It’s in your best interest to make sure you know as much about your new local economy as possible, especially how much it costs to live there day-to-day. This can be the biggest shock for most people. The 50 states may be one country, but local economies can differ quite a bit. While we all spend the same dollars, what those dollars buy can vary dramatically. Here are some things to consider:
How much does it cost to heat and cool a house throughout the year?
How much does a gallon of milk cost in both places?
What purchases are taxed (e.g., groceries, clothing, etc.)? And what’s the tax rate?
How much does it cost to insure a car? Is there property tax related to owning a car in the area?
What Does Housing Cost?
Whether you want to be a renter or a homeowner, the price of keeping a roof over your head can differ widely from place to place. It’s a good idea to compare housing costs in your new location to those in your current location. The same thing goes for rents. If you’re renting now, how much are people asking for comparable apartments to yours in neighborhoods like yours? Go online and read real estate listings, check descriptions and sales prices. If you’re looking to rent, check classified listings on local newspaper Web sites, then research the neighborhoods you see mentioned.