Is moving cities right for you? Here's how to decide


Anna Baluch

Anna Baluch

Blog author Anna Baluch

Anna Baluch is a freelance personal finance writer who enjoys writing about personal finance topics including mortgages, retirement, insurance, and investing. Her work can be seen on LendingTree, Business Insider, Experian and other well-known publications. Anna lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing. You can contact her on LinkedIn.

Published|2 min read

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When you’re stuck in a rut, a change of scenery may seem like the perfect solution. But is trading one location for another the right move? Here are some important things to consider when deciding to move cities.

Think about your career path

While it sounds nice to just up and move, you have to be able to support yourself financially.

Do your research. First find if opportunities for advancement exist at your current company or in your current city. Then look at the city that you’re considering moving to. If you simply need a break from the daily grind or want to experience new adventures, consider an extended vacation. (We have ideas here.)

If you have a city in mind that you’d like to move to, search online if there are job postings that fit your profile. It’s always better to have a job lined up before you move. The last thing you want is to be in a new city with no viable source of income.

Research the cost of living

After considering your career options, think about the cost of living in another city. For example, home prices vary from city to city. The average home price in Columbus, Ohio is $158,700 while a home in Los Angeles, California costs an average $696,900, according to Zillow.

Ask yourself: Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle in your current city? What about the city you’re considering moving to? The cost of living may be significantly higher, so downgrading to a smaller space or living with a roommate may be necessary. (And be sure to check out the Policygenius renters index to see whether it makes financial sense to buy or rent a place.)

Consider the cost of moving

The average cost of a long distance move is $4,890, according to Budget in the cost of actually moving your belongings from city to city before taking the plunge.

How many possessions do you intend to move? If it’s just the clothes on your back, all you need is a bus or plane ticket. But if your belongings require a moving truck or two, start reaching out to local moving companies. Or consider selling some items to reduce your moving truck load.

Write down your thoughts

Writing out your thoughts can help visualize if moving is actually a smart decision. Everyone’s situation is different and there’s no one perfect city for someone.

What are your must haves in a city? What are the pros and cons of where you live now versus where you want to live? Write down your expected monthly income and expected monthly expenses to ensure you can afford where you want to live.

Lastly, consider your current support network. If you love being around family and friends, moving far away may not be the best choice. On the other hand, if you’re a social butterfly and like making new friends, moving can have a positive impact on your life.

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Image: Jamie Street