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Cross Country  Moving

This Type of Move Requires one of Our Specialized Experts to give you a more detailed Quote.
Please Call us directly or Fill out the form below. (832) 617-4191 

We don’t need to tell you: Moving is hard, and moving across the country can seem even more daunting. From packing belongings and finding a place to live to considering moving options and making new friends, moving across state lines is a time-consuming process that takes patience and planning. But if you need a guide for moving cross country, we can help.

While you likely feel a little overwhelmed, especially if you haven’t done this before, we will take you through how to do a cross-country move with less stress — and even give some tips that might save money in this often pricy process.

Preparing For Your Cross-Country Move One to Two Months in Advance 

Decide if you want to DIY or hire professional movers

Start the prep by figuring out the logistics of your move, as in how you want to move cross country. Do you think that you’ll need professional help or can you pull off a DIY move? Simply put, are you going to hire a moving company or rent a truck?

If you’re renting a truck for your move, you can use our guide to the best truck rental companies to find one. For those considering bringing in professionals, read the next section to hear a step-by-step breakdown of the process.

Research professional movers, if you decide you need help

Here’s one of the most important tips in our guide for moving cross country: Be sure to interview at least three movers to compare quotes before deciding on one. For advice on what to ask your movers when you interview them, check out another one of our posts. We recommend that you research the companies eight weeks before the big move and get quotes, then hire them at least seven weeks beforehand.

First, visit our moving company directory to find reliable and reputable movers. This directory includes customer reviews, the moving company’s U.S. DOT number, the Better Business Bureau rating, and any official complaints filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can also find out whether the moving company has any association with the American Moving & Storage Association.

Next, check if an interstate mover is licensed by looking them up with their U.S. DOT number in the FMCSA’s database. You’ll also want to check and make sure the moving company is properly insured. Moving companies should be able to provide you with proper documentation to prove this.

Finally, movers should perform either an in-person inspection or a video survey of your belongings before giving you a quote. If the mover gives you a quote over the internet without looking at your belongings or gives you one that seems too good to be true, sound the alarm. These are two major red flags that shouldn’t be ignored.

Consider purchasing moving insurance

When hiring a moving company, you need to carefully look at your valuation coverage options. Remember, the company’s free, basic protection only covers the bare minimum.

If you decide that you need more protection, don’t hesitate to pay for the Full Value Protection, which will hold your mover accountable for the actual cash value of the items. Also, consider purchasing moving insurance from a third-party insurance company for more comprehensive coverage.

Visit your new city before moving

Before moving to another part of the country, we highly recommend making at least one trip to your new city or town. This way, you can get a good feel for the location and its various neighborhoods.

Bring a guidebook with you or head to the town’s visitor center for brochures, maps, and recommendations. Ask the concierge for suggestions if you’re staying in a hotel. In addition to the city’s tourist attractions, we recommend seeking out local hotspots and under-the-radar hangouts. We’re sure the locals you meet along the way will be happy to give you their two cents!

… Or research your new neighborhood remotely

You can find plenty of information about your new city or town through internet research and review sites if you’re unable to visit. Check Walk Score to see how navigable your new city or town will be on foot, by bike, or by public transit. Sign up for Nextdoor to meet your future neighbors and get the hyper-local feel of your new neighborhood. Or, find out the livability score on AreaVibes. For those who don’t mind paying for the subscription, dig deeper with Neighborhood Scout, which will provide information on real estate, demographics, crime, schools, and more for your new area.

You can also “visit” your new neighborhood using Google Street View in Google Maps. Google compiles street view imagery by using cameras that simultaneously collect images in multiple directions. The images are later overlapped and stitched together into a single 360-degree image. After clicking on “Street View & 360°” you can zoom in and rotate the view. Keep in mind that these images are not always updated, but they’re still useful.

Research schools in the area 

Speaking of research, do you have school-age children? Then, you might want to take this next step before proceeding with our guide for moving cross country. Make researching schools in your new city a high priority on your cross-country moving checklist. If you plan to send your child to public school, determine where your schools of interest are located and go from there.

To find top-rated schools in your new neighborhood, use Moving.com’s School Ratings, which includes GreatSchools ratings and other helpful information. You can also find additional info on the respective school board’s website.

Budget for your move

Moving cross country won’t be cheap. But maybe, our guide for moving cross country can save you some hard-earned cash. First, consider the average cost of hiring professional movers for an out-of-state move is $4,890 (for a distance of 1,000 miles). Even if you’re planning a DIY move, you’ll still have to pay for a truck rental or container, moving supplies, and other various expenses.

Next, figure out your budget. Start with how much you are willing (and able to) spend on the move. Then, list out all necessary moving expenses. Most importantly, remember to put a bit of extra money aside for unexpected costs.

Look into the cost of living

Not only will you need to budget for the move, but you’ll also need to budget for afterward. If you already know where you’re moving to, having some idea of the cost of living will help you narrow down your housing search and find a job that can support your lifestyle. And if you’re keeping your options open regarding where you’ll live, comparing the cost of living of multiple cities can help you choose one more wisely. Look at the cost of housing, utilities, education, healthcare, food, transportation, and taxes.

Visit sites, like Numbeo and AreaVibe, that provide this specific information. Moving.com’s City Profile reports give you a snapshot of demographics, finances, and other quality-of-life factors, so you can find a place where you’ll feel at home. It also features the U.S. Census Bureau population estimates and projections, Bureau of Labor household income and jobs data, and residential data, including median house value and commute times.

Budget for the changes in tax amounts

For the year of the move, plan to pay taxes in two states. To establish residency in a new state, you’ll need to file your tax returns in that state, and, likely, in your old home state, too. It may be a good idea to hire an accountant before the first year to help with the transition. Though, these days, any tax software can guide you along.

The one scenario where you won’t need to pay taxes in two states is when you are moving to a state without an income tax. Those who aren’t will need to find out when to start paying property taxes on their home. Property tax rates vary state by state, so any increases should be budgeted for as well.

Research employer relocation assistance

Are moving cross country for a job? Then, check whether or not your employer plans to cover your moving expenses. Though it’s not a requirement, many companies offer some sort of job relocation package to employees. A job relocation package typically covers part or all of an employee’s moving expenses, and these packages can be negotiated more often than not.

Whether you’re a new employee moving for the job or an existing employee who’s being transferred to another location, it’s in your best interest to pay as little as you can when moving. To start the process, ask your company if they are willing to offer you a relocation budget, then read our opinion of what should be included in a job relocation package to help you stay informed and negotiate accordingly.

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