Moving is rarely easy, regardless of distance. However, relocating to an entirely new state brings plenty of additional challenges, from the huge moving distance to the new laws and potential culture shock.
Still, even a cross-country move can be made easier with enough preparation. The hard work ahead of time pays off when you can settle into your new home faster upon arrival.
To help you make your relocation a bit smoother, we created this guide containing seven to-dos and other things to keep in mind when moving to a new state. Keep reading to get some help preparing!
1. Learn More About Your New City and State
First and foremost, do some research on your new city and various neighborhoods you may want to live in. Ideally, do this before you’re officially moving so you can take a trip and explore these places.
There’s a lot to consider, depending on your lifestyle and circumstances. Here are a few things to look at:
- Commute times
- Cost of living
- Crime rate
- Public transit
- Schools (especially if you have children)
- Entertainment and amenities
- General feel or atmosphere
2. Change Your Address
You’ll need to update your address to make sure your mail is forwarded to your new home. You can do so by filling out a permanent change-of-address form with the USPS.
This won’t change your address with everyone, though. Make sure to update your address with any party that has it. This could include:
- Banks/financial institutions
- Retirement accounts
- Streaming services
- Phone companies
- Tax agencies
- Social Security Administration
3. Get Your Utilities Set
Moving is stressful enough as is. If you forget to set up your utilities, you won’t be able to relax once you finish the long process of unpacking.
A great way to knock this out is to make a physical list of every utility you have to set up. Call them one by one to get them set up, then cross them off. This will help you feel reassured that all your utilities are ready to go.
Keep in mind that some states have deregulated energy markets, meaning you can choose your energy provider.
If moving to a state with a deregulated market, set aside some extra time to research providers. This could save you a good chunk of money on your electric bill over time.
4. Figure Out Health Care and Insurance
In many cases, your current health, dental, and vision plans may not cover many providers in your new location. You may have to find and enroll in new plans.
If you’re an employee, look at your available employer options and compare them. Make sure you understand the details of each policy, such as coverage and deductibles.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to find coverage on your own. Luckily, you can use the insurance marketplace to help you find the best options in your new location.
Once you have your new policies, you’ll want to start the hunt for new providers. In the meantime, you should try and get copies of all medical records and prescriptions from your current providers.
You can have these sent electronically to your new providers, but it's often faster to get copies before your move and bring them in person.
5. Save Some Cash For Unexpected Moving Costs
You may have saved up money for your new home, furniture, and everything else, but a lot of random expenses can pop up during your move. Set aside some money for the following (although not an exhaustive list):
- Hotel stays
- Packing supplies
- Essentials for your new home (shower curtains/rods, towels, cleaning products, groceries, and so on)
6. Handle Your Vehicle
If you’re bringing your vehicle with you, make sure you know how to register and title the vehicle in the new state properly.
Gather all your documentation ahead of time so you can knock this process out as painlessly as possible. You’ll also want to get your new driver’s license.
States generally give you a grace period of at least a month to get this part done, but you should get it over with as soon as possible.
Beyond that, make sure you know specific regulations for legally operating your vehicle.
For example, some states, like Texas, require a front and rear license plate. Others, like Michigan, only require rear plates.
Similarly, make sure your insurance policy meets all requirements in your new state.
If you can, you’ll also want to research some of the basics of driving in your state. For instance, it can be helpful to know common speed limits and if toll roads are near you.
7. Register to Vote
When you move to a new state, you’ll have to register to vote in your new location to participate in this vital democratic process.
State voter registration laws can differ. Research your state’s laws so you can be ready to cast your ballot in the next election.
Your state may allow you to register to vote while getting your new license. This can save you time and effort in printing off the forms or registering separately online.
Settle Into Your New State Successfully
Any move can be arduous, but relocating to a new state only adds more challenges to the mix.
That said, you can overcome even the most stressful move with enough preparation. Start working on these things as early as possible — it could make your moving experience much smoother.
Even if this is your first time living in Maryland, you’ll find yourself right at home in Brunswick Crossing. View our virtual tours and discover the numerous opportunities available to you. Check out our available models below and schedule your tour.