Considering a move to a new city? Before you pack your bags and hire a moving company, be sure to research the potential price tag of relocating. It may cost more than you think.
Cost of living can vary greatly from town to town, so be sure to do some research before taking the plunge. Better Homes and Gardens recommends browsing the local newspaper for grocery promotions, ads, and other local news to track costs so you can put those figures into a worksheet and determine the income you might need. While several cost-of-living calculators are available on the Internet, they provide only general figures and don’t take into account specific housing needs.
Be sure to ask a Certified Residential Specialist in your target area about “hidden” homeownership costs, such as recreation fees, trash collection and community services. Try to obtain a one-year sampling of utility bills for the type of home you’re considering. What can you expect to pay for telephone, cable TV and Internet services? Will you have your own septic tank and water pump, or will the community provide water service?
There are a host of other expenses to consider. What taxes will you pay? Higher taxes may mean better schools, libraries, trash collection and other community services, while lower taxes could mean higher expenses for these services. But it pays to have all the facts before you make a move.
Likewise, transportation and parking costs often are higher in larger cities, while a small-town commute can mean a short walk or bike ride. Also, gas prices can be more costly in some areas than in others.
Leisure time costs can add up as well. How much more will you have to pay for tennis or health club memberships, adult education classes and golf course fees?
Moving away from family and friends can mean more frequent phone calls and trips back home, so be sure to allow for those additional costs as well.