Making the Move to a New City
According to Elie Khen, a relocation specialist with Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, you may want to investigate renting or subletting in an area of interest before buying property. “See if this place is good for you,” Khen says. “It could be too busy, too quiet, too deserted or too central. Many people commit to a one- or two-year lease and end up not liking the neighborhood for whatever reason.”
After accepting a job offer in Jacksonville, FL, Elizabeth Cote didn’t commit to a permanent residence right away. “On one of my trips down, I found a great condo complex on a golf course,” she says. “I loved the actual complex, but wasn’t sure what the surrounding neighborhood and beach were like. So I decided to rent. After about six months when I discovered that I liked the area as well, I bought something.”
Take a trip to your new city during your first 30 days and get a feel for neighborhoods of interest by walking or driving around. This is a good way to discover if you like the area and where things are—like the post office, restaurants, pharmacies and the dry cleaner.
While you’re looking for a new place to live, keep your financial situation in the back of your mind. If you’re moving for a new job, make sure you know your salary ahead of time so you can be sure to afford your new living space. If you don’t have income lined up, budget your cash wisely until you are able to restore your cash flow.
Not only will it cost quite a bit to make the move, but also your salary may not go as far in your new city as it used to. Lisa Hernandez says she didn’t factor this in when making the move from Seattle to New York, “I was so sticker shocked when I started to live here,” she says. “It’s the little things that you don’t think about, like the cost of a Coke or all the trips on the subway that really add up.”
Prevent a pain in your wallet and create a financial buffer. You can save two or three months’ worth of expenses as a safety net, or you can be very careful about your spending habits.
Heather Sicaud neglected to accommodate for these extra expenses when she moved to Massachusetts. “I was so excited to be in Boston, a big city compared to where I was from, that I went out like crazy when I first got there and every time I went to a new store or visited a new place I bought something,” says Heather. “That was a mistake!”
Save all your moving and storage receipts, since many employers reimburse these expenses. If your job won’t handle the costs, you can try to write them off your taxes.