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What to do before moving to a new city

Nina Spitzer is a SheKnows.com columnist and a freelance writer living in sunny Cave Creek, Arizona.

A handy checklist

You don't want to jump into a pool until you've stuck in your toe to test the water. A huge decision like moving to a new city means thinking ahead. Let this checklist help you out!

Woman Packing Dishes

Maybe you've always dreamed of moving to a new city... OR... Maybe your job has asked you to relocate... OR... Maybe your hubby has been transferred. Whatever the reason, the prospect of moving to another city probably has you in a tizzy. Here's a checklist of things to think about before your make the big move.

THE NEW CITY/Before making the move:

Check things out first!

If possible, use a few weeks or months of available vacation time to check out the new city and see if this is truly the place you'd like to live. Use this temporary time to experience the city as a resident rather than someone vacationing. Consider these options:

  • Stay as a guest of a friend or relative who lives in that city.
  • Find a temporary sublet in the neighborhood you're considering for your new residence.

Financial feasibility

In today's economy, you want to make certain you'll be able to make ends meet once you've moved. You don't want to find yourself penniless only three months after moving to a new city.

  • Make up a spreadsheet of anticipated income and realistic monthly expenses in your new city, keeping in mind living expenses may be higher there.
  • Take into consideration monthly charge card and loan payments that will come with you.
  • Have at least 6 months of living expense money saved as a cushion.
  • Have a back-up plan for part time work to pull in extra money while job hunting.

A new neighborhood

Your new neighborhood might end up being temporary. It's smart not to purchase real estate until you're certain where you'll want to set up permanent roots. When looking for your new neighborhood, you want to check into the following:

  • Average price range on apartment rentals
  • Convenience of location to potential job opportunities and social life
  • Kid/pet friendly apartments
  • Safety/Crime rate
  • Sublet opportunities
  • Roommate opportunities
  • Quality of nearby kids' schools
  • Childcare
  • Doctors/dentist
  • Pet sitters
  • Stores

A job in the new city

Ideally, you'll have a job lined up before the move. If not, it will be important to do the following:

  • Solicit the help of one or two reputable job recruiters in that city.
  • Have a local address of a friend or relative to use on job applications.
  • Be easily available for phone or in-person job interviews.
  • Put networking to work in helping with your job search.

Your vehicle

No matter where you live, getting around town is always an expense to be factored in.

  • Decide if it will be more cost effective having a vehicle or using public transportation in that city.
  • Look into the monthly cost and convenience of parking a vehicle.

Up next: YOUR OLD CITY/Before making the move:

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