So you’ve moving! That’s exciting. Maybe you’re relocating for work, or maybe you’ve finally retired, or maybe you’re headed back to school. Whatever the reason, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you do when you make your big move.
Choose your New Home Carefully
It goes without saying that it matters where you live. Be careful when choosing your new digs! You can investigate new apartments thoroughly even if you’re far from your new home, thanks to real estate sites like Find Our Pad. If you’re investing in a home, you’ll want to be even more careful.
Don’t forget about your Utilities
You probably won’t forget to set up your electricity at your new place (and if you do, you’ll get a reminder pretty quick when the lights don’t turn on). But it’s easy to forget about the accounts at your old place! Call up and stop service on all of your utilities so that you don’t get billed for any of the new residents’ energy or water usage. Pay attention to rules about returning devices to your cable company or internet service provider, as fees for messing this part up can be brutal. If you mail it back, consider paying for tracking so that you can fight back if your cable company claims they never got your device.
Back to School
If you have kids, they have to go to school (it’s the law, don’t blame me). But the school bus doesn’t just magically show up when you arrive in town! It’s up to you to call your childrens’ current school and let them know of your plans, and to call the school in your new district. The same goes for private schools, of course: if you’re moving to Toronto’s Richmond Hill, your kids won’t be going to school in Quebec City anymore. With private schools, you’ll have to do some research ahead of time. While many areas (particularly suburbs and rural areas) have only one public school, you may have your choice of private school. So, to return to our hypothetical, you’ll want to be looking up your kids’ Richmond Hill Montessori school while you’re still in Quebec City, because you have to know what’s going on by the time you arrive in Toronto!
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork
There are a lot of people who need to know where you live, unfortunately. You want your billing address to be correct, and you want to get your mail. You also want to be able to drive and vote and go to your local library! Here are a few things to make sure you do:
- Update your driver’s license (or get a new one if you’ve moved to a new state or country)
- Update your car’s registration (or get a new one)
- Update your voter registration (or register in a new state)
- Update your insurance – not just your car insurance, but your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, too! If you’ve moved from state to state within the U.S., sign up for a new health insurance plan (and cancel your old one).
- Update your address with your bank and credit cards. Then update your billing address on the websites you use to shop and pay for services.
- Give your new address to your friends and family!
This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course, but it’s a good place to start!
A Taxing Process
Moving can be exhausting, and you’ll be glad when you’re finally settled in your new home. But you won’t be completely done until you pay your following year’s taxes, because moving can have an impact on your taxes!
The impact can be good – moves for work, for instance, may be tax-deductible. But pay attention to other changes as well. If you move from one state to another in the United States, your state income tax may change. For instance, if you move from Washington state to New York state, you’ll go from a place with no state income tax to a place with one. New York will want to know how much of the year you spent there, and your tax burden will be different depending on how early in the year you moved. This is worth considering even before you move – will you save money if you choose to move a little bit earlier or later in the year? Speak to a tax professional to find out.