As great as home towns are, not everyone wants to stay in the same place their entire lives. Work, family and a sheer desire to see more of the world can inspire you to move to a new state. The United States is large, and even a single state can have multiple cities and towns with completely different properties, costs of living and lifestyles. How do you know the right place to go? Instinct alone won’t help you when it’s time to rent or buy a home. Instead, you should consider your long-term goals, interests and who you see yourself becoming.
Consider the Impact on Your Employability
You might have a secure job now, but not every field is in-demand everywhere. Someone with abundant employment opportunities in one state may struggle to secure even an entry-level position in another. Before moving, carefully research the job market in your destination. See what industries are popular in each state and think about whether you plan on staying in your field or shifting gears.
You also have to take a close look at wealth. Being rich might not be everyone’s goal, but how much money you have will affect you differently depending on the state you’re in. For example, the cost of your rent in Manhattan could get you a sprawling house with acres of land in another part of the country. And there are factors that affect moving costs that will vary with location as well that you need to consider.
Look at Tax Rates
Each state has its own rates, so you might find yourself surprised come tax season if you don’t do your research before moving. Closely evaluate the cost of state taxes, school taxes and income tax rates. There are nine states that waive income taxes on most sources of income, and five that don’t charge any sales tax. You could save thousands just by moving, but you’ll have to contemplate how your job and living arrangement will affect your liability.
Consider the Housing Market
Do you want to buy or rent? Will you settle down or move around until you find the right neighborhood? There are many options, and you may want to consider whether your mortgage will be worthwhile down the line. Buying a house in your new city can help you build equity fast, or it can slow down the process.
This is a great financial tool for homeowners by granting them the ability to apply for a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. You can read up on the process in a free guide. The housing market can fluctuate anywhere, but the average cost of living and property value should be taken into account. This will impact your life every day for years to come. There’s also the cost of moving itself. How much are you willing to travel to reach your new home?
Investigate Crime and Safety
Just because a place looks great in photos doesn’t mean it’s the safest place to live and even if the city itself is safe you need to know how to determine the right neighborhood to optimize for safety once you move. Crime rates are highly variable in the United States, and it’s important to consider the current statistics in your target area. You should also think about long-term change. Will this city continue to be relatively stable, or are there issues with unemployment, substance abuse and homelessness that could lead to future violence?