Your Guide for Moving to a New City in Your 20s and 30s

young professional looking at condos with a realor in miami

Your 20s and 30s are an interesting time in life.

You’re likely establishing yourself as a young professional, setting short and long-term goals, and deciding where you want to plant roots of your own. For a lot of people, moving to a new city is a chance to start fresh and find their unique purpose. While moving somewhere new is an exciting time, it also can be challenging to align all the moving parts: finding a new place to call home, researching safe neighborhoods, and deciding if you can afford to live there.

Moving somewhere new can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, as it can allow you to grow and reveal your true potential. If you’re considering packing your bags and heading to a new city, this guide is for you.

Moving to a New City in Your 20s or 30s

Your twenties and early thirties are arguably the best time to move somewhere new; you’re in your golden years and the world is ripe with opportunity. Moving to a new city allows you to re-define yourself without the pressure of cultural norms surrounding you. Away from outside influences, you’re free to form your own religious beliefs, political opinions, find new hobbies, explore new relationships, etc. It’s a very exciting time, but before you start packing boxes, there are a few key steps you should take to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Research the city or cities you’re interested in – Whether you have a few potential destinations in mind, or you have your heart set on a specific location, don’t underestimate the value of research. Try to go visit your potential new city before you commit to moving there. If that’s not possible, Google is your best friend. A few high points to kick off your investigation can include the job market, cost of living, demographics, weather, culture, and things to do.
  • Make sure you’re financially stable enough to relocate – Relocating can be expensive. Take an in-depth look at your finances and make sure you have enough money to cover moving expenses, and if you are moving before you have a job lined up, make sure you have funds to help get you through the first couple of months. Additionally, it’s wise to wait to relocate until you’ve built up a stable emergency fund.
  • Find a place to call “home” – Moving is stressful enough. Whether you decide to rent or buy, we recommend taking proactive measures to secure a home before you make the big move. That way, you won’t be living out of a hotel room while you look for a place to live. Buying a home or signing a lease prior to packing your bags will make the transition much easier and could save you money, too.
  • Decide what you’re bringing with you and ditch the rest – Once you decide you’re moving, it’s time to go through your belongings and decide which items you want to bring with you and what you will leave behind. Cleaning out your closet is a great place to start. If you have possessions that collect dust, consider ditching them. Selling some personal items through online marketplaces or yard sales is a quick, easy way to make extra cash to help with the move.

Questions to Ask When Relocating to a New City

Moving somewhere new is an exhilarating possibility, but before you take that leap, it's essential to pause and ask yourself some important questions. Whether you're relocating for work, adventure, or a fresh start, these key questions will help you make a confident and informed decision before committing to a big move.
  •  “Why am I moving?” – Understanding your motivations for moving is essential. Is it for career opportunities, a change of scenery, or personal reasons? Knowing your purpose will help you set realistic expectations and align your goals with your new location.
  • "Can I afford to live there?" – Research the cost of living in your prospective city. Consider factors such as housing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. Ensure that your budget aligns with the city's expenses to maintain financial stability.
  • "What is the job market like?" – If you're moving for career advancement, explore the job market in your potential destination. Assess the availability of job opportunities in your industry and the potential for growth and professional development.
  • “How is the quality of life?" – Evaluate the quality-of-life factors that matter most to you. Consider aspects such as climate, recreational activities, cultural scene, healthcare facilities, and proximity to family and friends. Think about what will contribute to your overall happiness and well-being.
  • "What is the education system like?" – If you have children or plan to pursue further education, research the quality of schools and universities in the area. Look into academic programs, extracurricular activities, and the overall reputation of the education system. 
  • "Is the city safe?" – Safety is paramount, so take the time to investigate the crime rates and overall safety of the area you're considering. Look for reliable sources, such as local law enforcement or government websites, to gather accurate information on the city's safety record. 
  • "What are the transportation options? Evaluate the transportation infrastructure and accessibility of your potential city. Consider public transportation systems, commuting options, traffic congestion, and proximity to airports if travel is important to you.
  • "Can I envision myself living here long-term?" – Lastly, try to envision yourself living in the new city long-term. Consider the long-range impact of the move on your lifestyle, career trajectory, and overall happiness. Trust your intuition and ensure that the city aligns with your long-term goals and aspirations.
By asking yourself these questions and thoroughly researching your potential new city, you'll be equipped with valuable insights that set you up for a fulfilling transition.

Considerations When Moving Alone

Moving away from home encourages you to become more independent, but getting comfortable being alone can be a challenge in the beginning. If it’s your first time moving away from your family’s nest, or if you’ve always had a roommate, know there will be times where you will be alone. That doesn’t mean being alone is a bad thing, but it might take some time to get used to. Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself though, some of the best days are spent doing activities that bring you joy without the stress of entertaining any company. Go get a coffee, take a walk in the park, or see a movie – it’s not weird.

It can be tempting to stay cooped up in your house or apartment, but try to be social and stay open to new experiences. Try finding a church to attend, go for coffee with a colleague, or talk to your neighbors. Since you are building your social life from the ground up, you will have to put yourself out there to meet new people.

If making friends in a new city is a high priority for you, consider researching groups on Facebook or Meetup that congregate and socialize over common interests. Perhaps if you like to read, you can join a book club; or if you’re into sports, you could join a recreational league. Seeking out others that you have things in common with is a great place to start.

How to Relocate to a New City

You know you’re ready to make the move to a new city, now let’s talk about how to get there.
  • Choose your destination – When you’ve decided it’s time for a new beginning, choosing your destination is the first step in making your dreams a reality. Deciding where you want to move and start over is a big decision. There are a lot of factors you should consider, like cost of living, the job market, climate, demographics, what there is to do there, etc. To help you get started, we put together a guide on five of the best places to live in the Southeast.
  • Pick a neighborhood – After you’ve decided on your destination, you will need to choose a neighborhood. You should consider living in a neighborhood that keeps you close to the qualities you value most about the city. Once you narrow your search down by neighborhood, your housing hunt will become more digestible.
  • Connect with a realtor – A good realtor can guide you through the house hunting process and help you find the perfect home in your desired neighborhood – not to mention they can help you stay within your budget. Not only will they make your homebuying process easier, but they can also give you local recommendations for restaurants, coffee shops, and activities to try while you’re exploring your new home.
  • Organize logistics – How do you plan on moving your belongings from one place to the other? There are a few options: rent a moving truck or trailer, ship your possessions in a shipping container, or load up your personal vehicle. While there isn’t a “right” option, one might make more sense than the others for your unique situation. For example, if you’re moving across multiple states, shipping your belongings might save you money. Or if you have bulky furniture, packing them in your car probably won’t work.
  • Settle in and establish yourself – You’re almost to the fun part. Move your items into your new home, unpack the boxes, and decorate. But before you kick your feet up, there are a few more things to do. Don’t forget to update your address on your bank account(s), credit card(s), and any subscriptions. After you settle down and catch your breath, remember to head to the DMV to update your drivers license and registration.

If you’re ready to make the big move and finance your dream home, our local and experienced mortgage bankers are here to help. Step into a location near you or contact a mortgage banker today.

About the Author

Lauren Rogers, NMLS# 1434981, Lauren Rogers, a Charleston native, began her career at SouthState in 2012. After several years in the Capital Markets department, her expertise includes secondary market risk analysis and product development. A graduate of College of Charleston, she holds a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. When not working with clients, Lauren volunteers with Trident United Way and is a member of the College of Charleston Alumni Association.
Lauren Rogers SouthState Director of Mortgage Business Development | Senior Vice President

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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