- Moving to a new city
- Financial Prerequisites
- Step 1: Choosing the new location
- Step 2: Start preparing
- Step 3: Secure a place to live and a job
- Step 4: Ok, it’s time to move
- Step 5: What to do when you get there
- Show Notes
- Eight Steps for Creating the Ultimate Moving Budget
- Step 1: Take inventory
- Step 2: Do your research
- Step 3: Decide when and where you want to move
- Step 4: Put money aside for everyday expenses
- Step 5: Find ways to save and earn money
- Step 6: Have an emergency fund
- Step 7: Factor in additional costs
- Step 8: Save space in your budget for breathing room
- 10 Tips for Moving to New York on Budget
- 10. Rent, Location, Size: Get Ready to Sacrifice Two
- Median Rents in New York City
- 9. Utilize Craigslist, But Don’t Trust It
- 8. No-Fee vs. Broker Fees
- 7. Prepare to Pay
- These are some standard pay models for an apartment:
- Know Your Credit Score!
- 6. Consider a Month-to-Month Rental
- 5. Get Rid of 75% of Your Belongings
- 4. It’s Cheaper to Ship
- 3. Monthly Metro Passes vs. Pay-Per-Ride
- 2. The Yellow Ones Do Stop
- 1. Breathe. No Seriously, BREATHE
- Average Prices in New York
- Relocating Tips: How to Make a Smooth Transition
- Why Do People Relocate?
- Questions to Ask Before Relocating
- What Areas Are Popular Relocation Destinations?
- How Much Does Relocating Cost?
- How to Save Money on Relocation Costs
- Find out if your new employer offers relocation assistance
- Consider downsizing your personal possessions
- How to Sell Your House Quickly When Relocating
- Step #1: Get your home ready by focusing on small tweaks with a big impact
- Step #2: Work with an expert real estate agent to get the price right
- Step #3: Sell your house before you buy a new one
- How to Buy a House When Relocating
- Step #1: Find a real estate agent who’s a market expert
- Step #2: Know your housing budget
- Step #3: Target your home search
- Step #4: Negotiate the contract and close on your new home!
- How to Find Real Estate Pros
Moving to a new city
When you are moving to a new city, everything is new and exciting, but it can also be a little scary. Preparing will help you get past that insecurity the unfamiliarity of a new city can bring. And overspending is almost always a result of under planning.
One of our awesome listeners has been thinking of making a move to a new city and asked us for some tips on how he can prepare. Thomas has been planning a move to Denver and will share some tips and resources he in today’s episode.
Before you move to a new city, you want to have your finances in order. Get your debt situation under control and work on your credit score. If you are planning on renting, landlords look at that very seriously when considering a tenant.
Make sure you have a job when you get there. If you’re moving because of a job, get a relocation bonus. ASK FOR IT! You’d be surprised what you can get if you ask.
Creating a moving budget. This will show you how much money you will need to save up for all expenses including broker fees, security deposits, moving companies, possible storage, furniture and at least the first month’s rent.
Step 1: Choosing the new location
If you’re relocating because of a job or school, either for yourself or a spouse, apparently you’re skipping this step. For Thomas, he just wants to leave Iowa so he can have a new place to call home. Start by researching locations you might be interested in. Figure out what you want a new location and make a priority list with value scores.
Don’t get caught up in what you might do when you get there. Make a list of real priorities and things you truly value. Maybe you don’t have a car, so you want a city to be walkable. You love hiking and the outdoors, so you need to find a place with the nice weather most of the year.
Since it is more ly than not that you’ll need a job when you move, some of your top priorities should be:
- What’s my industry in this city?
- What’s the probability that I can get a good job?
- What’s the cost of living index, and will my ly salary be able to manage it?
- Will I have to downgrade my current lifestyle because the new city won’t let my dollars stretch as far?
Compare your cost of living now to what it will be on the move along with your new salary. Thomas has been using Numbeo to compare the cost if living between Des Moines to Denver.
He figured out he will need $4,837 each month to get the same standard of living I’d get on $4,000 in Des Moines. Also, check out tax rate differences. If you have children or plan to have kids, then you need to consider schools and daycare costs in the area.
Once you have all the info you need, start scoring cities you’re interested in your priorities.Check out city-data websites, forums, and Reddit to get the low-down from locals. Thomas has found this pretty helpful except for those few people who don’t want any newcomers in town.
Once you have your shortlist, visit a city or two if you can. It’s probably not feasible for most people to visit every potential city, but if you can try to Air BnB it up for a few days in your top pick. You can tour some apartments and get a feel for the place. Thomas did this in Denver, and that was fantastic. It solidified the decision for him.
Step 2: Start preparing
Moving sucks, so make a plan for everything that needs to be done way ahead of time and work on it in little chunks. Pare down your life and get rid of stuff you don’t need or use. You are starting a new life so leave some of the old behinds.
Sell some of your stuff. Only take what’s necessary and sell the rest on Amazon or eBay. Give yourself ample amount of time for packing. There is plenty stuff you don’t use on a daily or even weekly basis.
When looking for a moving company get a few quotes. Last time we moved (two blocks away) we got one quote for $1600 and one for $400. Clearly, someone was trying to rip us off. Boxes are pricey, so we went around the neighborhood on recycling day to find free moving boxes. You can also try your local supermarket on shipment days.
Tell your landlord that you’re going to be moving if you rent. If you need to break a lease, talk to your landlord and ask if you would be able to sublet until the end of the lease. Hopefully, you can avoid a fee.
Step 3: Secure a place to live and a job
Now you have to find a place to live. One option is getting an Air BnB and live in it for two months while you look at apartments locally.
You get time to get a feel for neighborhoods, vet a lot of options, and decide on a place to live at a leisurely pace. However, an AirBnB for two months can be pretty expensive. You will also have to have put some of your stuff in storage.
Your second option is getting a place locked down before you move. This will require more research into the city.Research different neighborhoods on City-Data, Yelp, Reddit, etc. Keep in mind your family size, age, style of living, budget, and distance to work, and try to find a neighborhood that matches those things best.
In some cities, the renter’s market can be fierce, and you want to make sure you get the place you want. If the lease starts before you move you may find yourself paying double rent for a month or two.
Before you put any money into an apartment you need to find an excellent job. This can be hard not living in the area, so you need to be the person companies want to hire.
When finding a job state, you need to be prepared for phone interviews. If you are having trouble finding something permeant because of the distance try for temp work.
Ultimately it’s better to look for a place where you can properly continue your career. When you do land a job, ask about what they can offer you, monetarily, to help you with the move. You might need to negotiate, but it’s worth it. Every little bit counts.
Step 4: Ok, it’s time to move
Create a big task list in your to-do manager for everything you need to do before you move to a new city. Secure your U-Haul rental early. Especially if you’re moving during a busy time, right around back-to-school time.
About a month before, do a change of address with the post office. You can do this online; it costs a dollar. Call your credit cards and debit cards to change your address and arrange cancellation dates for all your utilities.
A couple of weeks before you move, make sure utilities are set up in your new place. Many apartments make you manage certain things on your own. You don’t want to show up to an apartment with no water hooked up. Hire someone to clean your old place, so you hopefully get your security deposit back.
Do your final packing. Have a box or bag of “essential stuff” – things that you’d be devastated if it gets lost in the move. Keep it in your car if you’re not driving the U-haul or if you hired a company.
Write things “open first” in the boxes that contain the things you’ll want right away when you move your tools, paper plates, and toilet paper.
And of course – have a going away party with all your friends and family!
Step 5: What to do when you get there
Try to set up your move in such a way that you have a few days free once you get there. Moving to a new city one day, and having to report to work the next, would be stressful. Explore your new town and get involved in cool activities so you can start building relationships.
Remember, a new city doesn’t just hand everything to you. You’re starting from scratch, and you have to take advantage of any and all opportunities
Breckenridge Brewery’s Vanilla Porter – Andrews Beer
Eight Steps for Creating the Ultimate Moving Budget
Moving is complicated and can become expensive quickly without planning ahead. Of course, there are a lot of factors that go into creating a moving budget and figuring out how much your move will cost. On average, a renter can expect to spend $1,000 – $3,000 on a move. For homeowners, that number can be even higher, averaging $8,000 to $11,000.
By paying attention to detail and being proactive, you can create a moving budget that will help alleviate some of the stress that comes with this daunting process. Here’s how.
Step 1: Take inventory
Before you do anything else, determine what’s moving to your new home. Everyday items clothes, kitchenware, and furniture will be on your inventory from the very beginning, but go room by room to ensure you don’t miss anything. By doing this, you can make the right accommodations to fit your needs.
Step 2: Do your research
Having a clear idea of what’s going to your new home also helps you know what kind of movers you need. Professional movers will need your inventory to provide estimates or quotes. These estimates are various factors including what’s being moved and where it’s being moved to. Here’s what to expect:
- Base moving fee: Moving companies start out with a base rate. This is the amount that all their customers pay regardless of how much “stuff” is being moved.
- Specialty items fee: Things pool tables, safes, pianos, and artwork are considered “specialty” items by moving companies. This means that they will ly charge an extra fee to move them because of how fragile or difficult they are to move.
- Moving insurance: Moving companies offer clients something called valuation which acts as insurance for your belongings. You are compensated if the company damages or loses your things. Companies won’t charge you for basic coverage but will do so for options with more protection.
Here’s a list of questions you should ask moving companies before you choose one. This will help you pick the best company for your move.
If you choose to move on your own, there are still fees you have to consider:
- Truck rental: There are a few things to remember when renting a moving truck, including how far you will be driving and what size truck you need.
- Equipment rental
Here are some costs to consider when creating your moving budget regardless of how you move:
- Storage: Storage units come with monthly fees and you will have to buy your own lock. Depending on the company, you might also have to pay a security deposit. The deposit covers the cost of the storage company cleaning the unit if you fail to do so. If you clean the unit yourself, you get your money back.
- Transportation: This doesn’t apply if you are driving a rented moving truck. But if you’re letting someone else drive the truck, you need transportation of your own. Gas is especially important to factor in a budget for long-distance moves.
Step 3: Decide when and where you want to move
Believe it or not, the time of year you decide to move alters how much your move costs. Expect to pay more if you’re planning to move during the summer. Fewer people move in the winter because it’s cold and moving in the snow is no easy task. Plus, it’s easier to move with kids in the summer since they won’t be in school.
And, of course, where you’re moving impacts how much a move will cost you. If you’re moving from a more rural area to a big city, the cost of living will be higher than moving from a city. Some U.S. cities also require a moving permit to park moving trucks. Without one, you will be fined.
Step 4: Put money aside for everyday expenses
Unfortunately, life won’t slow down while you’re moving. Kids have school, dogs have to be walked, and groceries have to be bought. You have to pay for all these and more while financing your move. Start by tracking monthly expenses and subtracting this amount from your income after taxes. This is the money you will divide between your moving budget and other expenses.
Step 5: Find ways to save and earn money
When creating your moving budget and to help afford your move, consider cutting back on spending where you can.
If you’re someone who loves to go out to eat, many of us are, buying groceries and recreating your favorite restaurant dishes is an enjoyable way to save money. Freeze those leftovers for lunch at work the next day.
Instead of buying new clothes, wear the options you already have in new ways. It’s a quick way to freshen up your wardrobe and get a new outlook on your clothes.
How you choose to save money is up to you, but how much money you save makes a difference in the quality of your moving experience. Plus, there are plenty of other ways to save money or make some. Having a yard sale or buying in bulk puts some money back in your pocket.
Luckily, some moving supplies cost little to nothing. Get recyclable plastic bins delivered to you for a low price or cardboard boxes for free. Use things towels and old clothes to wrap breakable items you’re moving and move your dressers without taking clothes them to save time and space. There are so many hacks that help you save money while moving.
Making attainable savings goals is also important. Many banking apps now have features to automatically deposit money from checking to a savings account. Consider opening a separate saving account for your move to keep things organized. And having a separate account for your moving budget helps protect you from spending the money on other things.
If you’re having trouble affording everything your move requires, opening a credit card could be the right option for you. Or, there are also small loan options available. Both options give you the breathing room to focus on your move without the stress of paying everything back right away.
Step 6: Have an emergency fund
Depending on your financial situation, it can be difficult to create an emergency fund. If you’re in the position to have one, it’s smart to have some amount of money set aside for the unexpected. Moving comes with some curveballs. Financial experts say emergency funds should be able to provide for at least three months worth of expenses.
Step 7: Factor in additional costs
These things won’t apply to everyone, but they are important to consider if they apply to you. Here are some questions to ask yourself to make the best financial choices during your move:
- Do you need to professionally clean your old home (maybe to get your security deposit back) or your new home?
- Do you have kids? Do you need to pay for childcare?
- Do you have pets? Do you need to pay for pet care?
- Do you have houseplants? Who’s moving these plants?
- Are you taking time off of work to move? How long will you be off work? How does this impact your moving budget?
Step 8: Save space in your budget for breathing room
Having a moving budget doesn’t mean you’re putting every penny you have into a savings account. Make room when creating your moving budget to enjoy yourself, as moving is stressful enough! You might need a distraction from it all – perhaps a walk in the park or spending the night in with your favorite snacks, some friends, and a good movie!
10 Tips for Moving to New York on Budget
So you’re one of those crazies that wants to give New York living a try, congratulations! Preparing to move to a new city is scary, preparing to move to New York city is downright terrifying. Here are some tips to keep in mind before your big move:
10. Rent, Location, Size: Get Ready to Sacrifice Two
Here’s the deal, unless you are one of the lucky few who has copious amounts of money to spend upon your move to one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., you will have to throw your idea of the perfect place out the window.
My personal apartment search took me three months. Moving from a huge two bedroom apartment overlooking a lake for a total of $518 a month ($295 a person), I was shocked when I found out the cheapest, livable two bedroom apartment will run between $2,300 to $4,000 averages pulled from Craigslist.
Median Rents in New York City
I learned that of the three main selling points to an apartment; rent, location, size — most places only had one feature. I ranked these three things by personal value and was able to find a place in my budget, my Brooklyn 2BR apartment is less than the average low of 2BR’s in NYC.
The apartment gods smiled on me when I found my place because not only was my rent within my budget, but I loved the location; the size however, is comparable to my parent’s walk-in closet. The best piece of advice I got when looking at apartments, was “use your imagination”.
9. Utilize Craigslist, But Don’t Trust It
Love it or hate it, Craigslist is pretty convenient. Many people, not knowing where to begin, often turn to the classifieds site in order to get a bigger scope of available places.
One thing to watch out for are posters who lie about location. People posting apartments often take the liberty of extending the boundaries of safe, trendy neighborhoods several subways stops and miles from their actual limits.
For example, East Williamsburg is a label to watch out for. The neighborhood is real, insofar as it exists on subway maps and is different from actual Williamsburg, that crushingly hip neighborhood packed with people you’ve read about in New York Times trend pieces, but it’s not as big as real estate agents to pretend.
Nearby Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, to real estate agents, fall well within the boundaries of East Williamsburg, though they don’t provide the safety or amenities that East Williamsburg does.
Still more confusing is that many people who live in East Williamsburg call it Bushwick because they want to sound cool, or are under the impression that East Williamsburg is a misnomer.
Either way, you should consult with a friend or Wikipedia if you’re curious about actual neighborhood boundaries (for quick reference, these stops are actually in, or on the border of, East Williamsburg.
L train: Grand Ave, Montrose Ave, Morgan Ave. J Train: Lorimer Ave, Flushing Ave).
Don’t expect real estate agents to be forthcoming with this sort of information, especially in rapidly gentrifying North Brooklyn.
8. No-Fee vs. Broker Fees
There is actually no such thing as “No fee” in real estate. Someone is always paying in a situation where a broker or agent is involved.
When you see agents advertising “No Fee”, it actually means that the landlord is paying the broker’s fee.
Outside of New York City, this is a standard so it may be shocking when you are apartment hunting and you discover that there is a fee associated with the listing.
In the past, the standard in New York was that the client pays the fee, as it was a landlords’ market. Now with the influx of inventory entering the market, the tables are slowly turning to favor the prospective tenants. More and more, we see landlords who are motivated and footing the bill, especially when viewing their competition.
The standard percentage for a broker’s fee is 15% of the annual rent, which can pose a lofty price just to get an apartment.
However, according to New York state law, all fees are negotiable no matter what any agent tells you. Most agents will try to work with you and may reduce it to just one month.
Sometimes you run into a “low fee” situation where the landlord is paying half and the client pays the other half.
Accepting a broker’s fee is not all bad. It often gives you more choices of apartments. Just be sure to agree on a set fee before you close on any deal with an agent.
A way to avoid the broker’s fee is to look for exclusive listings. Most of the listing (although not all), will be no-fee. A great resource to find no-fee listings is Streeteasy or PropertyNest, which boasts all exclusive-only listings. Zillow is also following suit and will also become an exclusive-only site.
Furthermore, you can find an agency that works with a primarily exclusive/no-fee inventory, as opposed to an agency that works only with what are called “open listings”. Another idea would be to find listings that are directly advertised by landlords and management companies, although that is not always possible.
7. Prepare to Pay
One of the worst shocks of moving to New York is how quickly you have to pay upfront and how much when you sign the lease.
“If you love a place, be prepared to put down a one-month deposit right away… as in, that very moment you are standing in the apartment, especially during peak season which is May to September, when an apartment can be snatched up from under you within seconds. Sometimes there is no time to weigh whether you it enough or not, because guess what? Someone else already knows and is putting a deposit down as you think,” advises Ruth Shin, a licensed agent in Brooklyn.
The time between deposit to lease signing can take a New York minute, so have the funds ready to pounce on the perfect unit.
These are some standard pay models for an apartment:
- First Month Rent + Deposit + Application fee
- First Month Rent + Last Month Rent + Deposit + Application fee
- First Month Rent + Broker’s fee + Deposit + Application fee
- First Month Rent + Last Month Rent + Broker’s fee + Deposit + Application fee
Some important things to remember are that if you have no credit (foreigners included) or extremely bad credit, you may be asked to pay six months to one full year upfront at lease signing. Sometimes, a landlord will just ask for an additional deposit.
Know Your Credit Score!
Which leads us to an extremely important piece of advice–KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE. It’s actually not good enough to have checked your credit score a month ago. Errors and outstanding bills can bring your score down immediately. You may be faced with an unpleasant surprise when they process your application and you are rejected.
Luckily, many credit card accounts will give you your FICO score right on your account site. You can also check an approximate score through Credit Karma, although it’s not an accurate way of gauging your score.
Forms of payment for deposits that are accepted by most landlords and agencies (check with agency/landlord first):
- ACH / Wire transfer
- Chase Quickpay
- Clear Xchange
- Credit card
- Cashiers / certified bank checks / money order
At lease signing, you will usually need to bring cashiers /certified bank checks in individual increments for the remaining balances.
6. Consider a Month-to-Month Rental
A month-to-month rental may be an excellent option for someone who is looking for the right place and wants to give themselves more time.
By not committing yourself to a year lease you can figure out your how your spending will change and adjust your budget. However, this option is always available.
Many landlords will be comfortable with giving you this option once your lease is up, but you must ask first.
5. Get Rid of 75% of Your Belongings
New York City is not a city that offers a wealthy supply of space. So when you are moving, try your best to get rid of everything that you can live without. My roommate didn’t follow this rule and brought a couch he was attached to, now we have a couch in our kitchen.
If you are one of those people that has trouble parting with material things, then maybe New York is not the city for you. A great way to make some money to pay off the steep moving costs is having a sale for your items.
4. It’s Cheaper to Ship
Did you get rid of everything I told you? Great! Now that you have compacted what you need to move, I suggest shipping items (if you’re flying).
It is much more cost-efficient to rely on USPS than it is to pay hefty baggage fees when your luggage is over the limit.
I personally cramming as much as I can into the flat rate boxes, as long as you are under 70 lbs you only have to pay however much the packaging costs, their largest boxes (23-11/16″ x 11-3/4″ x 3″) are $14.95.
This is a much better rate than excess baggage fees which can run from $90 to $170, just for being one pound over the 50-pound limit.
3. Monthly Metro Passes vs. Pay-Per-Ride
When I first moved to New York I didn’t want to worry about whether or not I had enough money on my MetroCard so I bought a monthly unlimited card for $97 (now $121.00). A few weeks later I realized I could walk to work and decided to recalculate how often I used the subway — about 10 times per week.
I was able to lower this number to 6 per a week, by walking whenever I could and investing in a bike. This meant that it would cost me approximately $54 a month to ride the subway, a big difference from the initial $97 payment. Don’t pay the metro more than you have to, monitor your transportation use.
NOTE: Your first month or so you may be traveling more to see the city and/or lost more often, your usage should decrease a bit as you settle in.
2. The Yellow Ones Do Stop
The second you step off the plane you will be greeted by a guy in sunglasses and a leather jacket offering you a ride. A seasoned New Yorker knows never to take him up on his offer no matter how good it sounds.
Private car services are notorious for up-charging their patrons, plus they typically do not accept credit cards.
Although these cars sometimes seem to be the more convenient choice, go for a yellow cab to avoid paying more.
1. Breathe. No Seriously, BREATHE
This is probably the most important tip.
Moving to New York is often a scary and exciting time and it is easy to get caught up in the worries of finding a place, finding financial stability and fighting your footing in general.
Relax, take a breath and realize you are in (or about to be) the greatest city on Earth. Take advantage of the opportunities around every corner; some of your favorite memories will take place in the next few months.
Average Prices in New York
|Gasoline per gallon||$2.45|
|Electricity 1kWh||$0.20 (47% more expensive than the National Average)|
|Natural Gas||3.25% lower than the National Average|
|Food Prices||Only 3 Cities outranks New York- Honolulu, San Francisco, Anchorage|
Marina is a staff writer for MyBankTracker.com.
She is an expert in college finances, consumer spending and banking.
Relocating Tips: How to Make a Smooth Transition
Considering a relocation? You’re not alone. Nearly one in 10 people relocated last year, whether to a new neighborhood, a new state or even across the country.1 And if you’re not considering a move yourself, you probably know someone who is.
Even just the thought of relocating comes with a ton of questions: When it comes to packing up your life and moving, what should you expect? What things should play a role in your decision—and how can you save money on relocation costs? How do you make smart real estate decisions when you don’t know the area you’re moving to?
These relocating tips can help you understand the process so you can make a smooth and confident transition. Let’s get started!
Why Do People Relocate?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the top reason people relocated last year was because they wanted a better home or apartment. Other moving motivators included a new job or family reasons.2 If one of those reasons sounds yours, know you’re not the only one.
Questions to Ask Before Relocating
If you’re thinking about relocating, you want to be sure you’re making the right decision. After all, making a move is a big deal! If you’re moving for a new job, here are some questions to think about:
- Are you excited about the job opportunity? It doesn’t make sense to move for a job you know you’ll hate. So make sure you get a job you love lined up before you move.
- Is the company culture a good fit? Whether or not you’ll enjoy your coworkers and your work culture has a huge impact on your day-to-day life.
- Is there a long-term benefit? Think about your five-year plans for your career and your life. Will this move help you accomplish your goals?
- Does the math make sense? Don’t stop at your compensation. Consider the cost of living in your relocation destination too. If you’re moving to a city with a higher cost of living, will you still be able to make progress on your financial goals with your new compensation?
- If you’re married, is your spouse on board? Making a move can be tough, and it’s important to be on the same page as your spouse. You’ll also want to consider how a move will impact your spouse’s career.
- Do you the area? Visiting the area before you move could give you a good idea of what it’d be to live there. Do your homework!
These questions just cover the basics. If you own real estate, weighing the financial impact of selling your home and buying a new one can be complicated. Or if you have kids, you may need to consider other things— school options. Moving isn’t a decision you should take lightly, but sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for your family and your future.
Find expert agents to help you buy your home.
For a step-by-step plan that will walk you through how to answer all these questions about moving and more, check out our free Ramsey Relocation Guide.
What Areas Are Popular Relocation Destinations?
Okay, taking into account the job market, housing prices, and salaries, the top relocation cities in 2019 were Myrtle Beach, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Daytona and Port St. Lucie.3 Did you catch that? Four of the top five city destinations are in Florida, baby!
But if the beach isn’t calling your name and you’re looking for other popular destinations, major cities in these 10 states are also seeing a big relocation boom:4
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
To gain even more confidence about moving to the right place, use our Cost of Living Calculator. It’s a handy tool that allows you to see a breakdown of how your city’s monthly expenses compare to another city’s. Once you know the cost differences, you’ll have a better idea if that destination makes sense for you right now.
How Much Does Relocating Cost?
Of course, how much your move costs depends on your specific situation—a move within your state, for instance, will ly be cheaper than moving from Illinois to California.
To give you a ballpark average, data shows that moving state costs homeowners anywhere between $700 to $5,000, while moving cross-country can set you back between $4,000 to $10,000 or more.5 Ouch!
Relocating costs can feel a swift punch in the gut. But don’t worry—if you’re moving for a job, you might not have to pay that much. Nearly half of companies that offered a lump sum to a relocating employee provided $10,000 or more to cover their entire relocation costs, while a quarter of them offered $5,000 to $9,999.6 Cha-ching!
When calculating your moving costs, you’ll have to think about not only the cost of moving your belongings, but also the closing costs for selling your home and buying a new one. Or if you’re a renter, the cost of getting your current lease and getting a new rental.
Here are some common expenses to consider:
- Closing costs on a home sale
- Real estate commission
- Cost for breaking your lease
- Packing up your home
- Moving furniture and belongings
- Cost of moving vehicles
- Cost of unpacking furniture and boxes (if you’re hiring someone to do that)
- Security deposits for a rental
- Fees to turn on/off utilities
- Closing costs on a new home purchase
- Repairs/updates to a new home
These are expenses either you or your employer would cover, depending on whether or not your new job offers that helpful relocation assistance.
How to Save Money on Relocation Costs
After calculating all of the moving and housing expenses, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But the great news is that it’s still possible to save money when you relocate, either through getting relocation assistance from your new company or just simplifying your move.
Find out if your new employer offers relocation assistance
Should you expect to foot the bill for your moving costs on your own? Probably not.
According to an annual survey by Atlas Van Lines, nearly 90% of transferees (employees moving from one company location to another) and new hires received some kind of reimbursement for their relocation costs in 2019. New hires were slightly less ly to get full reimbursement of their costs compared to transferees.7
Keep in mind that how much your company is willing to reimburse you for your move may depend on your position. In general, companies are more ly to reimburse costs for executive or mid-level positions than entry-level jobs.8
Depending on your relocation assistance package, you could be reimbursed for costs home-finding trips, temporary housing, closing costs and real estate commission on the sale or purchase of a home, security deposits, transportation of vehicles, and packing and unpacking.9
While some companies will cover all of your costs, others offer a lump sum. It’s important to know exactly what your new employer will and will not pay for, so you know how to estimate your out-of-pocket expenses.
Consider downsizing your personal possessions
Another way to save money on relocation costs is to sell some stuff! We’re talking about that armoire you never found the right place for or the bookcase that’s still in your garage. Now’s the perfect time to get rid of that junk.
There are two benefits to selling bulky furniture you don’t need or clearing out clutter in your garage before moving. First of all, you’ll save on moving costs. Second, you could potentially make some extra cash to put toward your move. It’s a win-win!
How to Sell Your House Quickly When Relocating
Owning a home adds an extra step to your relocation process. It’s not as simple as just giving your landlord a 30-day notice—you need to work with top-notch real estate agents to sell your home quickly and find the right place for you in your new city.
A quality real estate agent is an extremely helpful resource for homeowners looking to move. Since they’ve done this same thing a bazillion times, they know exactly how to guide you through the process so you price your home competitively, show off its best features, and get the best price. If you need to sell your house quickly, follow these steps:
Step #1: Get your home ready by focusing on small tweaks with a big impact
If you really want your home to stand out in the crowd, you may need to make some changes. Switch out your couch throw pillows for fresh prints, add lamps to dark corners, declutter your closets and counters, and take an honest look at your home’s curb appeal. Remember, little updates can go a long way.
Step #2: Work with an expert real estate agent to get the price right
If you’re selling your home on a tight timeline, you don’t have time to mess around. So make sure you know how to find a good real estate agent, and then work with your agent to settle on a competitive price that brings as many potential buyers through your doors as possible.
Here’s the great news: When you’re working with a top-notch real estate agent, they’ll know exactly how your home compares to others that have recently sold in your area. You can lean on them to know what price will make you the most money but also close quickly.
Step #3: Sell your house before you buy a new one
It may be tempting to buy a new place before your current house sells, but it’s a bad idea. You don’t need the financial risk of having two mortgages. It’s simply not an option if you want to make a good financial move. But no worries. With the right plan, it’s totally possible to buy and sell a home at the same time.
How to Buy a House When Relocating
Once you have your current home under contract, it’s time to start thinking about where you’re going to live once you relocate. If those plans include buying a new house, here’s what to do:
Step #1: Find a real estate agent who’s a market expert
Chances are, you’re relocating to an area you don’t know very well. That’s why it’s so important to partner with a real estate agent who you can trust and is an expert in that area. They’ll help you know what neighborhood to look at and what kind of home you can afford that fits your budget.
Step #2: Know your housing budget
Before you start house hunting, make sure you know what you can afford. If you’re getting a mortgage, stick to a 15-year fixed-rate option with a monthly payment that’s no more than 25% of your take-home pay—including private mortgage insurance (PMI), property taxes and insurance.
Put down at least 10% on your new place, but a down payment of 20% is even better. Then you can avoid paying that pesky PMI altogether. Use our free mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payment.
Knowing how much you can afford will help you target your home search to the neighborhoods and areas of town that fit your budget.
Step #3: Target your home search
If you want to avoid renting and move straight into your new home, you’ll need to squeeze house hunting into a few weekend visits. That means you don’t have time to drive through every neighborhood or see every home on the market.
But that’s okay! When you work with an expert real estate agent, you can trust them to help you narrow down your target areas so you can maximize your house-hunting trips.
Step #4: Negotiate the contract and close on your new home!
There’s nothing finding a home you love that’s in your budget! And once you do, your agent will help you finalize the contract, clear any contingencies the home inspection and appraisal, and coordinate closing details.
How to Find Real Estate Pros
There’s a lot to juggle when you relocate, but don’t worry. Working with rockstar real estate agents can help things go smoothly when it comes to handling the biggest part of your move: your housing. And remember, a true pro will have helped people just you before, so they’ll know exactly how to guide you through the process.
Find the real estate pro that’s right for you!