What to consider before moving to a new city
More and more people are exploring the idea of living in new corners of the country. But while moving to a new city can be exciting, there’s a lot to consider and even more to learn. The good news is there are ways to prepare that can help make moving to a new city a relative breeze.
If you’re finally dipping your toes in the water and are looking for a place to start your search, you may want to think about why you’re moving and what you want out of the next place you’ll call home. Are you looking for a lower cost of living or more things to do? Maybe warmer weather is calling your name. These are all things to layer into your brainstorming. Here’s a checklist of considerations before your move:
- Why you want to move
- What you want out of a new city
- Ideal cost of living
- Sustainable time zones for your work-life schedule
- Whether you’re looking to rent or buy
- Your timeline
Cost of moving to a new city
Whether you’re donating most of your belongings before the move or taking everything along with you, there are costs that come with moving to a new city. Of course, you have your rent or mortgage, but you also have moving trucks, plane tickets and baggage fees or car rentals and gas. The size of your home, the distance you’re traveling and even the time of year can affect the cost of moving.
The total cost of moving to a new city can be a bit unpredictable. From a budgeting perspective, however, you can make an estimate based on variables relevant to your move. You may want to ask yourself: How far am I moving? Do I have any specialty items? Here are some combined national averages for common moving costs based on research, as of early 2023:
- Full-service moving: Approximately $2,300 or more, depending on how much needs to be packed and moved from start to finish.
- Professional packing: Approximately $50 per hour, per packer. A typical packer may be expected to pack roughly 100 square feet (about the area of an apartment bedroom) per hour.
- Heavy or specialty item moves: Approximately $400 to $2,000 depending on the item.
- Packing supplies: Approximately $180 to $250 per room. This may rise if you have many specialty items or fragile pieces that potentially need additional packing materials.
- Moving trucks: Approximately $20 to $100 per day, depending on company, travel and any add-ons you may want to include.
- Auto-shipping: Approximately $1,650, depending on distance and when you’d need it at the destination.
- Local moves under 100 miles: Approximately $800 to $2,500, depending on what you need to move or if you have any specialty items.
- Long distance moves over 100 miles: Approximately $2,200 to $5,700 depending on what you need to move or if you have any specialty items.
All things considered, you’re likely looking at a wide range of costs depending on how far your new city is from your current home, the size of your home, what you’re packing and how much help you’ll need — and don’t forget budgeting for a tip for your movers!
Moving to a new city checklist
Now that you’ve estimated the cost of moving to a new city, you may be wondering what else you can do to prepare for this next chapter. Here’s a checklist to help summarize potential next steps before your big move:
What to do before moving to a new city
- Define your wants and needs
- Read local blogs
- Network with mutual friends and contacts who live in your new city
- Find your new home
- Get moving quotes
What to do during your move
- Label your boxes
- Forward your mail
- Update relevant accounts with your new address
- Say thank you — and potentially apologize — to anyone who helped with those heavy boxes!
What to do after you move to a new city
- Get to know your neighbors
- Take a walk around town
- Support local businesses
- Find décor that fits your style and space
Congratulations and good luck on your adventure! If you’re thinking about buying a home for your next move, you can take your first step toward homeownership today.