The pandemic led many Americans to pick up and move to a different location. Our family has moved across the country twice, resulting in some culture and weather shocks, though we did our best to prepare beforehand. If you’re considering making a major move, take these steps to decide if a location is right for you BEFORE you move.
The Price of a Major Move
I met a family recently who lived in New York. They moved to New Hampshire for the husband’s job. They bought a house and tried to settle in, but they were miserable. They didn’t like the location or being far from family, so they sold their New Hampshire home in less than a year and moved back to New York.
Moving a considerable distance is expensive, and recouping the costs can take years. You’ll need to pay realtor fees and other expenses when you sell your house. In addition, when you buy a house in a new location, you’ll also face a host of closing costs.
Often, your new job may require you to work for a month or two before your health insurance kicks in. Paying for insurance in the interim is also pricey.
In addition to the expense, you must find a school for your kids, new doctors and other medical providers, and friends to spend time with. Settling into a new area typically takes at least two to three months.
How to Decide If a Location Is Right for You
Before accepting a new job and making the move, first research carefully. You may find that you wouldn’t like the area. It’s better to find that out BEFORE you take the leap. Here’s how we typically research a new place:
Watch the Local News
Take the time to tune into the local news daily to get a feel for the area. We did this for a few months before we moved, and it helped us see the area’s local events, crime, and weather.
Ask on Facebook
Facebook brings together people from all over the world. If you’re in large groups, you can ask about the location you’re thinking of moving to. You can also join groups specific to the area to ask questions. Whenever we considered a move, I’d join a group or two in the area. Most people are happy to talk about the pros and cons of their location.
Visit the City
If you can, visit the new area. There’s nothing like actually being in a place to see how you’ll like or dislike it. It would be even better if you could visit during the most extreme season. When we moved to Arizona, we went in late May, which was hot, but not as hot as July. Still, we got a good idea of what the Arizona heat would feel like.
We recently moved to New York. If we had time, I would have preferred to visit in the winter rather than when we did in June when the weather was gorgeous. I’m nervous about what the winter holds for us since we haven’t experienced it.
Before you make a significant move, take your time to research the area, ask questions of locals, and visit the location. Doing this can help you decide if a location is right for you before you make the move, saving you time and money if you decide the place isn’t the right fit for you.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York where she loves the natural beauty of the area.