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A 10 Step Checklist for Moving to a New City

Relocating to a new city can be tough — here are a few smart steps you can take to make your move a little easier and more affordable!
Relocating to a new city can be tough — here are a few smart steps you can take to make your move a little easier and more affordable!

There’s a lot to be said about moving to a new city. In some states, like Rhode Island for example, it’s no big thing. But in larger states, like California or Texas, there can be a lot of logistics involved.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy checklist for moving to a new city. This way, you can take the leap of faith and not be stressed about the steps.

Moving to a New City: You Should Take a “Go See” Trip

One of the most important things that you can do when planning to move to a new city is actually making the trip to see the city in person. Sometimes, if you are moving for work, your company will pay for you to spend at least a weekend on a “Go See” trip to get your bearings and decide if the new area is a good fit for you.

If you are moving to be with family, it’s likely that you’ve been there before. Or, maybe you are following your heart to a place like New York. If that’s the case, watching any sitcom set there (we’re looking at you, Friends) might be a good substitute for this step. Maybe.

Moving to a New City: Make It a Priority to Find a Local Realtor

While you are in the city to explore it, you should make it a priority to find a local Realtor there to help you find your new home. While your listing agent for your current home might be dear to you, it’s unlikely that they will have the expertise needed to secure you a good deal in your new area.

However, your current agent would be a great place to start as you look for buyer’s agents to work with. You can also always use websites to search, like Clever.

Moving to a New City: Research Neighborhoods

Each neighborhood is a new city has its own flare and personality. If you are not able to visit the city in person before you move, then it’s still very easy to have a look at neighborhoods online.

Once you find an area that is convenient for you, you can use realty sites to discover average homes prices. You can then use social media sites like Facebook to learn more about the demographics, educational opportunities, and social life, as most neighborhoods or areas have Facebook pages and groups.


Moving to a New City: Ask About County Laws and Regulations

Moving to a new city can mean living in a place with different tax rates, laws, and regulations. New York City doesn’t share all of its rules with Albany and it’s the same situation for Houston and Austin. These city pairs are not far apart at all; however, each has unique laws that apply only locally.

Be sure to ask your Realtor about any special cases!

Moving to a New City: Consider Your Transportation Options After the Move

Sometimes moving to a new city means you have to reconsider your transportation options. For example, you might rely on the T while you live in Boston, but when you move to Worcester, you find that you really do need a car to get around effectively.

You should really pause and ask yourself, “Do I need a car?” This is one of the biggest things to think about when moving to a new city.

Moving to a New City: Notify Your Creditors of Your Address Change

Creditors means a variety of things. Your credit card company, your insurance provider, and even Netflix will all need to know that you have a new billing address. Once you’ve closed on your new home, be sure to update each account.

Moving to a New City: Book Movers with an Inter-City Emphasis

Picking movers is one of the biggest parts of moving to a new city. Whether you choose to rent a UHAUL and move yourself with the helps of friends and family, or prefer to hire professional movers, it’s up to you.

The important thing to consider, however, is the emphasis of the company. Are they a local company? Then there might be a surcharge to move you to a new city. Are they a national company? Then it might be less expensive, as it’s likely that they have an office in the city you are moving to, as well.

Moving to a New City: Invest in a “Moving Binder”

Moving to a new city means that you will have to do a lot of paperwork! It’s a good idea to have dedicated binder for all of the logistics for the move. It’s very handy to have a dedicated place to store all of the business cards, documents, and samples you will collect throughout the process.

Moving to a New City: Pack with Unpacking in Mind

When you move to a new city, you might discover that there are going to be things you need right away, like clothing, dishes, and bedding, and things you can leave for later in the unpacking process, like seasonal clothing, collections, books, etc.

As you pack for the move, be sure to consider these logistics. Don’t mix “need now” with “need next week” items. You should also be sure to put the things you are going to need when you first arrive onto the moving truck last, so that you can access them first when you arrive.

Moving to a New City: Expect the Unexpected

When you are moving to a new city, things are bound to go wrong. The moving truck could be delayed. The movers can break something. The home you want gets snatched up before you can make your counteroffer.

When you expect these things to happen, you can save yourself a lot of stress, time, and money. Because you’ll be ready for them when they come your way!


Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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