It’s been a few weeks since I wrote anything, but that’s because I was moving across the country to start a new job. It’s been an adventure. I am excited to be done with the harsh, snowy winters (Chicago area) and to start my life in relative paradise (San Diego).
To anyone else who is, or is considering, moving across the country, I’ve got some lessons learned and advice.
Start ASAP with a big garage/moving sale. Don’t just move the piles of stuff you’ve just been keeping in the basement. If you haven’t touched it in the past 6 months, put it in the sale. If you really end up needing it when you get where you’re going, you’ll have money from the sale to buy what you need.
If you plan on buying property straight away, make sure you get upfront advice on all the requirements and conditions for any financing you need. This caused my wife and I untold amount of headache. We were planning on buying a house and got pre-approved for a mortgage before we went on our house hunting trip, but the only thing we could find that made sense as far as size and budget was a manufactured home. Turns out a standard mortgage won’t cover that.
So we scrambled and found somebody that would finance it and put in an offer. It took 2 weeks to find out about all the conditions required to actually get the financing. They wanted 2 full paychecks from the job I hadn’t started yet, for me to sell my current house first (which had just been put on the market), and the down payment couldn’t come as a gift (they wanted proof it had been in my bank account for the past 60 days). Luckily, we had the foresight to look at a few apartments just in case and were able to pivot, but it was a major hassle.
My advice is this. Stay organized and on top of everything. I had a list of 2 dozen people I needed to keep in contact and coordinate with. Realtors, financing agents, movers, HR at new job, HR at old job, etc. Remember, you’re the one who needs it all to work out, so take charge. Put the people who can work together in direct contact with each other, but make sure and follow up with everybody so you know things are actually getting done. You don’t want all your stuff loaded on a truck and find out halfway there somebody forgot to file some piece of paperwork and now you’re homeless with no place to keep your stuff.
It’s been an adventure, and I’m still not done unpacking and organizing all of my stuff. But at least at this point I have a place to live, my stuff is here, and I start work on Monday. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to writing this blog soon.