While many people relocate for the purpose of pursuing a new job, relocation can be an alternative for just about anyone who is looking for a lifestyle change, a decrease in living expenses, or who plan to move to be closer to family and friends. Whatever the reason you are considering a relocation, there are also many financial factors that go along with the process.
Photo by redjar via Flickr
Consider Expenses Before Moving
Here are 8 common costs of relocation you must consider before making your final decision:
Ideally, housing concerns should be your number one priority because you will need a place to get to when you reach your destination. You need to check into the average cost of real estate or rental property in the area you are headed for the size home you need. A small apartment may be cheap, but it can’t house a family of five very easily. Luckily, the Internet has many resources for locating real estate data around the country. You may also want to consult with a real estate agent in the local area of your destination who can provide advice and expertise to give you even more insight. You may find it better to rent than to buy.
2. Moving/Transportation Expenses
Moving even short distances can cost a few hundred dollars when you figure in the cost of a professional moving company or a do-it-yourself rental truck. Professional fees may seem high but you have to factor in the costs of a DIY project as well. Moving on your own costs you gas, manpower, rental truck price, and additional mileage. There may also be expense for packing materials to ensure your belongings are transported safety including tape, boxes, bubble wrap, and the time necessary for self-packing your things.
3. Travel Costs
For longer distance moves, not only will you need to plan for the transportation of your things, you also need to account for your own travel expenses. Airline tickets and rental cars will be necessary if you plan to fly to your new destination. You might be able to snag a free flight or two with an airline credit card. If you are traveling with the family by car, you’ll need to account for the vehicle wear and tear, gas, food on the road, and accommodations for overnight stays on longer trips.
4. Daily Living Expenses
The area you plan to live in may vastly differ from your former residence as far as the daily cost of living goes. For instance, if you are relocating from a small town to a large city, expect to have to pay more for your daily living needs. Everything from a morning coffee to new furniture may have a increased markup than what you used to paying. Conversely, if you move from a big city to a small town, you may find you have new living expenses to contend with such as driving your own vehicle rather than taking public transportation to work each day. Hopefully your income goes up with your cost of living, but still factor this in before the move.
5. Starter Costs
When you are first settling in to a new location, spending money is a given. You will have to put up the cash for the basic items you need to fill your new residence including food, toiletries, and other essentials. If your personal belongings do not arrive when you do, you may have the added expense of buying new items such as clothing and housewares. You may also be required to put hefty deposits down when you arrange to have utilities and other services activated. Since you are new to the area, some service providers want assurance you will be a reliable customers. You may also incur expenses you didn’t have in your former location. For instance, if you move from a home with central heating to a home with an oil burner, you will have an additional bill to add to your monthly financial obligations.
6. Insurance Rates
Where you live can determine how much you need to pay in health insurance, medical insurance, car insurance, and homeowner’s insurance. For some the costs might decrease, but if you relocate to an area where insurance premiums are on the rise you’ll need to add it to your expense list.
Also depending on where you relocate, you may have higher tax rates to pay for property and school taxes. Some states have extraordinarily high personal income taxes, while others don’t tax income. You may even find that you have to pay taxes you were not previously required to pay where you used to live. Different states and localities calculate taxes using various factors so it is in your best interest to research the difference in taxes between your present location and your new neighborhood.
Entertainment may not be a deciding factor in your relocation decisions, but it is something to consider. If where you live now has plenty of free activities for the family but where you are going does not, you’ll need to consider how this will impact your budget over the long run and find ways to save more for family-friendly things to do outside of your home.
What other relocation costs should you consider?