How DO you move out of state?

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California in my rear view © 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!

Comments on How DO you move out of state?

  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!

    • 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!

      • 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

    • 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.

  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!

    • 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!

      • 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!

      • 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.

    • 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!

  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!

  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”.

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

    • 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.

  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.

  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)

  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!

  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!

    • 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.

  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!

  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)!

  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!

  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!

  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!!

    • 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. 🙂

  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.

  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.

    • 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.

  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.

  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!

    • 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.

  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.

    • 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.

  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! 🙂

  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!

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