Moving Across the Country🌎

For those who have been considering, or have already made the decision to move across the county, here’s my story about how I did it ✈️ and some helpful tips:

I was originally born in Chicago, IL but was raised in Milwaukee, WI since I was about 9 years old. So long story short, all I really knew in the Midwest were cold, lingering winters and short-lived summers; which was not exactly my idea of good time 😭.

So, I started my research on other states in the U.S with warmer climates (particularly year round hah). First, I checked online to get a rough idea of how far I might have to go. Of course, most of my ideal environments were either way down south or ways away towards the west. And as one can imagine, there were numerous options so I had to narrow them down.


Tip #1:

Create a list.

Write down all the factors that matter most to you. For example, if you’re not Oprah or Bill Gates, the cost of living in each state of choice might be an important factor to either make or break your plans.

Also, I know this is a moving across the country blog; but you might want to consider how far you’re willing to move away from family. If you’re very family-oriented, it might be better to think about starting off by moving maybe a city or one state away.

{Side Note: Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my family; and they’re all living in the Midwest. But the goal was to get away from winter, so I had to tough it up and venture out a little further. (In my second blog I’ll discuss coping mechanisms for home-sickness}

Getting back to the list of factors, mine looked somewhat like this:

1. Cost of living (needed to be similar, if not cheaper than Milwaukee)

2. Things to do (needed to have more options than Milwaukee)

3. Unemployment Rate (this is something I wish I looked into more, but nonetheless it’s extremely important to have on your list)

4. Culture (this is a bit harder to research, but it’s definitely important. Especially depending on where you’re coming from. Knowing the culture can help determine how well you’ll fit in and what to expect)

{Side Note: If anyone would like me to go more into depth about what I did to find all the information I needed, please send me an email, or a message on social media! I’d love to help you out ♥}


After hours of intense and exhausting research, I ended up choosing Las Vegas, NV.

It met all the criteria I was looking for and then some. The weather was opposite of Milwaukee, the cost of living was just about the same, it’s Vegas so there’s always something to do, the culture seemed perfect for me, and there seemed to be a bunch of jobs available.

The next step for me was finding a place to live out here.


Tip #2:

Figure out your moving budget! That way it can give you a ballpark idea of how much you can afford when looking for apartments.

I can’t stress enough how important setting up a budget for moving is. I remember reading about Taraji P. Henson and her travels to Hollywood with little to no savings. Let me tell you: That may not work out well.

Please, please, please set up a budget. Especially, if you don’t have a job lined up already. I did months of research and planning on this. Mainly because the prices kept changing and weren’t secure unless I knew the exact date I would arrive in Vegas.

So the best thing to do would be to figure out how much you need to save for EVERYTHING, such as:

1. Travel Costs – are you flying or road-tripping? Do you have enough for airfare or gas? If flying, are you taking ALL your clothes? Are you prepared for luggage fees? If road-tripping, do you have enough for a full car tune-up and/or oil change?

2. Moving Costs – are you taking your furniture with you? Are you selling it all? If not, how much will it cost to ship it to your destination? What about your car? If you don’t have a car, do you need to save for one when you get to your destination?

(Then start researching apartments. Or you can ballpark figure out these costs too based on how similar the cost of living is to your home)

3. Housing – how much per month do you expect to be paying for your apartment? How much is the security deposit? Are there application fees? Admin fees? Does the apartment include all utilities? If not, how much extra do you expect it will cost

4. Extras – will all of that leave you with enough to buy toiletries (if you’re starting fresh)? What about groceries? If you’re not taking your furniture, do you have enough for furniture?

5. Pets- make sure to always mention or ask about pets when booking airline flights, hotel stays, and when you’re leasing your apartment. I have the cutest little Chi-Weenie puppy and as cute as she may be, she could’ve been extremely expensive to transport if I wasn’t careful.

**One last thing**

Once you’ve personalized your budget, add another budget for emergencies; a safety net. This is something I considered but didn’t take the time to carefully prepare and I ended up getting stuck in a couple ruts, like almost living out of my car!

Having a safety net covers you in the event you don’t find a job as fast as you might have expected. It pays your bills ahead of time so you’re not making late payments at the last minute trying to catch up. And/or it could pay for extra little necessities you may have forgotten or neglected to bring; ie. toiletries, household cleaning items, interview clothes.


After I roughly figured out my budget, I gave myself a range to work between when it came to monthly rent. One thing I tried to avoid right off the bat was searching apartments beyond my means. All it did was make the apartments within my means look less satisfactory in comparison to the gorgeous luxury condos; so to lessen my disappointment, I started small and worked my way up. And once I knew how much was too much, I was able to narrow my search down to my top five, affordable, yet comfortable apartments.

It took me more than just a couple of hours to get there though (realistically, a couple of weeks); because just like all the factors that go into choosing a city/state to move to, there are just as much if not more that go into choosing an apartment.

I hit a bunch of road blocks, inevitable disappointments, and minor obstacles on my search. Which brings me to another tip:


Tip #3:

Create another list!

This is going to be another list of factors and specific qualities you want/need your apartment to have. This list is another essential step, especially because you’re moving across the country to a place you don’t have everyday access to. Knowing what you want/need in a place takes the hassle out choosing a place you’re going to end up hating.

Some of the factors on my list were:

  1. Utilities Included – does the apartment include utilities? If so, how many? If not, what would be the cost every month?
  2. Pets Allowed – does the apartment complex even allow dogs/cats? If so, how much are the fees? Are those fees refundable?
  3. Neighborhood – Unfortunately, there’s going to be crime around every neighborhood, but researching some reviews on a specific area could help determine how often and what kind of crime.
  4. Security – is the community gated? Is there 24/7 security guards on the premises? What about cameras? Is there a parking garage available for vehicles? If so, how much extra? If not, will the vehicle be safe?
  5. Proximity to Activities – what’s around your neighborhood? Parks? Schools? Restaurants? Clubs? Bars? Mountains for hiking? Whatever you’re interested in, try and take a look at how far you’d have to commute in order to get there.

Once your list is completed, you’re ready to begin calling the apartment complexes you have interest in. Looking online gives you a bunch of useful information, but calling always gives you an even better idea of what to expect. The leasing consultant can give you information on current promotions/specials, fees you may not have thought were there, and availability on the specific apartment you’re looking for.

Also, another benefit of calling is potentially talking to someone that has moved across the country just like you’re planning to do! When I was calling multiple apartment complexes, I let them know immediately that I was an out-of-state resident looking to move; which brought on a bunch of stories, tips, and tricks from the leasing consultants who’ve already been there, done that ♥.


Now we’re getting somewhere! Once you’ve narrowed it down to at least five that you really like, try and see if you can schedule a mini trip to visit them in person. It’s one thing to see how beautiful apartments look on the website, but trust me it may be a whole other ballgame to actually see them in person.

So try your best not to get your hopes up about a specific place, yet. Not until you’ve read extensive reviews, seen it in person, and surveyed the neighborhood yourself. That was unfortunately one of the inevitable disappointments I encountered on my journey. But hey! It was absolutely better to have been disappointed ahead of time, rather than suffering whilst living under a year contract!


Jumping ahead to the actual move :-D. At this point, I had completed all my research on everything I wanted to know about Las Vegas, I talked to people who have moved here, set my eyes on two apartments (just in case one still fell through), developed a strong budget, and reached my desired savings amount. I was all ready to go!

I sold the majority of my furniture to help me save for the move. I packed all of the clothes I wanted to take. I terminated my apartment lease in Milwaukee. I put in a notice at my job and let them know when I was going to be leaving. I prepped my car for takeoff; tune-up, oil change, and overall complete inspection. And then I told all my family when my exact last day would be living in the Midwest.

All in all, I feel like there was so much planning and unexpected turns that came into preparing to leave Milwaukee. If you have any questions or feel like I may have left something out, please feel more than free to contact me or comment below! ♥

Stay tuned for my next blogs! 😘

  • So I Moved Across the Country…..Now What?
    • Job Searching
    • Coping with Homesickness
    • Making Friends
    • Building a New Life
  • Road Tripping Across the Country

-Love Kat B.

 

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15 thoughts on “Moving Across the Country🌎

  1. Chica I am so happy for you!! 😘😘 This helps me out a lot cause I wanted to look into moving, jst didn’t know where to look. Always remain as the beautiful individual that you are. Ik you’ll have a great adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I truly enjoyed reading this! I love how you covered all expected rising situations we might experience while moving out of state. You even went the extra mile, when you added the emergency budget! Thanks for looking out for us =))) So important to always have a back up plan & make sure all is covered. You made this much easier. Thank you, for your great advice! I cant wait to hear more from you!! <3!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! And I’m so excited to be of help to you guys ❤️. I will definitely write more blogs for you guys really soon.
      Was there any particular topic you have an interest in? 😁

      Like

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