If you are thinking of moving to another state, but you know little or nothing about your new city, you will need to perform some research. Apart from researching the best state to state moving companies to hire, you still need to carry out other research.
With the assistance of digital advancements, you don’t have to be on-site to learn about any city. The internet is a great tool if you know your way around it.
Before moving to a new area, it is advisable to research, especially if you are new to living in that city. Why?
Checking the details of an area before you decide to live there can save you so many headaches later on. That been said, we’ve made a list of how to research an area so you know what to expect before you make any commitment.
To figure out whether an interstate move destination is ideal for you, follow these 10 great steps:
1. Check Neighborhood Databases
There are many online databases focused on gathering and analyzing vital information on United States cities.
City-Data.com has profiles of cities with detailed statistics like average income levels and cost of living.
NeighborhoodScout further dig into this data, with elaborate descriptions and home appreciation values can be accessed with a subscription.
StreetAdvisor focuses on ranking neighborhoods and streets based on popularity. And if you find walkability important, Walk Score provides ratings of neighborhoods based on their closeness to schools, parks, stores, and coffee shops.
2. Check Interstate Forums
Whenever you have a move in sight, your first action should be to check the forums. City-Data lists each state in the country as well as some international forums.
The forum gives you a place to ask questions about safety, schools neighborhoods and what living there is like. Most people on the site are locals, real estate agents, and people relocating from another state, which makes for great conversation. These forums will assist you to catch a better understanding of what living in your new city looks like from a local’s viewpoint.
However, don’t forget that these forums can be one-sided. Don’t rely totally on what users say. Someone might sound rude, but that shouldn’t show on the entire city.
3. Ask the City
The city itself might be one of the best sources of helpful information. Call city hall and request resources for new residents, or visit the city’s official website to familiarize yourself with city happenings.
Lots of cities have online guides that they share with visitors and residents, and officials can also share info about ways to install utilities or locate the local internet providers in the area. Reach out to the local Chamber of Commerce as well, to find out some suggestions on the best businesses or restaurants in the area.
4. Use the Cost of Living Calculators
I love using the cost of living calculators. You supply your current city, the destination city, and your income. Then, the calculator calculates how much money you need to earn in your destination city to maintain your lifestyle.
The calculators are so fun when you are moving to another place from California, or from Chicago to Knoxville. If you are moving in the other direction as regards finance, try using these numbers when negotiating your salary.
Check our Best Cost of Living Calculator 2021
5. Check Property Value Trends
This is likely not important to do if you plan to rent, but if you plan to buy then you need to consider property value trends. These will inform you whether home prices in the area are increasing, remaining stagnant, or moving downwards- all of which are important to know for making an informed smart investment.
There is so much to value in understanding these trends than you possibly could imagine. You can find out so much about the history (as well as the potential) of an area from checking how its housing prices have increased or decreased over time. You also can make better assumptions depending on property tax rates in the neighborhood, like whether parks and schools in a neighborhood are potentially possible to be properly funded.
6. Make Virtual Plans for the Weekend
To determine if you will be happy after moving, think of what you will do in your free time. If it is about sport and you also like a symphony, you might go with a city that is a perfect match for you.
7. Check Crime Rates
Crime rates are one of the most important statistics to find out about when relocating to a new place. Most city police departments share this information on their official page, and if you can’t find rates online, you can always get some cursory data via the phone. Also, many sites pass on public crime data.
Crime Reports, SpotCrime, as well as Family Watchdog, are all helpful online databases that worked on local crime stats by neighborhood and type of crime. SafeWIse often provides ranks of the safest cities in the United States and by state.
8. Contact Friends who know the Place
Friends are your unvalued resource for researching an interstate move. Friends can help you determine the vibe of a city better than you can get from websites.
9. Check the Schools and Educational Data of the City
If you have children or hope to start a family, you will surely want to locate the neighborhoods with the best schools – or one with highly-regarded schools but are still cost-friendly to live in. GreatSchools is a great first step as it helps you locate good schools in a particular area, or will provide guidance to you on schools within a particular environment. The site does more than a search engine as there are tools that will guide you through identifying the good or bad schools, tips on ways to assess a school, and even tips for working around tricky school systems to secure the information or assistance you need.
10. Prioritize Daily Living
Now is the time to imagine a day in your new life (right from your home). Imagine the things that you love doing and the ones you have to do. If you like to see movies or play on a local sports team, you will want to find out your options for those things.
Also, you will want to consider the daily details such as getting your hair cut, grocery shopping, and commuting to work. Think of how things will be the same and how they will be different if you can accommodate that. If you are not moving alone, consider if your co-movers will also be excited with daily living. Closeness to nature, commuting time, employment opportunities, and the local culture should be on your consideration list.
FAQ about How to research your Interstate Moving Destination
For how long should my visit last?
At least a week’s visitation should be enough. If you are truly considering the city but are nervous about it, try visiting for a month. We’ve concluded on 14 days and that feels like just the perfect amount.
How possible is it to move with no money?
Relocating with no money can be difficult, but it is possible. There are ways you can boycott your moving costs and make small money to assist with your move. Before moving, you importantly need to create a plan and ask your family and friends for assistance.
Is $5,000 enough for an interstate move?
Normally, you want to save as much as you can before you move out. At least, you will want to have 3-month rent and expenses ready with you, while 6 months is a more reasonable safety window. Based on where you live, that 3-month safety window could be around $3,200 to more than $5.
Is State-to-State Move Right For You?
After doing all your research, you can now decide whether this move will be good for you. If you feel like you will be miserable in the destination city, even with the perfect employment opportunity, you may want to remain in your current city. Don’t forget that researching an interstate mover from your home is the first thing to do. Next is to visit there physically.