There are times when you feel stuck in the mud and need a change. You may find yourself living in a state where the local economy has stagnated, and you cannot find the right job opportunity. Sometimes we can simply grow bored with our surroundings, with little change in our lives or the community around us.
Moving to a different state can often give you, and your family, a fresh start somewhere new and exciting. Many Americans make the decision to switch states every year, with California being a popular destination for many, but also Florida and Texas. Economic opportunity is often the driving force behind making the change, but there are a lot of other factors that should be considered. Here are eight top tips for those Americans that feel it is time to make the change, and switch states.
Think About Climate
People often forget to think about climate when choosing a new state to live in. If you are not accustomed to harsh winter weather, moving to a Northern state may bring you extra challenges when dealing with heavy snow storms. Likewise, desert living comes with unique challenges that should not be underestimated.
You should also consider how the climate may affect the health of you, or your family members. People who suffer from asthma, or other breathing conditions, often struggle in humid climates like you may find in Florida, along the Gulf Coast, and in high-altitude areas such as Colorado.
Check State Taxes
State taxes can change a lot from state to state, and are something you should take the time to investigate. This does not just affect housing and income, but also things like car registration and hunting licenses. Every state has its unique local tax quirks, and you should have a good idea of what your state and local tax obligations will be if you choose to make a move somewhere.
If you are self-employed and run your own business, this is especially important. Running your own business is often very helpful when switching states, as you will be moving your business with it and taking your job with you. The state and local business taxes could be considerably different in your new state, so make sure you consult a local accountant.
Think About Staying Connected
Wherever you move, you are going to need to stay connected to friends and family. You may want to move out into the country somewhere, and live a more rural life, but you will need to be close to major transport links. Some states may only have one large airport for out of state visitors, and maybe only one major highway. Try and find a spot close to one of these so that friends and relatives can visit easily, and you do not have to go too far if you want to fly out to them.
Find a State that Suits Your Pursuits
Many laws and legislations change from state to state, and you should make yourself aware of them. Many gun owners find that their firearms may be legal in one state, but not another. Most gun friendly states have very similar gun laws, but you should always make sure you are following the law of the land whatever state you are in. If you respect a state’s local gun laws, then they should respect your right to bear them, as stated in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Make a Few Trips
Be sure to take some trips out to the state or states you are interested in. You never know what you may discover if you spend some time there, good or bad. One popular idea is to take a short-term vacation rental in your chosen state, and live there for a few weeks or more first.
Look for Job Opportunities
If you are moving state, then you or a significant other will probably need to find employment there. If would be very challenging to switch states without having a job to go to, so you’re going to need to look for work. A lot of this can be accomplished online – just search for jobs in your chosen state, or states, on any employment website.
Search for Real Estate Value
Moving house across states is a good opportunity to move up a rung on the housing ladder. The differences in property values between different states can be quite astonishing, and you may find you can get a larger property in a new state for less than the value of your current home. If you can find the right home in the right state, you can go from a small townhouse to a mansion in the suburbs.
Consider All States
When switching states, many people get drawn to the bright lights of California like moths to a flame, or to the laid-back humidity of Florida, where the year-round warm climate and beaches attract families from colder parts of the country. This can make housing in these states very expensive, and the job market very competitive.
You should take a good long look at all the other 49 states, but especially Alaska and Hawaii. These two states often get overlooked, but come with as many benefits as challenges. Alaskans receive a state payment every year from taxes on the local energy industry, sometimes a few thousand dollars a year per person depending on their profits. Hawaii may be far away, being a long plane journey from the West Coast, but it is also a collection of Tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean, which must be a very pleasant place to live.
Moving from one state to another is a big change that will come with a number of challenges, but many people find that switching states was one of the best decisions they have made. Too many of us stick to the state we are born in, and don’t take the opportunity to explore more of our country and sample life elsewhere. Are you thinking of making the move? Which state will you choose?