the entire family, try to plan the move in a way that poses the least amount of stress for everyone. For example, if possible, move in between school years to minimize the impact on the kids.
About The Author: In his role in the self storage industry, Tim Eyre helps customers care for their cherished belongings that must be put in storage. Tim regularly visits his facilities including a San Jose self storage center. He also was recently meeting customers and staff at the San Bernardino self storage center.