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How to Plan Your Move to Another State (CHECKLIST)

There are many necessary steps you should take before moving to another state; however, arguably the most important are to travel there in advance and meet with a local real estate agent. You also need to weigh the moving costs and potential tax implications. Here's what you need to know.
There are many necessary steps you should take before moving to another state; however, arguably the most important are to travel there in advance and meet with a local real estate agent. You also need to weigh the moving costs and potential tax implications. Here's what you need to know.

Moving to a new state doesn’t have to be hard! With this easy checklist, we’ll walk you through all of the steps required to make your out of state move easy and stress-free.

Here’s step one:

Relocation Pay

One of the most common reasons that people move to a new state is because of work. If you are relocating for a dream job, the very first step you should take is to find out what expenses your employer will cover.

Bigger companies often have full-blown relocation departments that will handle everything for you, while others offer reimbursements for other expenses or discounts for certain providers.

Visit Your New State

The first and most important step of moving to a new state is going to visit it. Whether you are moving for work, family, or to retire, it’s very important to see your new stomping grounds in person before you decide to relocate. So, even if it’s just for a long weekend (or a short one!) make it a priority to go in person.

Meet With a Local Realtor

The easier you can make moving out of state on yourself, the better! It’s in your best interest to find a local, trustworthy Realtor right away. While the agent selling your current home might have your heart, they don’t have the expertise in your new local area to make the sale.

But they might know someone who does. Ask your Realtor if they know anyone in the area who would be a good fit for you. You can also use online tools like Clever to find your perfect match.

Plan Your Budget

Your new state might have a significantly different cost of living than you are used to. If you are moving from California to Texas, you’ll find the cost of living more manageable. However, if you move in the opposite direction, you’ll discover that you need to budget differently.

Research Neighborhoods

Once you have a realistic budget set and an agent to work with, it’s time to start looking for a nice place to call home. Moving to another state is a chance to start over. So, if you’ve always wanted a big yard, a two-story home, or a condo in the city, this could be your chance.

Plan Your Moving Method

There are a lot of logistics involved with moving across state lines. You will need to plan this into your budget. For example, you can choose to hire professional movers, rent a truck and move yourself, or using a freight shipping company to make the move for you.

Pack With Livability In Mind

All three options come at significantly different price points and levels of involvement from you as the person moving. It’s all about what is going to be the easiest for you going forward.

Consider Local Laws and Taxes

Moving to a new state means that you will have many new laws and taxes to think about. For example, driving while talking on a cell phone laws are different from state to state, so you will have to keep that in the back of your mind. It’s the same thing with zoning laws if you plan to do any building and tenancy laws if you plan to be a landlord.

Ask Your Real Estate Agent

The same thing applies taxes. State income tax procedures are very different. So, if you move to another state, then it’s very likely that you will have to file two sets of returns. This is because you will have earned income in two different states over the course of the year.

However, you don’t need to worry about this if you are moving to Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming, as they do not have state income taxes there. It’s basically the same for residents of New Hampshire and Tennessee, but people who live there do have to pay taxes on dividends from investments, but that’s it.

Update Your Address

This means a lot of things! You will need to let all of your creditors know that there is a new place to send your bills to. This means your insurance companies, your credit cards, and even fun things like Netflix.

You’ll also need to update your address on things like IDs, which, if you’re moving to another state, means getting an entirely new drivers license.

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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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