VOL. 129 | NO. 35 | Thursday, February 20, 2014
Rays of Wisdom
Dana and Ray Brandon
Is That Big Move Going to Pay Off?
By Ray and Dana Brandon
Ray’s Take You’re contemplating moving to another home – maybe even to another city or the country. The catalyst could be a job offer, school changes, the desire for more living space or to be near family. While your personal, family and career situation will be major factors in the final decision, don’t forget to consider the financial angle as well. There are more costs for a new home than the selling price alone.
When you’re moving to another city, the biggest financial consideration is the overall cost of housing. A home in the Los Angeles area will cost much more than an equivalent home in this area, for example. Most people are aware of that difference and look at housing costs carefully, but that’s not the only factor.
As simple a thing as house size has financial repercussions. A bigger home means higher utility bills and higher maintenance costs. You’ll want more (or different) furniture and have to make a commitment in time or money to clean. Homeowners insurance will also increase.
If you’re moving to another community, even one nearby, you could have changes in property taxes, sales tax or even income tax. These would all impact your budget. I’ve found that you should be more concerned about the ongoing expenses than the one-time ones.
Then there’s all the cost of selling and buying a home, as well as moving everything you own. Even if you’re lucky enough to have your company carry most of the moving costs, there are still out-of-pocket expenses.
Is the move worth it? Only you can decide. But, take the time to figure how all the associated costs will impact your budget. Not just for the move itself, but for every month beyond.
Dana’s Take Our daughter recently moved to a new high school after attending the same school since preschool. I have been amazed by how well she and her friends have transitioned to new schools and even new cities. After initial jitters, they do fine – and always grow from the challenge. Sometimes the kids do better than their parents. A move across town could mean your usual babysitter won’t be willing to make that drive, and you’ll lose the watchful eyes of your next-door neighbors when you’re out of town.
Moving to a faraway city can create stresses for everyone as it takes time to form the genuine friendships in which you share confidences and seek advice.
To ease the transition, keep in touch with old friends and family while you develop a new support system. Technologies like Skype make this easier than ever.
Putting down new roots takes time and effort. However, you never know when the next person you meet could be the best friend you’ve ever had.
Ray Brandon is a certified financial planner and CEO of Brandon Financial Planning (www.brandonplanning.com). His wife, Dana, has a bachelor’s degree in finance and is a licensed clinical social worker. Contact Ray Brandon at firstname.lastname@example.org.