Are you looking to move to a new state? Relocating can exciting: new people, new restaurants, new cultures—it all sounds great.
But, let’s face it. The actual moving part tops the list of one of the most challenging things you have to do as an adult, especially when moving so far away. From packing your things to finding a new job and hiring a moving company, making your home in a new state can be a real stress—not to mention a heavy financial burden.
Here are five helpful resources to find your perfect apartment in your new “home” state.
Do you want to find an apartment that’s within close proximity to your work, your child’s new school, or your favorite grocery store? Padmapper makes it easy to find apartments that are available in relation to different points of interests, like public transportation and shopping malls.
What’s great about the website is that it pulls apartment listings from other rental websites, so you get a wide range of apartments to browse and choose from.
You can also narrow your search by specific criteria, giving you less to think about. For example, set a minimum or maximum rent, whether pets are allowed, or whether the lease is long term or short term so you can see the best options for your needs right away.
2. Rent Reports
Rent varies greatly from state to state, making it one of the first details you’re likely considering. Luckily, there are hundreds of rental reports that will give you comprehensive assessments of the local rental market and individual cities in one easy-to-access place.
For example, Abodo.com publishes rent reports on specific cities every quarter. You can see their most recent Champaign, Illinois rent report. Note that it includes details about how much rent has gone up or come down, historical data and more, all of which helps you make the most educated decision for your new home.
Don’t forget to read through up-to-date on national rental trends as well. For example, this report from Yardi Matrix details how the national average rent reached an all-time high of $1,405 in June, a 2.9 percent increase from a year earlier.
If you know where you’re interested in living, start with state-specific reports. If you’re not sure yet, check out the national reports and slowly dial in on where you want to go.
Searching for an apartment long distance is even harder than a regular move because you’re not able to physically see the space and explore the neighborhood.
Subletting is a great option for those who aren’t ready to take this chance, and commit to a year-long lease in a new city or state. The terms of sublease agreements are for a short period, and give you enough time to find a permanent place of your own, or move to another apartment in a city you prefer.
Sublet.com allows you to search all types of rentals, such short-term leases, furnished apartments, rooms for rent, etc. Sublet as a way to get to know a potential new city before calling it home. If you love it, perfect. If you don’t, you’re not stuck to a long-term lease.
This funky website provides one important resource if you’re looking to move to a new state: City Profiles. Each profile is focused on educating the reader before moving to a new state, like 21 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Naples, Florida.
Each article is broken up with funny headlines, but the content itself is full of interesting details. For example, the Naples article says:
“The Humane Society Naples‘ adoption center has an abundance of dogs in need of a good home, including Chubbs, a 12-year-old Chihuahua mix. At the time of this writing, there were 41 other adorable hounds waiting to be adopted.”
This is a fun and casual way to learn about a new state without being overwhelmed by the numbers and data.
5. Use Your Own Resources
While these resources are helpful, don’t forget to take advantage of your own. For example, someone in your personal and professional network may have lived or known someone who’s lived where you plan to move.
Advice from someone who’s lived there is especially helpful when moving to a big city—there are always areas you want to be in and those that you don’t. Getting a reference like this from someone you know allows you to get a real, honest opinion on which cities or neighborhoods are best and which ones you want to avoid.
Bonus: if you reach out to an old work contact, they may have connections that can help you find a new job or meet with other professionals in the area.
Get Ready to Move
Moving to a new state is exciting and stressful all at the same time. Use these resources to find the best spot to call home. Uncover rent prices, find your ideal location, or just read about the many cities that are calling your name. This way you can choose the best location for your needs—and make the hassle of moving worth it.
About the Author: Jessica Thiefels has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and is now a professional freelancer and consultant. She's worked with a variety of real estate clients and has written for Forbes, Inman, House Hunt Network, Homes.com and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.
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