Matthew Walsh's Blog
There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.
Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.
Cost of living
Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.
Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.
Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.
How’s the weather?
Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.
To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.
It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.
Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.
When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.
If you recently bought or sold your home, moving day may be rapidly approaching. Fortunately, you still have time to pick up must-have supplies so you can get ready for moving day.
Now, let's take a look at three items that you should purchase prior to your upcoming move.
1. Moving Boxes
In all likelihood, you have a wide range of personal belongings that you need to pack. If you have lots of moving boxes at your disposal, you should have no trouble securing your personal belongings so you can transport them to your new address.
Home improvement and moving equipment companies often sell moving boxes in many sizes. You also may want to consider visiting a local grocery or convenience store to find moving boxes; in some instances, a grocery or convenience store may be willing to provide you with its empty food and beverage boxes free of charge.
2. Packing Supplies
In addition to moving boxes, you'll need supplies to ensure that you can pack your personal belongings safely. With packing supplies in hand, you can guarantee that your personal belongings are protected as they go from Point A to Point B.
Must-have packing supplies include bubble wrap, packaging tape, markers and labels. If you pick up these supplies today, you can move one step closer to finalizing your moving day preparations.
3. Snacks and Beverages
Oftentimes, moving day can be hectic, even for those who allocate significant time and resources to prepare for the big day. As such, it sometimes is easy to forget to eat and stay hydrated as you try to bring all of your personal belongings to your new address.
For those who want to do everything possible to prep for moving day, it generally is a good idea to pick up snacks and beverages. Granola bars, trail mix and other portable snacks are ideal for moving day. Meanwhile, purchasing bottled water and other beverages is beneficial too.
If you need extra help with moving day preparations, you may want to consult with a professional moving company as well. A moving company goes above and beyond the call of duty to help individuals map out all aspects of the moving day process.
A moving company employs friendly, knowledgeable moving experts who can guide you through your move. Plus, the company can offer packing guidance, moving services and other support to ensure that you can seamlessly relocate to your new address.
Lastly, for those who will need to move soon, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a house in any city or town, at any time. Furthermore, a real estate agent is available to provide support at each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey. And if you are uncertain about how to proceed along the homebuying or home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to provide plenty of assistance.
Moving to a new home can be either a fun experience or a very stressful time for you. It all depends on the way you manage the move. Being prepared for the entire process is one definite way of making sure that the whole moving experience is a fun one for you. Follow these simple ideas for a smooth moving operation.
- Find a moving company. Except you want to do the moving yourself, you might be better off with a professional moving company. Ask for good recommendations and decide on one mover that is well within your budget. Schedule a date for the moving with the company when you finally pick one. You can begin this about two months before you have to leave, to give you enough time to wrap up the process.
- Sort and purge. Decide what you want to move to your new home. Some items will probably be too old or useless where you are going too, so you should sell, give to your neighbors or donate to charity. During this period, you should also work on exhausting things that you won’t move, such as perishable food items or cleaning supplies. Ideally, you should start doing this about six weeks before your moving date.
- Start Packing. At about a month to your moving date, you should start packing your non-essential items into boxes. Things that you don't use frequently should be the first to go in your boxes. Make sure you mark individual boxes with a label that identifies what is in the box and what room it’s going to in your new home. As your move date draws nearer, everything you no longer need until you settle in at your new home you should pack at once.
- Clear out your home. If you have storage facilities outside your current home, like a garage or shed, you should start clearing them out for the move. You want to avoid forgetting something that might turn out to be very important. Wash, dry and pack up all your clothing too. Also, don’t forget to return all items you may have borrowed from neighbors in the past.
- Final arrangements. In the last days before you leave, go round your house a few times to be sure you are not leaving anything behind. Pack a night bag that you can live out of, pending when you finally settle in at your new home. If you are using professional movers, be sure to ask them for wardrobe boxes to make it easier to have your clothes when you arrive. If you need recommendations on moving companies, ask around at the next neighborhood meeting.
Moving doesn't need to be stressful for you if handled well. Sometimes all you need is a plan of action.
Finding the ideal moving company to help you transport your belongings from Point A to Point B should be simple. However, no two moving companies are identical. And if you select an inferior moving company, you may encounter many problems when moving day arrives.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding the perfect moving company.
Now, let's take a look at three red flags to consider when you evaluate moving companies.
1. Lack of Experience
Search for moving companies that boast many years of experience – you'll be happy you did.
Moving companies that possess comprehensive industry experience understand the ins and outs of moving day and may be better equipped than rivals to deliver the best results.
Typically, a moving company that has extensive industry experience will employ friendly, knowledgeable professionals. This business also will provide fair prices and personalized support, ensuring you can get the assistance you need to seamlessly and effortlessly get your personal belongings to your new address.
2. No Licensure or Insurance
Regardless of whether you're moving within the same state or out of state, it is paramount to employ a licensed, insured moving company. By doing so, you can minimize risk of damage or destruction of your personal belongings.
Remember, a moving company will be responsible for transporting your appliances, electronics, furniture and other items to a new location. And if you fail to employ a licensed, insured moving company, you might struggle to protect your belongings in the event of an accident during transport.
Ask moving companies for verification of licensure and insurance. This will enable you to work with a moving company that will do everything possible to safeguard your belongings on moving day.
3. Poor Customer Reviews
What are past customers saying about a moving company? Take a look at customer reviews, and you can gain a better understanding of what it's like to work with a moving company.
In many instances, an online search of a moving company will allow you to learn how this business stacks up against the competition. Or, a moving company may even provide customer reviews on its website.
Of course, don't hesitate to reach out to a moving company to ask for client referrals, either. This will enable you to obtain first-hand insights from previous customers so you can select a moving company that will meet or surpass your expectations.
For recent homebuyers or home sellers, your real estate agent may be able to help you identify moving company red flags as well.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with moving day. As such, he or she may be able to help you find a top-notch moving company and ensure you are fully prepared for your upcoming move.
When it comes to finding a moving company, there is no need to worry. Consider the aforementioned warning signs, and you should have no trouble choosing a first-rate moving company to help you out on moving day.
If you recently bought or sold a house and plan to move out of state, now is the time to start planning for moving day. By doing so, you can ensure that you're fully prepared to take all of your belongings to your new address.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep for an out-of-state move.
1. Create a Moving Calendar and Budget
Determine how much time is available before moving day. Then, you can put together a list of items that you will need to pack, along with various pre-moving day tasks that must be completed. With this plan in place, you'll be better equipped than ever before to seamlessly navigate the moving process.
Also, don't forget to budget for your out-of-state move. If you craft a budget today, you can avoid the risk of overspending on moving boxes and other moving supplies.
2. Don't Wait to Start Packing
Moving day will be here soon enough, and as such, there is no reason to wait to start packing your belongings.
Enlist friends and family members to help you pack – you'll be glad you did. With loved ones at your side, you can get plenty of assistance as you prep your belongings for your out-of-state move.
In addition, you may want to contact a moving company that specializes in out-of-state moves. If you hire a moving company, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the moving cycle.
3. Cancel Various Services
Reach out to your current utilities providers, along with cable, internet and phone services providers. This will allow you to find out exactly what you'll need to do to cancel various services prior to moving day.
Remember to connect with services providers in your new city or town too. If you contact these services providers today, you can guarantee that all of your essential services can be set up as soon as you reach your new address.
Lastly, if you need help getting ready for an out-of-state move, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent. By collaborating with a housing market professional, you may be able to simplify the moving cycle.
A real estate agent is happy to help you buy or sell a house, as well as connect you with the best moving companies in your area. That way, you can receive plenty of assistance as you count down the days to your out-of-state move.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert insights into the housing market. If you need to find a new house out of state, this housing market professional can help you discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price. Or, if you need to sell your current residence, a real estate agent will help you find the best ways to optimize the value of your house.
When it comes to moving out of state, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the out-of-state moving process.