Couple hugging who just relocated into a new home.

How To Relocate: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Published on March 11, 2022
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Relocating to a new state is a daunting task, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do. In addition to all the preparation, you have to deal with the uncertainty that comes with moving to a new place.

But if you stay organized and put a plan in place, you can successfully execute your move without any unnecessary headaches. Take some time to do your research and figure out what resources are available to assist you with your move. When you know what to expect, it’ll make the planning a lot easier.

If you’re wondering how to relocate to another state, this article is for you. We’ll break down the basic costs that come with moving and outline a step-by-step guide you can follow.

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How Much Does It Cost To Relocate?

For many people, one of the biggest challenges of relocating is the hefty price tag that comes with it. Whether you use movers or DIY your move, there’s no getting around the mandatory expenses that come with it.

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average move costs $4,300. However, that’s based on an average weight of 7,400 pounds and an average distance of 1,225 miles. So, depending on your situation, your actual costs could be more or less than this.

As you’re budgeting for the upcoming move, there are several factors that will affect the total cost:

  • The size of the move: It costs a lot less to move out of a two-bedroom apartment than it does to move out of a five-bedroom house. The more items you have to move, the more you can expect to pay. Decluttering and donating any items you don’t want can help you minimize these costs.
  • Whether you hire movers: If you’re moving to another state, it will most likely be necessary to hire movers. Most moving companies charge a flat hourly rate per mover. But other factors that can drive up the cost, like if the movers have to navigate a lot of stairs or move a lot of bulky furniture.
  • The total distance moved: The farther you move, the more you can plan to pay in moving expenses.
  • Whether you have to pay for storage: It may be necessary for you to store some of your items for a period of time. This will add to the overall cost of your move.

How To Relocate To Another State

If you’re preparing to move to another state, there are many things you should think about. It’s important to get a good understanding of the area you’re moving to so you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into.

This can be done by either visiting the location ahead of time or researching it online. Let’s look at some suggestions you might consider before relocating to another state.

1. Research The Area And Cost Of Living

One of the first steps you should take is researching the location you’re thinking of moving to. You want to find out the average cost of living, so you’ll know how far your salary will go in that area.

If you’re moving to a state with a high cost of living, there may be other ways you can reduce your expenses. For instance, if you’re moving to a big city, you may be able to sell your car and rely on public transportation.

If you’re planning to buy a home, you’ll want to investigate the average housing prices. And if you have kids, you’ll want to research different public school districts. Although even if you don’t have kids, moving to a neighborhood in a good school district will help keep your property value high.

2. Make A Budget

Before you start looking for a place to live, it’s important to have a budget in place. A budget will guide you as to where to look when you’re searching for a home in a new city. It will help you determine how much you’re able to afford.

However, keep in mind that this is just an estimate – if you want a more accurate idea of how much you can afford, you should speak to a Home Loan Expert. They can give you more guidance on your situation.

3. Find A Real Estate Agent

Next, you should look for a local real estate agent with experience in the city you’re moving to. A qualified real estate agent can help you find the type of home you’re looking for and will be able to recommend areas you might enjoy living in.

When you’re looking for a real estate agent, it’s essential to pick someone you trust. Ask for referrals from friends or family, and make sure to vet the person you end up choosing. You’ll be relying on this person’s guidance heavily in the coming months, so you want to find the right person.

4. Ask For Relocation Assistance

If you’re moving for a new job, you might want to ask for relocation assistance from your employer. This assistance can help you financially with the move, and you won’t have to spend as much out of pocket.

Every relocation situation is different, and some employers will be willing to pay for more than others. You might consider asking your employer to chip in on the following expenses: 

  • The cost to ship your belongings to the new location
  • Help with selling your current home
  • Temporary housing costs if you find yourself between homes
  • The cost of purchasing your new home, which can average $3,500 per month
  • Tax assistance is if the home sale causes an increase in taxes

5. Plan Your Move

Once you have all the essential items in place, come up with a plan for your move. This plan could include things like hiring movers, switching addresses and deciding when you need to be in your new city.

If you have children, it’s even more important to plan for the move. Your kids may need to switch schools, so you want to ensure you have all the paperwork in place. Make sure you send your kids’ academic records over to their new school. And don’t forget to set aside any important paperwork, so you don’t misplace it during the move.

And take some time to think about the services you’ll need to switch over to your new location. For instance, you’ll have to set up new utilities and find a new doctor, dentist and other service providers. You can ask your real estate agent to give you a list of the services you’ll need in your new city.

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Additional Relocation Tips

Relocating can be very difficult, even if you’re moving for a great opportunity. And if you’re struggling with a lot of debt or have poor credit, buying a new home may not be the best option right off the bat.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few different options you can think about. You can consider renting a home in your new location for a while.

Renting will give you time to build up your credit and pay down any outstanding debt until you’re ready to buy a home. You might also consider discussing your situation with your employer. This can feel uncomfortable at first, but they likely have resources available to help you.

Even if you’re in a good financial situation, moving to a new location can be stressful. Before you move, focus on making connections in your new city. It’s amazing how often a close friend or family member ends up knowing someone in your new location. You can also join social media groups to start building connections ahead of the move.

And children can take moving especially hard, so you should have a plan for how you’ll help them. According to the National Institute of Health, relocating is one of the most stressful events you can go through.

Help your kids know what to expect by mapping out their new room and coming up with a list of activities they can sign up for at their new school. They may still feel nervous, but this will help them focus on what they can look forward to.

The Bottom Line

Moving to another state can be an exciting opportunity, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you come up with a plan and stay organized, relocating can be easier than you imagined possible.

If you’re moving for a new job, ask your employer about options for financial assistance. If your move benefits them, they should be more willing to contribute financially. Talk to your manager or someone from human resources about setting up a moving budget.

And take some time to research the area you’re moving to and the housing market. This will help you determine the cost of living and how much you can expect to pay.

If you’re not ready to buy a house just yet, you can consider renting for a while. But if you’re relocating to another state and ready to begin the home buying process, take the time to apply for a home loan with Rocket Mortgage®.

Apply for a Mortgage with Quicken Loans®

Apply online for expert recommendations with real interest rates and payments.

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Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who writes about a variety of personal finance topics, including loans, building credit, and paying down debt. She currently writes for clients like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Insider, and Bankrate.