How DO you move out of state?

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California in my rear view Β© by jjandames, used under Creative Commons license.
People pack up and move out of state all the time, right? It's obviously a thing — a thing that my boyfriend and I can't figure out how to do! In order to get an apartment, you have to have a job to prove your income; in order to get a job you have to live within a reasonable distance of the workplace. It would help to have family or friends up there, but none of our people have chosen to homestead there.

We want to ditch the overpriced California lifestyle and go to beautiful Offbeat Oregon! That romantic story of tossing all your stuff into a moving van and setting off on an adventure somewhere wonderful is exactly what we're after. I've been applying to jobs in Oregon for months now and I've got zip to show for it. Not even a returned email. Sucky economy is not kind to out-of-state job search!

If it's such a chicken and egg problem, how the heck do people do move out of state? Did everyone have a job offer before they left town? We're at a loss.

Help us Offbeat Homies, you're our only hope! -Dana B.

UPDATE: We moved out of state thanks to Offbeat Home & Life!

  1. I'm really looking forward to the comments on this! My fella and I are in the EXACT same situation (even the wanting to move from California to Oregon or Washington) and we have no idea where to begin!

    31 agree
    • AGREED! Although my boyfriend and I don't live together (yet?) I'm almost done with college and have been trying to figure out whether I want to move back home, stay in Boston, or move somewhere else entirely. No idea how to do any of those things!

      3 agree
      • It is more difficult to find employment in a city you don't live in, employers will lean to someone already living in the area as opposed to someone out of state. There are exceptions but I would move first or use a local address when looking for a job

        5 agree
    • I want to move from San Diego to the northwest as well. Wow this is old post. I might just quit and be homeless but I'm nervous about that.

      3 agree
  2. Well, I recently graduated from college and moved to a new state. I don't know if my advice will apply to you, but here's what we did. Instead of proving income by proving we had jobs, we used our tax returns and bank accounts to prove that we had enough money in savings to pay rent. That way they knew we could actually pay to live there, and we got to lease an apartment without having jobs yet. Most places won't tell you they can do that, though. You have to ask them when they bring up proof of income, can we use bank statements instead to demonstrate that we have enough in savings to cover this? Now, if you don't have enough in savings, I don't know what to tell you – this is just what worked for us! then, after we did that whole process and got our apartment leased, we moved in sort of in stages (first stage: move crap from college to new apartment; second stage: move crap from home to new apartment). Those stages involved going from MD to Pa and then from GA to PA and then from TN to PA to get all of our stuff moved here (it was a hassle.) Then, we got jobs. For us, it helped that we spent a large part of the summer at home getting all of our stuff together and moving toward our wedding (oh yeah did I mention we got married in the middle of all of this??). We looked for jobs online while we did that and when places called we explained our situation and everyone we spoke with was really understanding and let us set up interviews several weeks later when we would be back in PA. I hope everything works out for you!

    23 agree
    • That can be tricky though–when I was looking for apartments, a couple of the places had RIDICULOUS requirements for proof of income/assets. One place required that you have 3x the monthly rent x the number of months in the lease you were requesting — so for a year-long lease, it'd be over TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. This is a good tip IF you have the money, but that can be tricky!

      10 agree
      • Yeah, we actually had plenty of money to prove that. So, good advice if you have a lot of money in the bank – but maybe not so much if you don't. :/ But that was just our experience!

      • THIS! And in my experience, I was able to be on the lease in GA however I couldn't prove 3x the income from just my student loans that I lived off of. So my boyfriend had to sign with along with a co-signer. It was a big hassle, especially when you have the money. Just be prepared for some setbacks. Usually in my experience, it's like a car dealership, depending on how difficult your situation, some places won't even bother.

      • Crikey if you had this much lying around, you'd almost be in a position to put a deposit on your own place!

        15 agree
      • I am in this exact same predicament, wanting to move out of the Bay Area for Portland. We also have enough saved up to live on while we find jobs. We were able to do a 4 month lease and the income requirements are much less. I would check for short term leases. We haven't moved up there yet but hopefully all else goes right.

        2 agree
    • Some places also will not accept student loans/graduate stipends as income. I ran into this problem moving from VA to MD. My grad scholarships and stipends don't count as actual income. So we either had to have $30,000 in the bank, or we had to get a co-signer. If you need to have things co-signed and your co-signer isn't present, be prepared for a lot of notary fees. My parents did that for us, and it was the only thing that made it possible for us to move into this place. So be really aware of the fine print when it comes to what income counts on a lease.

    • I think it is way easier to rent from a home owner. Go directly to the owner. Agencies and apartment communities require way more then an owner. If you show proof you have 3 months or more rent, pay a deposit and show a good work history from the past you should be fine.
      I am moving 7 hours away to another state, though I did have the job offer, (I just applied to the jobs I wanted and had a great cover letter). I think 2 out of all the application responded; Anyway, I called the home owner (I did see the home when I went for my interview) And made arrangements that suited my needs. I am only paying 1 third of the rent up front with no deposit until I start the job and get paid. It's a nice house in an upscale community. Home owners want their homes rented ASAP, so if you have proof of a strong work history or good credit you'll usually get it easily. My situation I have bankruptcy, bad credit since I filed, not much $ upfront but a good record of paying my rent that helped my secure the rental. Don't give up! You can also go into a extended stay hotel for a few months until you find employment. You can find one from $35 a night..
      Good luck!

      6 agree
  3. It took us 2 years to get out of Florida. We interviewed out of state and did what we could, but we didn't have a destination state in mind. Literally just a "job not in Florida, preferably not the south" plan. So, yes, the job came first, but I think it was easier for us because of the industry my fiance works in (he's a software engineer.)

    I HAVE moved out of state alone before and directly into a friend of the family's house. Found a job at a grocery store 2 days later from family friend's hook ups. He was diagnosed with cancer, I packed a truck and moved within 2 weeks. I had no plan whatsoever…. and just made it work.

    It's really whatever you set your heart to.

    I have another friend who lived in her car for a month just driving from place to place until she could find work. She ended up in Tampa, FL and then moved to Wisconsin. I couldn't do what she did, but she set a goal and stuck with it.

    I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I've always found comfort in the fact that it'll work out somehow. Try networking for work, save some money so you can stay at a hotel/airbnb/some accomodation for a while while trying to find a job/find a place to live without a job.

    It's possible!

    14 agree
  4. I've done this waaaay to many times for my liking.

    Our two most recent experiences:

    1) When moving to Chicago, we almost were denied housing because I didn't have a job yet (I was looking) but we had to move because of my husband's graduate school. So we REALLY had to convince them, and absent financial backing/assurances from relatives, we would have been denied. We were applying for a 100 unit or so complex with an obnoxiously paper-laden chain of command. We had to prove bank accounts, income tax, and stock holdings before they would let us in. OBNOXIOUS. (I'm sure that if you found a smaller landlord, you might not have to go through all the frustrations we had.) That was extremely frustrating since finding reasonably priced rent in the northern suburbs is nearly impossible anyway. The application process was just made that much more difficult. Because we moved first, job searched second, I was limited geographically as to where I could even look for jobs within a reasonable commute, so I would definitely suggest trying to find the job first…then plan your housing in a nearby area.

    2) In our move to East Texas, I got the job first. And housing came immediately after with no issues. It was SO much easier on us to have the job lined up first. I've found that its helpful to include in your cover letter a * by your address and a small note that you are "Relocating to the Chicago area May 2013".

    16 agree
  5. Great question! I'm looking forward to the answers… especially if someone has successfully found a teaching position in another state!

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    • My friend is a high school Spanish/Math teacher and he recently moved from MI to WA. He just picked up and moved when the school year was over and came to stay with us for a month. He came with a carload of stuff, and put the rest in storage back in Michigan, in case things didn't work out. He immediately got going on all of the teaching certificate requirements, which ended up costing him a fair bit of change, and then applied *everywhere*. There were still several districts looking for teachers for the start of the year, and he managed to land a job in a really nice district about 30 min from the city. Once he had the job, he could sign for his own apartment.

      I imagine if you don't have friends where you're going, you can spend a little more money and use temporary housing while you frantically search. Scary, but doable.

      4 agree
  6. Most apartment complexes will accept proof that you WILL have a job someplace specific. Which means you need to get that job first, but a lot of places understand that you're moving, so they'll hire you on the understanding that you're going to live someplace close real soon.
    Apartments that are owned by larger property management groups are less likely to rent to someone who can't yet prove employment and income. Working with a privately-owned place will be MUCH easier, or try subletting from someone else. Occasionally, you can find an arrangement where you can sublease for a few months until you can get an established job and find your own place.
    A local home building company here rents duplexes to people if they can show that their bank account has a certain amount of money in it (enough to cover six months' rent or so.) You might stumble across something like that.

    16 agree
  7. I moved to Portland 2 years ago from JH, WY with my boyfriend, dog & 2 kitties. It was out third out of state move in eight years.

    When we moved to Portland we didn't have jobs lined up but we did manage to convince a landlord to let us sign a lease before we even arrived in state. We visited for a weekend prior to moving but we signed the lease in another state and faxed it back. Not having a job was remedied by showing proof of savings, they were ok with us having about 4 months of rent in savings when we signed the lease.

    Job hunting in Portland is pretty tough right now. I work as a waitress & a bartender, my boyfriend as a cook, bartender & DJ. I don't know anyone in Portland with only one job. I have noticed that employers in the hospitality industry are more likely to respond to job hunters if you are available to start, tomorrow. I work in a restaurant full of teachers, scientists, students, and other overqualified people, Portland is definitely the kind of place where you can find overqualified people underachieving in the job market.
    I think the key to moving out of state in a poor economy is to have some savings in your back pocket to get you through a month or two of job hunting.

    Good luck! (BTW, Oregon is totally worth it)

    13 agree
  8. We hired someone from out of state, and I think she was able to present her job offer/ acceptance letter to the landlords. We also gave them a few thousand dollars to relocate, but not all palces will do that. My neighbor is renting out their condo to some recent grads who are just starting their careers, and they had to have their parents co-sign on the lease.
    I'd say, get the job first, then find a place to live. Maybe the new employer can recommend a relocation company to help.

  9. We did not move out of state, but we did move from Southern CA to Northern CA, approx 400 miles. Most citizens of each end of the state agree that this is the same thing as changing states for various reasons.

    This was our story:

    The husband got a job in NorCA through connections he had from years back. Over a three-week period, he was flying or driving up and down the state on weekends. I resigned my job. We managed to pack up the house and move everything into storage, and then we temporarily moved in with his mother in NorCA.

    When we finally found a rental home, we arranged a long-distance move, flew back to SoCA to supervise the load-out from our storage unit, flew back to NorCA that night, and the next day greeted our long-distance movers who loaded-in.

    So what were the keys in our case?
    – The husband's connections.
    – A sympathetic mother-in-law with a guest bedroom.
    – A good moving company who handled both the long and short moves.
    – Balls-to-the-wall determination. You'd think 3 weeks is plenty of time to get a house packed. It ain't.
    – Money or a credit card to cover all this.
    – Rental availability. The SF Bay area has a less than 3% rental vacancy rate, and it was a huge challenge to find our new home.

    By the way, for those readers who are married: The state of CA will offer unemployment insurance to a spouse who has to resign a job due to having to follow a spouse to their new job more than 40 miles away. This clause is called "family unity."

    Good luck to you! This move was the biggest undertaking of my life, but we are so much happier in NorCA!

    14 agree
  10. Our moves have always been for work or school, and I but here are a few ideas. Put your stuff in storage, and quit your job, and find somewhere cheap and short term to live in OR. My family has been known to live in campers while doing moves. Maybe you could just get a PO box to use as a local address? Many landlords don't actually require proof of income, and they might ask how much you make but don't actually ask for pay stubs. Even if they do, they might accept an out of state one if you explain you are in the process of moving. Try places that rent month-to-month and explain the situation if they want income verification. And make sure you are calling to follow up at the places you apply to, I have worked several places that won't even look at applications or resumes from people who haven't followed up. Good luck!

    3 agree
    • My husband and I tried to get a PO box in Portland. We live about 100 miles away in Olympia WA. We told them that we were relocating there and setting up a box ahead of time They refused to give us a PO box without a local address on your drivers license. Maybe a private company would be different.

      1 agrees
  11. I can provide some insight from the perspective of someone who moved from overseas into the US, and then to a different state.

    1. Save money! We kept some of our previous contracting jobs with latin american rates throughout the move to help bolster up our meager savings. We didn't have much saved, but we knew more money would be coming in, but we knew we needed to act fast since life in the US is much more expensive than back home.

    2. get work! I was a contractor for a company based in the US. When I knew I'd be moving, I asked them if they would be interested in hiring me full time at US rates. It was terrifying to ask, but they said yes and it was a relief to know I'd have a job eventually. My husband, though, was only doing a few hours of freelance work, and still didn't have anything lined up as a benefit-providing job. But as long as we can survive on one income, it's good. He's still job-junting. The greatest part was networking: asking people who know people if there are jobs out there.

    3. Find a place to crash. Just for the first few days/weeks/months. While you decide WHERE you want to live. We were able to stay with family for 3 weeks before moving to our own place out of state. If this hadn't been possible, I would've looked into renting a room or a vacation apartment (air bnb) or staying at an inexpensive motel while finding a place to live.
    Couchsurfing in Latin America is a good place to find temporary homes. I'm an active member, so I was able to look at offers for roomates and check those out and get one with minimum paperwork. Maybe a roomate finder site could help you find a place while you find a real place.

    4. Getting paperwork It was different for us, we had to wait to get our SS cards before we could get bank accounts, I needed a bank account so that I could get paid and have money in the bank, we needed the ss cards and someone to vouch for us to get a state drivers' license (or ID card).

    5. Letting go. This was our only option since we could move only with what we had on our suitcases. We were able to make our international move (and out of state move) with 2 bags each and 1 carryon item (plus my cat). Letting go of material things helped. Craigslist and goodwill also helped get the apartment in minimal working order. Travelling light helps since you can stay in interim apartments for much longer, not having to find places to put your stuff. If we had HAD stuff, perhaps I would've put it in storage, moved with just the basics while finding a place to live, then figuring out how to U'Haul the stored stuff out to where it needs to be.

    6. expecting the unexpected. I know someone who made an international move with a job lined up and it fell through a couple of weeks before she started. Babysitting, house-sitting, pet-sitting are all good options to survive some curve-balls while hunting for another job. She was still able to find a job before the school year started and that was an unexpected boon!

    4 agree
  12. When I moved from NYC to Philadelphia, I saved up about 6 grand before I quit my job. I lined up a friend to move in with and began my job search after moving. I was unemployed for 15 months and eventually had to start taking freelance/odd jobs (cleaning houses, gardening, manual labor) from Craigslist to make ends meet. It wasn't ideal, but I actually enjoyed the hell out of those 15 months and I think it was a valuable life experience. Still, that method of moving isn't for everyone. I don't regret it, but I wouldn't do it again!

    In getting my first apartment out of college (when I first moved to NYC) I had to have my mom co-sign on the lease because I only had a part-time graduate assistant job. If I had been unable to pay my rent, she would have been liable for it. It was embarrassing for me to ask that favor of her, but she never had to bail me out because I always made rent. If you have close family, they might be able to co-sign for you (but it's a big favor to ask).

    If you're currently employed in CA, would it be possible (financially) to find an apartment or house in OR based on your current income? You might end up paying rent in two places for a month, but once you've got the lease signed in OR how would the management company/landlord even know if you quit your job in CA or found other employment? People live in one place and keep apartments in other cities for various reasons, so it's not uncommon. You'd need to save up enough money to afford double rent and cover your rent in OR while you job-search, but at least you'd have a place to live.

    Generally, though, I think the most prudent thing would be to save as much money as you can in CA but hold off on the moving until you find a job in OR (as painful as it may be to wait).

  13. Hey! We moved across the country to Seattle – after about two years of feeling that MUST-GO-WEST pull.

    I had a job offer, but we did all the researching of neighborhoods, and even choosing an apartment from DC. We put down a deposit sight-unseen on an apartment that served us well for our first year and a half before we decided on a house in the same neighborhood. The apartment turned out well, but I can see how it could have gone horribly wrong, and in retrospect, might have tried to get a month-to-month or short-term lease instead of a 12 month.

    When we moved, we hired a moving company that we'd had experience with and they LOST all of our shit. Like, seriously, they outright lost our couch, and we didn't have a couch for 3 months. Most of our furniture finally arrived after 8 weeks, and this was while both of us were working – very stressful.

    Otherwise, I've moved from my home state of Michigan a bunch of times – sometimes recklessly, and sometimes with a plan in place. What I think is important are the following:

    -Enough savings to get a hotel room if you need to, put down a deposit on an apartment the day you see it, or fix the car you rely on when it inevitably breaks down.
    -A partner in crime – who either lives there or is moving there with you. It helps having the moral support, but if you're splitting the costs of the move/apartment, it will lighten the financial burden.
    -Something resembling a plan. A couple of times I've moved with just a duffle bag and a couch to crash on. Then the duffle bag got stolen, so… I had to deplete my bank account just to be presentable to go to job interviews! It was insane, and took a while to bounce back from, but I had good friends, and a *very* understanding partner. As I've gotten older, the plans have gotten much more detailed, but things still go wrong, so make your plan, try to go by it, and go with it when everything falls apart.

    At the end of the day, I think the whole point of moving is to experience new things, so remember to enjoy it, even if you're sitting on a bench in Yellowstone waiting for Old Faithful to go off for two hours when the moving company calls and says that they've lost track of all your belongings.

    And after all that, we're still fairly balanced people living a normal life (for us, anyway)!

    12 agree
  14. I can't give much practical advice on the subject, but I do training on resumes and job searching. From that perspective, I would encourage you to keep looking from where you are. It's always easier to get a job when you have a job so I would put off quitting your job and moving as long as you can.

    You might try mentioning your commitment to moving to Oregon in your cover letter or resume summary. Sometimes, an out-of-state applicant may seem like more hassle than the position is worth, but if they know you already plan on moving there and you indicate that you're willing to travel for interviews, they might be more likely to consider your application.

    Lots of luck!

    3 agree
  15. in order to get a job you have to live within a reasonable distance of the workplace

    I think this is what's tripping you up. Employers won't ask you if you live nearby. They'll just ask you if you can have reliable transportation to and from work.

    The first step to moving out of state is getting a job in your destination city. Once you've done that, apartment management companies won't have a problem giving you a lease. They'll just ask for a copy of your job offer letter.

    And like others have said, save money. A lot. Moving a family, even if you're doing it yourself with a rented truck, will cost a few thousand dollars.

    Good luck!

    5 agree
  16. in a few weeks we'll mark 1 year since we moved from Illinois to Minnesota. Originally I had planned to move for grad school but when I decided not to pursue that anymore, decided to go anyway figuring that a big city like Minneapolis had more to offer than a town of 2,000 in IL. We had no trouble finding an apartment, just made sure we had enough in savings to cover 3 monthes rent and living expenses – and kept applying for jobs. Luckily a lot of warehouses are hiring so my husband (then fiancee) was able to get a job. I was unemployeed for a bit before piecing together a few part-time gigs. Moving out of state can be done you just have to be flexible and have some $ saved for "just in case" (plus, sometimes if you don't have a current job to show, apts. will have you pay an extra deposit). Best of luck!!

    2 agree
    • I'm glad I'm not the only one that had an easy time of moving to Minnepolis (although I hauled stuff all the way from Florida). That said, it tickles me that you had no trouble finding a place, considering the vacancy rate is supposedly 3% in the area. πŸ™‚

  17. My fiance and I relocated from Cleveland, OH to Lexington, KY so we could be closer to family. I didn't have enough savings to move without finding a job first. I was lucky to have family in the area, so I added my mother's home address to my resume. I finally started getting responses after I changed the address. It showed that I had a stable connection to the area even though I didn't currently live there. I also spent a lot of time drafting a cover letter that explained my desire to move, the time frame I was planning, and that I did not require relocation expenses to be paid by my future employer. This got a few wheels turning for me. Once they did though, things moved very quickly. I had my first interview with my new employer and was in Lexington exactly 2 weeks later. I had a 6 hour commute each Sunday and Friday night until I was able to fully close out my Cleveland home.

    Good Luck!

  18. My husband and I just moved ourselves and our son across the country for the second time! The first time we were right out of school and had a ton of (student loan) money saved up — somewhere around $12k — so we were able to show that we had that money in the bank and it was pretty easy to get an apartment. Jobs were way harder, but my husband managed to get 2 (I was pregnant and couldn't find a job anywhere) within a few months. The reasons we moved away had less to do with any financial situation and more to do with personal ones.

    We moved across the country AGAIN this year, back to Oregon. This time around we had a decent amount saved (around $5k) AND both my jobs (Offbeat Mama + I'm a wedding photographer) make it easier to move around. We started paying for our new apartment half a month ahead of time, and my husband went ahead 2 weeks before my son and I did to look for jobs. He got one in less than a month of being here, but it's worth noting that he had ZERO replies to applications and resumes when he sent them before having an address in our new home.

    If you have money in savings, keep in mind that you're going to blow through it faster than you think. We donated around 50% of what we owned, shipped another 40% of it through the post office, and my husband drove our Ford Focus, two dogs, and the rest of our stuff across the country. We saved a lot of money that we would have spent on a truck rental and fuel for it, but moving is still CRAZY expensive. You have to account for rent, deposits, etc., and it's scary to move without knowing you'll be able to get a job.

    If you don't have money saved and don't have a job ahead of time, I think the biggest obstacle will be finding somewhere to live. I'm sure it's possible, but it will definitely be much, much harder. We started planning this move out roughly a year before we actually did it, and we spent that year very carefully budgeting to make sure we would have funds to get us across the country and see us through the first few weeks.

    5 agree
  19. One strategy I've seen work well, while not glamorous, is to get a job at a big chain store locally and then after you've been there for a bit you may be able to transfer to one in your target city with relative ease. There's usually some sort of application process as a formality in the new store.

    The downside is depending on your current profession you may have to downsize your lifestyle a bit to live on retail wages.

    5 agree
    • This is how I moved cross-country. I starting working at Walmart in a town in Indiana where Walmart and Lowe's were the only big employers. It sucked, but after being there for a little while (6 months is a common length of time), I was able to transfer to a store out near Seattle and start my new, awesome life out here. I started job-searching shortly after moving and settling in.

      2 agree
  20. One of my friends recently moved back to our state. She's employed regularly through a temp agency, which has a branch office near where she was moving to. Even though she didn't have anything lined up yet, she got a letter from her (old) home office testifying that she was readily employable and would quickly be able to be placed in a job. That was good enough for her corporate-owned apartment complex, even though it took her new home office about a month to find her a good, reliable placement. I definitely think it's easier to move when you already have a job lined up, but not impossible- you'll likely have more leeway if you go through a private landlord subletting rather than a large complex.

  21. Generally, you want to get a job first. This is way easier the more skills you have (i.e. the older you are). Employers will be open to interviewing people from out-of-area if they stand out in some way. This is difficult for people only a few years out of college or in low-demand occupations, etc.

    My recent move from MA to PA was facilitated by my husband getting a job first (after driving 550 miles for an interview). But his skills made him stand out from the other applicants.

    1 agrees
  22. You guys are AWESOME! Seriously, friggin' amazing. You highlighted one resource we DO have, which is a savings of about $10k and if that's enough to make a landlord agree, that's enough for hope. We haven't got debt, which helps too. I'll probably end up as one of those overqualified people in a simple job, but hell. It'd be worth it!

    1 agrees
    • We were able to sign a lease based mostly on savings, and (as far as I know) they can't discriminate against savings vs. being employed.

      2 agree
  23. I've made 3 major across the country moves in the last decade with 2 very different circumstances. My first moved happened when I was 19, I moved alone, with a large backpack of belongings to a major midwestern city. I had never been to this city before, had $2k saved and was planning on doing what ever I needed to make it work. I bought a one way plane ticket, arrived in my new city, and then moved into a hostel right away. I also opened a PO box so that I would have a consistent address for mail, etc. I didn't have a job or any job leads when I arrived, but I did use the hostel's address on some job applications, because I figured that I would be called for a job offer rather than mailed an offer letter and it gave the appearance of me being a local. I was looking for service industry work, and found a job within the first week. I also made finding new friends a type of part time job, and went to as many free events as possible. I was then able to find someone to move in with through this new network of friends and left the hostel within 2 weeks. I made sure that I had the mindset that it was all a big adventure, and I pushed myself (especially in the friends department) to be as outgoing as possible.

    Fast forward 9 years and my partner and I had a wee little baby. 2 weeks after his birth, possibly propelled by my crazy hormones, we decided that we needed to leave our big midwestern city and move East to Vermont. She was in a professional career at that point, and was able to find a job relatively quickly through tons of online searching. The job she landed involved sending the resume/cover letter through the contact info on the job posting, but also researching the HR Recruiter's name and info and sending her a personalized copy of each. I think it was taking the extra step of contacting the recruiter directly that landed her the interview. Also she asked if she could have a phone or skype interview rather than fly out for the interview and they agreed. I think that shows that it never hurts to ask for things like that!

    We did fly out 2 weeks later to find a place to live, then flew home and packed up our life. We made the big drive with our 6 week old, 2 dogs, 2 cars, a Uhaul and help from family. When we decided to come back to the Midwest a year later the process was fairly similar. Found a job posting online, made personalized contacts to HR, skype interview, flew ahead to find housing, and then drove back.

    1 agrees
    • This sounds similar to my own circumstances. I moved from TX to MI on a whim when I was 23. One way flight. Met my husband 24 hours later. Moved back to TX with a 4 month old to be close to my ailing grandmother. She passed a couple of years ago, and I'm finishing up grad school. So we are now moving back, married 11 years now and have 3 little girls. It just seems to get more complicated each time! Hopefully this is it for us. I have been actively looking for work and hooked up with Robert Half because I'm an accountant. My husband can transfer easily. I'm really nervous about the move without a job so far, but my plan is to just take a leap of faith. I may end up waiting tables before it's all over. But sometimes you just have to suck it up and live life to the fullest no matter how scared you are.

      1 agrees
  24. We got lucky moving from NW Wyoming to Northern Colorado. I had gotten a job down here and had a letter of guaranteed income. When we were looking for places to live we went through the apartments closest to CSU. Our theory was while these weren't going to be great apartments, we didn't need great. We needed a roof over our heads. And fast. The only downside is being around young college kids when you are in your early 30's, but most of the kids are really cool and very good neighbors. But anyways.

    I called the office and explained the situation. "Hi. I just got a job, we are moving from out of state, I can't come down and look, can you help?" They were completely cool. They were excited to get regular tennants in and not just college kids. They literally bent over backwards helping us get moved. I even had to start work earlier than expected and moved down two weeks early. Our apartment wasn't ready yet so they let me stay in the furnished model for two weeks….FREE! But the key was communication with them. I did end up having to fax a copy of my offer letter to "keep the owners happy". But the complex itself has been beyond awesome.

    So now that I am done with my story here are my suggestions. My apologies if these are repeats.

    1) Do a lot of leg work (or phone/email work in this case). Call everywhere. Call any apartment complex you might be interested in and is within your budget. Explain what is going on. You might be surprised at how sympathetic they are.

    2) Do as someone else suggested and offer bank statements if you have enough in savings to do so.

    3) Try to take a weekend (or week) to visit and talk to people. Visit potential employers or apartments.

    4) Craigslist. Either for apartments, sublets, or renting a vacation home.

    5) Visit relatives in the area (if you guys can stand each other for a period of time) and check things out. Network.

    6) Keep working at it. Something will break loose eventually.

    Good luck! I know we got lucky in our move, and I hope I can pass some of it on! πŸ™‚

    9 agree
  25. In our case (we just moved from Oklahoma to Portland, OR), I had a job lined up first. In many cases, lining up work remotely is fine. It is common in the tech industry to relocate someone for a new gig. Often the company will fly you in for interviews, etc. This maybe doesn't hold for other industries, though.

    As to the move itself, we got a storage crate through U-pack, and tetrised all of our belongings into it. Then, my boyfriend and I drove a gazillion miles from OK to OR. When we arrived in OR, we stayed in an apartment we found on AirBnB while we looked for housing of our own.

    What I did discover is that moving was so so so so much more expensive than I anticipated. It was easily double the relocation stipend that I was given. Sure, there may have been cheaper ways to do it (like driving a Uhaul), but even then it was staggeringly expensive. If I ever make a move that far again, I would strongly consider selling everything we own and starting over. So having ample savings helps a lot with the move.

    For things that we wanted to bring but were unable to fit, we are having visiting friends bring them to us when they come. Southwest Airlines allows two free checked bags! So far, we've had three friends ferry things to us that way, including the mash tun I use for brewing!

    1 agrees
  26. I know this flies in the face of the whole "we are independent" thing, but do either of you have a possible cosigner? My Dad was my cosigner at my last two apartments while I was in grad school, and it was never a problem. Sometimes if you can get someone with stable employment to sign, it will eliminate the problem. Also, you could rent a room in a house for the first few months. If you are renting from a private individual or just paying one house member who is the one legally on the lease (another thing I did in college) you don't have to go through all the financial checking. If you do find a job but haven't had a paycheck yet, usually a "letter of intent" from the employer will do the trick.

    2 agree
  27. Holy Crap, we just did this ourselves. I was eight months pregnant and we moved with four kids from MA to NC.
    1. Find a realtor that will work with you. We couldn't fly down to look at our house-to-rent before moving down, so we found a really cool realtor who did walk-throughs for us and found us an awesome neighborhood to live in.
    2. Rent, don't buy. We are in the market for buying a new home, but my husband hadn't lived in NC since he was a kid, and we weren't sure about the area we wanted to live in, so we opted for a 1 year lease while we figure everything out.
    3. Know your mover. We went with a company that shall remain nameless. They started out fine, but there was a miscommunication and we arrived on Friday…our stuff didn't arrive until Monday. 'Nuff said.
    4. Say good bye to those you can, FB the rest. Some people are bound to feel left out, but do what you can.
    WE did our entire move in less than a month. It was hectic, but we've never been happier. Good luck!!!

    4 agree
    • "Say good bye to those you can, FB the rest. Some people are bound to feel left out, but do what you can."

      YES. people are absolutely going to feel left out. I had quite a few people get pissed off at me because I was leaving my hometown…

  28. When I was last there, the job market in Oregon was pretty crappy πŸ™ Lots of people trying to move there, haha.

    I moved out there while I was in college and got a non-college apartment in a big complex. One of those soulless places with a pool, you know. They didn't seem to care that we didn't have jobs (my boyfriend got a job once we got there, I was still a full time student so I didn't) as long as the rent got paid. If you don't mind living somewhere crappy at first, you might find it easier to score a lease.

  29. In my case I said to my fiance;

    Love, we need to get out of this town. Both of us are stifled, making less than our potential, and should get away from bad friends and worse enemies. She agreed.

    We took a map of the US, held each other's hand, and moved our joined pointer finger around it like a Ouija board. It landed on Portland, OR. Thus began our quest to move!

    I sent her up to get the lay of the land, send out resumes, and find an apartment for us. Luckily enough she had some friends in a near by town who let her stay with them while all this went on. So, I turned in my 30 days to my current place and packed up everything in anticipation.

    Every thing was grand and I was excited for the adventure. But…five days before I was set to drive up there with all of our stuff she called me and said that she was not moving out of state and that our relationship was over. YAY!!

    I did it anyway. Sold off 90% of my stuff to account for half of the moving fund disappearing. Moved up here with my bed, snakes, clothes, and car. Best choice I've ever made too, this town is tits! Can't say it was easy, though. I was an IT specialist and the .bomb happened the day after I got here. Finding a job was difficult since all the good ones were bleeding out techs in a flood of 'You aren't worth $160 an hour Bob, and put a damned shirt on while you're at the office.'

    To sum up; Take the plunge, it's worth the adventure.

    4 agree
  30. I can only put out there what I did when I went through a raging quarter life crisis and moved from Tennessee to New Mexico. I did it by myself, so I had no one else to consider (except my pet rat). I scoped Craiglist for rooms (instead of an apartment), and found an awesome listing. Exchanged emails for a bit with the potential roomate, and decided to go for it. One good thing about this method is there's generally no lease, so if you don't like it, you're not stuck. And they're easier to get without a job already.
    About a month ahead of time I sent my resume to several oral surgery/dental offices, since I had some experience in the field. I also had a list of temp agencies and appointments set up with them for when I was going to be out there.
    Then I packed up my truck, put more on my credit card than I ever thought I would in my life, and moved. One of the surgeon's offices called me right when I landed, and I was hired within a couple of weeks. And yes, that was during the recession. I'm not saying my results are typical, but it takes some planning, and balls. And a back up plan (I always knew I could just go back to my family in TN, but luckily it all worked out swell). But mostly balls. It was by far the best decision I've ever made, so go for it, and good luck!!

    1 agrees
  31. Another reason to get a job first is so you have a better idea where you will want to live (within walking distance, near public transit, commutable whatever). Otherwise you might end up living in an inconvenient location.

    Just after college, I moved from the east coast to Los Angeles after accepting a job offer. I put everything I owned in my car, drove a really long distance, and got to LA about two weeks before the job started so that I could look for an apartment. It worked out pretty well.

    The one issue I had was that I didn't know LA at all — I had never been there before and I didn't know anyone there. I like where I ended up living, but it's a little expensive. I wish I had done more research and had more inside knowledge about where safe and affordable places to live are. I also had no idea rent would be so high. πŸ™‚ I recommend doing a lot of research beforehand.

    Good luck!

    1 agrees
  32. My ex and I decided that we were moving to Seattle, come hell or high water. We didn't have an apartment or jobs lined up, but he was going to start school in the fall (that was lined up) and we moved in May. We planned to make the drive out with our stuff following a few days behind us, so that we'd have time to apartment hunt.

    After that, everything just sort of fell into place. I found a perfect job listing on Craigslist and applied. The day we were packing the moving van, I got a call for an interview with that company. I scheduled it for the Monday after we planned to arrive. We got into Seattle on a Friday and found a hotel to stay at for a few days. Looked at an apartment on Saturday, and I explained to the person showing it that we didn't have jobs, but I did have savings, and that I was interviewing on Monday for a job. They ran a credit check, and based on that alone (plus the deposit) we were able to get the apartment and "move in" (with what we had in the car) on Monday afternoon, after my interview. Our stuff arrived on Wednesday and was being moved into the apartment when I got the job offer.

    So yeah, a lot of serendipity in my case, but I'm convinced that if you decide wholeheartedly that you are going to do something, hard work and the universe will help you see it through! πŸ™‚

    5 agree
    • Serendipity doesn't really work for me, unfortunately… before I made my big move with my friend, I subleased a place for 2 months. Tried to, anyway. I had a horrible summer where I ended up being scammed for my money, then evicted and they shut off the water, scrambling to find another place where there happened to have crazy people…. YEA I really had to just force my way through the summer :-/

  33. Between my fiancee and I, we've done several cross-state moves.
    When I moved to Ohio for school, he followed me. He had about 2000 saved up, packed all his belongings in his car and just came up. He crashed in a hotel the first two nights, immediately started looking for apartments and jobs. He found an older house that had been sectioned off into apartments. Because he had enough for the first two months' rent, the landlord was fine with him being there without a job. Less than two weeks after coming up he found a job. He found both the apartment and job just by looking at the classified sections of the newspaper.

    The next move we made was to Kansas, and again, we saved up enough money to live for about two months, I visited the town beforehand and got an apartment (my mom went with me and cosigned the lease, so I did have some help). We moved everything in and pounded the pavement looking for jobs- we ended up finding our jobs less than two months after moving through a career fair being put on at the college.

    Cross-state moves can be difficult. With my experience, the trickiest part is finding an effective way to haul all of your crap from one place to another.

  34. I recently transferred from a Panera in Richmond, VA to Columbus, OH with no problems whatsoever. Panera for one LOVES transfers, because they are already trained. I highly recommend getting a job at a chain that you can transfer. I bet there are other chain stores that would allow for transfers, like Walmart, Chick Fil A, Wendys, Grocery chains, Best Buy, TGI Fridays… etc etc. It worked for me! πŸ˜€

    3 agree
  35. i made the move from california to oregon about 8 years ago. think about getting a retail job with locations in california and oregon. i worked at starbucks at the time and my job easily transferred. i had work lined up and was able to get an apartment in downtown portland with no problem. the move cost a lot because it was my first time living on my own. i had to come up with a deposit, first & last months' rent, gas to get me there. i skipped the rental truck and packed everything that i could fit into my car. my parents were nice enough to store what did not fit. you might also be able to get an apartment with a co-signer if you don't have work lined up yet.

  36. my husband came out to portland from iowa with a car-full of belongings as well. he found a room for rent on craigslist and found a job a few weeks after he arrived. if you have lots of stuff, maybe you can get a storage unit and put stuff in there, then just find a room where you and your man have a place to sleep until you can find jobs and a better situation.

  37. This is so timely, my boyfriend and I are in the middle of planning a move to Portland….Maine that is! The plan is for me to find a job before we make the move, and we'd go apartment hunting from there. He works for a big box chain where he can transfer relatively easily while looking for a better job. We have family in the area we can stay with if I have to start a job before we have a place worked out, which is really lucky. I'm a little anxious about it all coming together but this post made me feel SO much better that it will all work out.

    1 agrees
  38. Interesting question. When I moved across country the first time I applied for jobs first with no particular state in mind other than it had to be on the east coast… The employer that ended up hiring me was okay with a phone interview and even luckier ended up providing housing for VERY cheap. No need to verify income because I was living where I worked! win-win.

    When my then-fiancee, now wife, and I moved back across country she had a job and I didn't yet, and neither of us would be starting jobs until after we found housing, so we stayed with friends and drove 3 hours to the city where we were looking for housing to find something we liked, then had to get a co-signer for the apartment. Unfortunately not all apartment managers/homeowners are willing to use a co-signer for various reasons, but if they think you're a good fit for the place, they may be willing to work with you… Whether it's providing a larger deposit, or proving you will have income somehow. At the end of the day, they want to make sure they're going to get paid.
    The last time we moved states we applied to a bunch of places before we moved but ended up not getting jobs until we moved here. Luckily we were just moving in with my grandparents so proving income wasn't an issue as we were moving to help them. I don't know if that was helpful or not, but just our experience.

  39. When applying to jobs, I have had great success using a P.O. Box instead of an actual address. That has worked really well.

    The last time I had to apply for an apartment without a rental history, I used the "rental resume" trick that I found on an earlier post, .

    This doesn't work as well with big property management groups, but it works out pretty well the rest of the time. After all, most landlords are looking for proof that you can pay the rent and will be a good tenant. The traditional way of proving that (proof of income) isn't the only way.

    Good luck!

  40. My husband and I got lucky – about a year ago our portion of the company we worked for was purchased by another company. Since the buyer was out of state we and our jobs moved cross country. We didn't have a morgage and managed to get out of our lease early. Our new employer paid for our moving expenses so we were able to drive one car and ship the other car. (If at all possible try to negotiate moving expenses with your new employer.) This meant since we moved over Memorial day that we had one car for a week. And our furniture arrived a week late too (the movers didn't work over the weekend and apartments are low on movers priority list). Thank goodness we packed lawn chairs and an inflatable matress. If you are arriving before your furnitue bring sheets and an airmatress(es) or at least sleeping bags. Folding chairs and a cooler are also important. We also packed anything we didn't trust movers with or that we needed immediately: some clothing,computers and some nice glassware.

    If you are having a company move you, and you live in an apartment don't tell them you live in an apartment in your initial call/e-mail. They will not call you back. We found that out the hard way after calling several moving companies.

    I would also suggest checking out the area before you move. Try to find out which neighborhoods fit your lifestyle and budget. And you can discover a lot of great places to eat and shop (and which ones to avoid) by using Yelp and similar sites. My husband also shamelessly asked co-workers for their recommendations for happy hour, lunch spots, date worthy locations, and the best place to get scotch. People are usually very willing to share what they love about their hometown when they find out you just moved in. πŸ™‚

  41. Apply to all the jobs you can find in a city you want to live in. Interview, get a job and then tell them you can start in such and such number of weeks to give yourself time to move. Once you have a job you can apply for an apartment no problem. Even if you haven't started your new job, if you're hired and have a start date, HR will be able to verify your income. Plus landlords look at employment and rental history to get a sense, so it doesn't completely ride on your getting a job.

    I live in a town (in Washington!) where it seems a lot of people want to live. I've known a lot, a lot of people who simply drove across country, showed up in town and stayed with someone they knew for a few weeks to get their feet on the ground.

    Another route is to search craigslist for apartments owned by individual landlords instead of property management companies. They are more likely to work with you instead of simply sticking to their company policies. If they can see you have a good rental history and job history, they'd probably be more willing to 'take a risk' on you while you're not employed than a property management company would.

  42. When I moved from RI to Maryland I already had a job and roommates lined up. Most of the people I know that moved here had mommy and daddy cosign on a lease. If you have money saved but the apartment people still are not sold maybe that is an option? Wouldn't have been for me, but you never know.

  43. When we moved back to Oregon I spent a good while looking through craigslist for rentals this will only work for some places, (Eugene/Springfield, Corvallis, Salem) but definitely not Portland. The nice thing about looking around Lane County in particular is there are a lot of home owners that don't ask for nearly the proof of income that a company might and don't spend anything to advertise other than a sign in the window and Craigslist. The down side is they do go fast and face to face interaction helps a ton in those kind of deals, but a lot of people are really understanding too. It does really help to have a couple of months worth of expenses in saving though. Good Luck!

    • Just out of curiosity, why do you say that Craigslist rentals don't work for Portland? I've actually found my last two places in Portland through Craigslist, and my brother and sister-in-law have had great housing success in the area through it as well. It definitely takes work to dig through all the posts for such a popular city, but great opportunities do exist!

  44. Unfortunately, I don't have much in the way of advice, but I sympathize. My partner and I have been trying to do just this for MONTHS. We went apartment-hunting, but no one would rent to us! Finally, he did get a job, so now we're moving, but that job was the only one to contact either of us, and we put out tons of resumes and applications. :/

    One possible solution is that you can rent a place and get a friend or relative to co-sign, if they are comfortable doing so. Many places will rent to people without jobs as long as they have an employed co-signer. However, I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you have enough money saved up to last you a few months, in case it still takes you a while to find a job.

    Best of luck!

    1 agrees
  45. When I was moving to Seattle from Vancouver, BC my sister was moving from Providence to Seattle a couple months before me. We were going to live together. She did not have a job lined up before she moved to Seattle. What she ended up doing was finding a basement apartment with two bedrooms in a house that was month to month. The owner of the house was around our age so she understood our situation. We stayed there for about 6 months until we were steady on our feet with employment (likely for my sister while driving cross country she had a phone interview with Microsoft and ended up getting the job a couple weeks later) and then rented a condo where we had to show proof of employment. I suggest something like a sublet or short term lease. If you don't have enough savings to show that you can pay a years rent maybe you have enough in savings for 3 months which would give you time to get settled and job hunt.
    I think part of the chicken and the egg is what kind of work are you looking for. Typically in retail they don't want to wait for someone to move cross country to start the job.

  46. Pay careful attention to how you are wording your letters of application. Don't say "I hope to relocate," but rather "I am relocating." Make it clear that you aren't just applying to jobs everywhere, but that you are committed to THIS area.

    The tricky thing is that the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get a job. Keep that in mind.

  47. I've lived in 8 states (including Alaska and Hawaii) in a period of about six years. Most times I get a job before I go but in Hawaii I landed in Waikiki with just a backpack. Of course, if you get a job before you go, it is much easier. Most jobs I picked up were contract work where I knew I would be there for a set period of time (usually 4 – 6 months) and could either look for more work in the area for when the contract ended or be at liberty to move on. Also, most employers I worked for provided free or minimal cost employee housing so that was one less thing to worry about. However, when I landed in Hawaii with nothing, I spent the first couple nights in a hotel until I found a place to rent. Yes, it is much harder to settle if you don't have a job or a place to live. I solved that problem by immediately getting a cell phone with a local number, getting a PO Box in the town I moved to, and applying everywhere all day long even if they didn't have "open" positions. My brother (who flew to Hawaii with me) and I made a bet that whoever got a job first could get $50 to spend however they wanted. Needless to say, with a bit of determination, I ended up with both a full time and a part time job by the end of the first week there. The trick is to be determined, be flexible, and have a backup plan. Oh, and have some savings as an emergency fund just in case nothing pans out for a while.
    I've worked the last few years for a property management company and we see lots of people move into town with no employment. We typically don't consider that a strike against the applicant as long as they have good rental history, good credit (they are current on their utilities), and can put down a larger deposit (security/first month/last month). Especially now with the economy the way it is, property management companies are more flexible in getting you into one of their units, even if you don't have a job.

  48. You don't have to live in the area to get a job. I have been hired at most of my jobs while living in a different state. All you have to do is say that you will move there for the job. If I were you, I would look for the job before looking for the apartment.

  49. My fiance and I just packed up and moved from NY to IA about eight months ago. (And we only found out we were moving a month before he had to be there for grad school.) I had totally thought about submitting a post about it, but didn't know if there'd be interest, heh.

    Smaller landlords are more likely to work with you. All of the apartments we've had, my fiance found on Craigslist. I didn't have a job when we moved out here, but he could (in theory) handle the rent with just his income, so the landlord was good with it.

    Save up a bunch of money. Moving is EXPENSIVE. Like, if you need a moving truck, even a U-Haul, expect to spend like a grand. And some piece of furniture WILL break, and need replacing. Law of the universe. Make sure you've also saved up enough to cover at least six months of expenses while you look for a job. It took me four months to find mine, and I have a Masters.

    I have more, but let me say this. It's totally doable, as scary as it is. And it's MUCH easier if you have someone else with you. Don't be afraid to ask them for help.

  50. I'm 23 and have moved from NYC to Nashville to Providence RI to LA. NYC to Nashville was for grad school so I just saved up some $ for an apt and it wasn't a huge deal since my gf and I were both students and had decent credit. Nashville to RI was similarly easy; just saved up, applied to places from afar and it wasn't an issue. RI to LA has been the real issue, seems you have to be IN los angeles for anyone to take you seriously. but again, save up $, and just go out there!

  51. I moved from Vegas to PDX about 11 years ago, with only having visited Portland for about 48 hours on a summer road trip, and looked at a handful of apartments. How we did it:

    1)My then-partner got a job at a store that was part of a national chain. So did I. It helped that we were in our very early 20's, so our standard of living was at ramen level, and anything above min. wage was a big win.
    2) We moved back in with my mom for 3 months and saved our money, sold a ton of stuff, and basically horded cash.
    3) We got transfers to Portland from our national chain retailers, and thus had proof of income for the apartment people.
    4) packed up a truck, waved goodbye, and got the hell out of dodge.
    5) Drove up to PDX in about 2 days. We had the truck for an extra day, and used our extra time to buy furniture to replace everything we sold.
    6) I got a new job soon after, and the guy didn't make it a year up here, but I stayed, and was so glad I did!

  52. My wife and I did this a few months back. She got a job transfer from Atlanta, GA to Massachusetts. We found a fully furnished sublet on Craigslist for 2 months with all utilities included. That helped us to scout out areas we liked and to find a real place. Good luck!

    1 agrees
  53. Guess I'll add my two cents worth–did this 13 years ago, from Oklahoma to Washington state. My husband and youngest son came up first, he had a job offer we had tracked down through his industry. They lived in a tent for awhile until he could find a place to rent, and changed jobs while he was doing it. Fortunately he had the money from his previous job's bonus to tide him over. We also did this about 25 years ago, Oklahoma to California, with two young kids, and we lived in a tent a lot until things got settled. We moved across the state two years ago, and thank goodness for the internet!! We found our house on Craigslist with a wonderful landlord. We live in a small town and I think that made a big difference in the ease of moving and renting a place. Next year will be a big move back to Oklahoma, but we have four kids and family there to make it easier. The main thing is to keep your expectations low, try to find a job before you go if at all possible, and really be flexible about living options!

  54. Tips on finding that job from a different state.

    Lots of people are saying it's best to find a job first, then move. Though that may not be a requirement, depending on your situation, but it definitely makes moving easier. I've done it twice now (Ohio to Texas 3 years ago, and Texas to Louisiana last month), so here's what I learned.

    Both moves, we were moving for my husband's job, so we had that going for us. But I still needed to find work. It took me over a year in Texas, but I got a job offer in Louisiana a month before we planned on moving.

    The biggest thing I learned was that, in this crappy economy, there are lots of people sending out resumes to everything they can find no matter where it is. Because of this, out of state job applicants often aren't taken seriously, and can be easily tossed aside. It's more important than ever to make sure yours stands out, and make it very clear that you are planning to move to that area (not just looking for anything, anywhere).

    For example, when we moved here, I didn't mention specifically that my husband already had a job offer. But I wrote in my cover letter something like "As I prepare to move to blah blah, I hope that you will find my experience….blah blah blah".

    2 agree
  55. My husband and I have moved across the country and back. Each time, we had difficulty securing jobs ahead of time. The first time (moving to CA from MA), we only had my retail job that I was able to transfer from Boston! On the way back, and after being on the hiring side of things in the jobs we finally did acquire, we realized that it really helps to have a local address on your resume.

    I know this isn't possible for everyone, but if you have a friend in the town you're moving to, or even a friend of a friend, ask if you can use their address so it at least appears that you're local! I've watched hiring managers toss aside perfectly qualified resumes because they're out-of-state.

  56. I decided on December 23 that I was moving and left my house with a packed car on January 18, with no job prospects (though three weeks of job applications in already). In MY CASE! I had everything at mom & grandma's and could focus on packing what I wanted without having to get rid of the rest. I had a place to stay rent-free once I got to Seattle, but only for a few weeks, and way too far away that I didn't end up staying there much at all really. I had most of my stuff there and would go back every few days if I didn't have another couch to crash on or needed to wash clothes, but within 2 weeks I had a few couches (and, ahem, beds) to sleep in and three different places in Seattle to do laundry for free. I tried sleeping in my car once because I was afraid I was wearing out my welcome despite rotating houses, but a new friend got wind of it and called me up to tell me to come over. I ended up getting a storage unit to get my stuff out of the original-homestead, couch-surfed for a little while longer and then ended up in a relationship with the guy who was mad at me for trying to sleep in my car.

    So, uh, my version was totally the pack-up-the-car adventure type. I can't say it's the BEST option, but it was kinda fun!

    I CAN say that you don't need to put your address on your resume if you don't want to or don't have one to put (or, you can do what some friends did and put the address of the hotel where they were staying–no one really knows addresses well enough for it to be a problem, I've found). You can get a mailbox somewhere and put that as your address, there are private mailbox companies that you can do that.

    BEST ADVICE I have for you: Sign up for Google Voice with a phone number in the area you're wanting to move, so that you have a number with a familiar area code for the people who are looking at applications. It will forward to your phone and they will have no idea that isn't your "real" number. I list it as my "home" phone, so that if I call back from my "cell" phone number I have an explanation.

    4 agree
  57. Could you guys look for someone wanting a roommate as a temporary fix until you've found jobs?

    Also, you could start applying to jobs. Also, large chain companies you can often transfer to another store.

  58. I've done it twice. First, from new England to California- drove a car with belongings straight across. Minimal savings. Slept on friends floor for a week while job and house hunting. Found apartment with friendsoffriends, found job, it was fine! In less than a month!
    Next, from a city to a small town 2 hours away in another state. Bought a house! Found that one of us could work from home. Had a month overlap between closing and end of rental lease. I have been couch-hopping during the week, working in the city, not ready to job hunt yet. Just started on that. I am finding things, it'll work out. This is just a rough patch logistically. And we could never have bought in the city. On the balance, both times; having friends! And letting them help you! Is what makes everything possible. Buying the house seemed crazy at the time but really it was fine in retrospect. The bank thought we were crazy too but we just soldiered on.

  59. My two out of state moves have been very similar as they were both for my husband's schooling. As he is a student it didn't matter if I had a full time job, we've still had to have a cosigner for all of the apartments we have ever rented. When we first moved to Chicago and Indianapolis neither of us had jobs, but with a cosigner no one batted an eye.
    A bunch of my friends have had moved out of state too. Many were able to sign leases without ever seeing the apartments or having a face to face with the landlords. My best friend moved to Portland by using craigslist. On there she found a couple who needed a house sitter for a couple months. That allowed her to job hunt AND apartment search all while getting paid!
    So yeah, having a cosigner is how we've always done it.

  60. I'm just a month into my new job and new state, waiting for my husband to join us with the moving truck. Why? Because I had to be bend-over-backwards flexible in my job search. When they wanted met to start a month before our planned move date, I was on the plane the next week. I think you have to be ready that when things line up, they often line up quickly.

    As some have mentioned, it helps to have an anchor in the state. I was lucky that my husband had been accepted into the school here so that was my guarantee we were moving. Employers didn't have to doubt whether I would actually show up. Get a root planted, in any way possible!

    Also on the job end my beloved secret site was I read this site OBSESSIVELY especially any info about job hunting and I swear her tips on cover letters got me that foot in the door. (I promise I'm not affiliated with the site at all but it's my favorite job weapon.)

    1 agrees
  61. I've done it twice.

    In March of 2003, six months after I'd graduated college, I'd saved up $1500 to move cross-country with friends. It was originally to be a move to Portland, but ended up being to Denver. So there's that. My friend I moved with had a family friend line up an apartment for us and we both got jobs within a couple or three weeks. My mom also drove me the 900 miles from St. Louis with all my worldly possessions, and several months later returned with some furniture for me.

    Nearly eight years later, my now-husband and I were sick to death of Denver and decided on Seattle. In two months we'd saved up/sold things to make up a nest-egg of $1500 again. We each took a couple bags of clothing, a guitar and a couple bikes onto the plane with a one-way ticket. We spent a few nights with family, then took a room in a shitty weekly-rent motel for a couple weeks. My husband had a cooking job within a week! Right away we found a room in a house share, and after a month or so I had a job too. The house share ended up sucking, but six months in, we had enough saved for our own place. We couldn't be happier here!

  62. My parents moved from Alabama to Florida (where they have no family and knew nobody at the time) but my father had a job that he requested a transfer for. It was still difficult, they were stuck in a hotel, living out a uhaul for several weeks before they found an apartment. It's possible to do it without a job first but I would certainly recommend having money saved up first. At least enough for food and such, and a hotel if you would like but of course you could just get a tent and camp out (or sleep in the back of the uhaul!) I would love to do something like that as well but I guess I just don't have the guts for it. I'm not much of a planner but I am a biiiiig worrier.

  63. Me and the boyfriend are trying to move to WA. however we live on Maui. Trying to save money whilst living here is nearly impossible. On average our gas is about $6 a gallon. its $10 for a gallon of milk! I've got a good job with great pay but Moving outta state is terrifying. I've been steady saving money and can transfer to Seattle with work, which is good but I don't think he can transfer with his job. There's no way I'll be able to hold us up on my own. But yes! Having a job BEFORE you move up is essential! You actually might be alright for a few weeks because you've saved so much but I'd get on that immediately! See if you can transfer through your current job.

    • We live in Portland and want to move to Maui. Want to swap apartments and jobs? πŸ˜€

  64. No matter how you decide to move out of state, if you're moving with furniture then its going to be expensive. If you're moving without any type of savings or temporary living arrangement in your new location to help get you on your feet (income) then you are probably setting yourself up for a hard time. I just recently moved out of Phoenix to a town called Valle right outside the Grand Canyon and it was $300 for a U-haul and gas. I drove the truck while my wife drove the car. That's not too bad for a 2 bedroom apartment, but in reality it was only 3 hours away. The longer distance you are planning to move, especially if its out of state, make the costs and stress go up. I always recommend to people moving out of state to sell off all of their furniture and buy it new at their new destination. It's more economical and affordable to do that these days.

    1 agrees
  65. Hiiii.
    A year ago, Husband and I embarked on this journey from CA. We've arrived settled in a new city this week (Houston) and are soooo happy.

    Here are my 5 top nuggets of experience to pass along. BEST WISHES!!!!

    1) It's expensive. Have savings or at least a credit card you don't mind running up a bit. (This second part only if you are confident you can make minimum payments.) If you are ok with or able to get public assistance for food or bills, go for it.

    Make a budget based on what it costs you to live per month so you know how long you have before you need permanent digs. If you can, simplify your life so it's cheaper.

    Sell lots of stuff. If it's not worth it to pay $$$$ to move or store, get rid of it.

    2) It's intimidating. Make friends/network yourself into the city you want to move to. I'm always excited to learn that the strange new city I'm moving to is the hometown of this or that friend, or surprise, I already know 5 people there. Friends can give you cheap living advice, job leads, home cooked meals, or even a crash pad till you get settled.

    Family or friends may also let you store your stuff for cheap or free till you get settled.

    3) It's uncertain. So apply for work in several cities at once. Your goal is to move out of state, but your Ideal City may need to be a bit flexible or be an end goal with a few stops along the way. Remember, its also ok to take temporary work or switch fields if it gets you out of your current situation and on the road.

    Get a linked in profile and build yourself a website ( has free and easy site builders). Keep them updated with your cv and portfolio. Spend at least an hr every day applying for jobs in the few cities of your choice.

    Many rentals will give you a lease with an offer letter or proof if savings.

    Be open to temp or contract work. The benefits suck and pay may be lower, but it gets you making money in a new city, which is the toughest part of moving.

    4) It's frustrating… but freeing! It takes a few months of planning, an open mind, and a fearless spirit. Don't give up. Take it one day at a time. Be patiently persistent and you'll get results.

    3 agree
  66. all these people who want to move to the insanely pretentious PNW. google "seattle freeze". it's real. coldest people i've ever met, & i've been ALL over. this ridiculous notion of the utopian PNW, it's a fairy tale.

  67. We got lucky when my husband had an in person interview with a non-profit for a job 2300 miles away. Though we weren't local, he was honest in telling them that we were planning on moving to that area, and he gave them an estimated move date. They loved him, and he got a job offer not long after his flight back from it. The kicker was they wanted him IMMEDIATELY. (Much sooner than our planned move date.) I had just a little over 2 weeks to pack up and move us out from PA to AZ. We got a pod to move our stuff (and store it at their warehouse until we found a place.) We each drove our cars the full 2300 miles over 4 days. Quite a trip, but it was glorious. πŸ˜‰ It was definitely a very stressful but very fun 3 weeks of chaos. I think it helped that we were moving to an area that has had a resurgence in the job market. I'm not sure about Oregon now, but when I applied for work out there 4 years ago, there was a bit of a lull in my industry. We still love the pacific northwest and want to move there, but there just hasn't been any work for us.

    To add to the advice above: Save your receipts! If you are moving 50 miles or more and find work within 12 months of your move (it doesn't have to be immediate) all of your moving expenses are tax deductible. Gas, hotels, moving truck, it all adds up so fast. It's amazing how much it costs, and how much you could get back. πŸ˜‰
    Good luck!

    1 agrees
  68. I'm moving cross country from Iowa to California in a few weeks. The way I've been able to do this is that I work freelance for myself. I can essentially do my work from anywhere, so I always have a job.

    I know this isn't realistic for everyone, but maybe you could talk to current employers about doing your current jobs remotely.

    Another option is transitioning to a remote style job before you move. Freelancing is on the rise and there's a lot of opportunity currently. Then once you have a mobile job…you can move anywhere. And then if you prefer, you can transfer to a more permanent position once you've moved.

    Best of luck to you! I'm freaking out about my cross country move currently, but also excited.

  69. I don't know where in Oregon you are trying to relocate to but if it's the Portland area, I would keep in mind that the city proper has one of the lowest vacancies rates in the country. It's seriously cut throat to find a reasonably priced apartment right now so, if you have a car, it may be a better option to look at those big complexes in the suburbs (Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, Gresham, or Vancouver, WA) to find an initial resting spot and then work your way into the city once you have a job. Service industry jobs are fairly easy to come by and like someone else noted, are full of overqualified people (I have a BS and manage a coffee shop). May be easier to find a service job then hold out for something in your field unless you are in the STEM industry.

  70. I suggest that whatever you do, please don't break your apartment lease. If you do break it in California and move out to Oregon and decide to rent a new one, you'll have a blemish on your credit report, if you did in fact break one on Cali.

  71. I hard now days, there is so much red tape because the economy is terrible. My mom and I recently tried to relocate from NJ to NC, it's hard. They want you to have 3x the rent if you don't already work locally, you can't secure a job without living there; the entire process is so stupid.
    I had money for 4 months worth of rent plus security while looking for a new job in my new state; I didn't have 3 months of money to pay up front all at once. So my mother and I stayed at a hotel but that gets costly, so I ended up back in NJ staying with relatives, my mother decided to stay in NC to make it work. It pisses me off that I can't move when I want, where I want. I planned on starting a home based business in NC which is more affordable in NC than in NJ; but because of the red tape bs in housing, I still can't.
    Now that I'm back in NJ, I have to work 2-3 jobs just to save up to move back to NC permanently, plus deal with the high cost of living in NJ and its going to take at least 3 years to accomplish this, because most of the jobs available are part time.
    It never use to be like that,people were free to move around when they wanted, you secured a job after you chose an area to live in; now it's the other way around you have find a job before you move, hope and pray you like the area then find housing, really stupid.
    unfortunately while the working class was working and planning for their future, the government was busy taking away some of our rights. Now I know why I haven't met interesting people in the last 10 years, the people that moved to NJ because of better job opportunities are shocked by the high cost of living and are only happy about the move because of the job opportunity.
    it's really sad when you move to another state not because you were interested in moving there for a change of pace, a change of atmosphere or a better quality of life, but you moved because of a job. With the economy being bad layoffs are happening left and right, the people that move to NJ because of the job opportunities are now stuck in NJ with a low paying job and a high cost of living.
    It's terrible how things are going, only the rich can do whatever they want and move whenever the want.
    The only way I heard it can work, moving to another state without worrying about having a job lined up: is if you buy or rent directly from the owner, without any realtor involvement. but you have to drive around or look in local paper for a sale or rent by owner listing, many of those owners are older people and they don't use internet.

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