Whether you’re moving around the block or across the country, moving requires financial planning. However, making the trek across country is far different from moving down the block. In addition to finding a new home, you also have to consider the cost of moving your belongings. And while some people are fortunate enough to have their employer help pay for the move, most others do it on their own. If you fall into category two, like most of us do, you need to get a handle on your finances long before you hit the open road. Below are four things you need to do before moving cross-country.
Prepare in Advance
Moving local is far different from moving from one coast to another. You need to give yourself plenty of time to pack, choose a reputable mover and find a new home if you’re not waiting until you arrive. A good rule of thumb is to start the process approximately two months prior to your move date. Start sorting your things and donate items you don’t use or need. You can also start packing up things that you know you won’t use until your official move day. Consider the season and pack up clothes you won’t need until next season. Also, be sure to interview more than one moving company. Some long-distance movers may not go as far as you need to go, or they might charge extra over a certain mileage.
Create a Moving Budget
Planning early isn’t the only thing you need to focus on. You also need to think about how you’re going to finance your move. Depending on where you’re going, how many rooms you need to move and even the time of year can affect the price. Think about how much you can afford without being financially strapped and stick to that figure. If you find that your move is going to cost more than you can afford, you might want to apply for a loan. If you’re paying student loans, refinancing those with a private lender can free up money and help finance your move. You can also use a student refinance calculator to see if you can save going forward.
Find a New Home
Throwing caution to the wind and moving without housing isn’t always the best idea. Yes, some people wait until they’ve relocated to start their search for a new forever home. However, unless you have friends and family to stay with, you probably don’t want to go this route. If you’re moving for work-related reasons, ask whether your new employer can offer temporary housing. If not, start researching where you can stay prior to arrival. You can check out short-term apartment rentals, in addition to homes listed on Airbnb. Make a checklist of everything you need and things you can live without out. If you plan on buying a new home, you should touch base with several realtors in the area to get a feel for the market. If you’re more of an apartment dweller, schedule a time when you can video tour several properties and complete the application process prior to arrival.
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Gather Important Documents
Rounding out our to-do list, don’t forget to gather your documents and keep them in a safe place. These should include your license, birth certificate, your social security card, medical history and all insurance policies. You can it one step further and make several copies to have on hand. In the unlikely event, you lose the originals, you’ll have an easier time proving your identity.