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FluffyChicken's avatar

What should I NOT forget to do when I move?

Asked by FluffyChicken (5508points) April 2nd, 2011

My Mate and I are moving to Santa Cruz, CA in a couple months. It will be our first time living outside of our current county. Neither of us has found a new job yet, nor have we found a home. We’re both in our early 20’s. we’re going job/househunting for 3 days later this month. any recommendations on what we should be doing, and what not to forget? also, any advice about the santa cruz area would be helpful. Thanks!

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19 Answers

chyna's avatar

Know your price limit and stay within a pre set budget. Although I don’t see how you can know how much you can afford if you both are unemployed and I’m not sure anyone would rent/sell to you without a job.

FluffyChicken's avatar

We are not currently unemployed. We haven’t yet found NEW employment in our location of choice.

chyna's avatar

Ok, still going with make a budget and stay within the budget including utilities, food, entertainment. Know what your needs, wants and wish list are before looking. For instance, you might know you have to have three bedrooms and two baths and a garage. No need in looking at something that doesn’t have all those things.

FluffyChicken's avatar

My need list:
at least one bedroom
a kitchen or kitchenette
a living space for having company and what not
Enough room for my drumset and his guitars and guitar accessories (that’s the kicker!)
a dispute-free parking spot
close to public transit
enough outdoor space to grow a few veggies

My want list:
a big bathtub
a roomy kitchen w/ lots of cupboard space
a guest bedroom
enough room and permission to have a couple hens
Close to downtown
lots of storage space

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’d start looking online now at places in the area and jobs in the area. You could possibly apply for jobs now and then schedule interviews for when you were planning to go for 3 days later this month to look at things. If you can make a list of places you are interested in before you go, you may be able to set something up to go check them out while you are there as well. That way you aren’t going in blind.

john65pennington's avatar

Before I made any move at all, I would at least have a job waiting for me and a place to live.

You could become homeless, you know.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

I would suggest that you also look into extended stay hotels; the kind that have kitchenettes and laundry facilities. It would be really nice to have an actual rental ready for you to move into when you arrive; however, if you do not have jobs and do not know the area yet, staying in an extended stay hotel for the first month or two can give you the opportunity to get a job and learn the area including traffic patterns. When we move (about every three years), we like to do this unless we are familiar with the area already or have friends who can realistically advise us about the area.

Once you get employment, you will have a good idea of what areas would be in easy commute. If you and your friend get jobs at different locations across town from each other, splitting the distance would be convenient.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

This may be a silly question, but do the two of you have visas that allow you to live and work in the US?

marinelife's avatar

Get a feel for the rental market and the prices by looking online.

I think that you will probably find it difficult to locate a place that allows you to keep chickens close to downtown. That is not common in the US.

You had better be prepared to pay several months rent in advance for a landlord to rent to you without jobs.

Are you job hunting in advance?

zenvelo's avatar

Start looking on Craigslist to get an idea of the rental market. And look on a map to find out the general layout of the area.

I would stay away from the beach/boardwalk area if I were you. The traffic there can be horrendous, especially on the weekends. And Capitola can be expensive. Try looking in the Aptos area.

Will you have a car when you live there? Santa Cruz is sort of bike friendly, but transportation may dictate your work/live locations.

WasCy's avatar

Start making a checklist of things that you have in your current home and will need and want in your new home. I see that you already started that in terms of the structure of the home, but consider also “contents” and “services”.

For one thing, of course, you’ll need “mail service” – duh. But consider that some mailers need more notice time than others. For example, magazine publishers usually want at least two months’ notice of your new address to avoid having issues sent to the old address and discarded rather than forwarded. (Only first class postage is forwarded “for free”.)

If you have plants or pets in the current place, consider how you manage the move to keep them alive and healthy. Depending on where you move from and how you manage that, there may even be quarantine issues.

Landline telephone service may not be a major consideration any more, but if you do plan to have a wired telephone at the new place, consider how long it will take to have that installed, and plan accordingly. Ditto cable TV, electric power (which we could assume that a current dwelling already has hooked up, but you need to get the service in your name). You also need to have those services turned off in your current home as or after you leave. (You definitely wouldn’t want to leave an existing cable TV and telephone hookup ‘live’, because of the possibility that someone could watch a lot of pay-per-view which would be added to your bill, and tough to fight.)

When you make the move, you’ll also want to consider the day-to-day items that you need to have available the first day, night, week at the new home. You don’t want to have to search through a lot of potentially unmarked moving boxes for one or two ‘must have’ items that you could easily have packed in a single box or suitcase and either carried with you to the new place or made other arrangements to be sure that it is on top and available when you first arrive. (This is even more of a consideration, of course, if you may need to stay in a smaller than expected place when you first move, and keep many of your things in storage, either with the mover or in your own personal storage location.) If this is your first time moving to California, be ready to move into significantly smaller spaces; real estate is still very dear in most parts of that state, compared to elsewhere in the country.

If you have prescription drugs, then keep them handy, as noted above. In line with that, you’ll want to have a relationship with a doctor and dentist and any other special needs services at the new location. You can’t start looking for those too early, either.

Checklists. Make checklists.

So far in my life I’ve made 6 coast-to-coast whole-house moves within the US, and many more that weren’t quite that dramatic. It’s never “routine”, and without a lot of planning and the afore-mentioned checklists (I did mention them, didn’t I?) you will forget a lot of things and lose a lot of time – and money.

crisw's avatar

“Enough room for my drumset and his guitars and guitar accessories (that’s the kicker!)”

Please, please, please, be considerate of whomever your new neighbors end up being. Please don’t use your apartment as a music studio. That’s one thing to remember.

We made an entire checklist of what needed to be done before we moved. This included re-registering to vote, all the people who needed our new phone number, changing our drivers’ licenses, etc.

WasCy's avatar

Oh, yeah. I hadn’t even thought of the driver’s license thing. That goes on the checklist.

Along with that… titles to vehicles so that you can re-title them and re-register them in the new location. Birth certificates are good to keep handy, too, because you may need that as proof of citizenship (you may want to run for the Presidency).

In the same vein: you’ll need new auto insurance, probably. In any case, you’ll need to inform your insurer, because your rate may change, and your coverage requirements may be different (if you typically carry “minimum insurance” on vehicles, then you need to know that minimum requirements vary among states). You’ll probably want renter’s insurance at the new place, and definitely homeowner’s insurance if you end up buying. (Since you’re moving without any employment – never mind “long-term” – in the area and neither of you will have a job when you first arrive, it’s unlikely in the extreme that you’ll qualify for a mortgage any time soon, unless you have independent means.)

If you have kids, or if you plan to live in one place for awhile as you start and raise a family, then you will definitely need to consider the quality of the local school system in the area you like. (It’s a good consideration in any case, since the quality of the local schools often has a direct effect on the long-term value of property in the area, and the neighbors you can expect to have.)

FluffyChicken's avatar

@Seaofclouds and @john65pennington Thanks! I’ve been scanning craigslist every couple days or so in the housing and job sections. I think it’s close enough now to start calling people. I doubt if we’ll end up homeless. we’ve got a few friends that would take us in, and we have enough saved up to last us a few months until I get my inheritance.

@optimisticpessimist great idea! I found one that’s kind of close to the boardwalk that rents by the week or by the month, which is pretty cool!

@marinelife yes, we’re looking. I was planning to start sending out resumes today

@Pied_Pfeffer no need.. we’re California natives.. you probably saw the work “county” and read “country” we’re just a few hours drive away currently

@marinelife yeah, it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll be able to have chickens the first year or so just because a big enough yard isn’t in our budget. Santa Cruz is actually a pretty chicken frinendly town though as long as you don’t have roosters. and yes, resumes are starting to go out today!

@WasCy I have a feeling checklists are going to save my life! great idea. I had hardly thought of my plants! I’d better start researching the most strees free(for the plants) way to move them. They’ll probably like the climate better up there anyway.

@crisw I really hope our music doesn’t end up being a big stumbling block. My plan is to talk to immediate neighbors and find out when the best time is for us to practice, like when folks are at work and what-not He can certainly play quietly, but you can’t really turn drums down. :/ yeesh. If all else fails maybe we can rent a storage unit to practice in.

@WasCy you are just full of awesome advise. Thanks

and thanks everybody… my checklist is getting longer. wheeeee

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@FluffyChicken Indeed I did. Thank you for pointing that out and doing it kindly. I should have re-read the question.

Another thing to take into budget consideration: taxes can vary from county to county, even in the same state.

Two facts about Santa Cruz: The city just experienced a tsunami last month that caused about $10M in damages. John Travolta wore a Santa Cruz Banana Slug t-shirt in Pulp Fiction after he was ordered to clean up from the accidental shooting.

My best wishes go out to you on this adventure. It sounds as if you are doing the right thing by planning ahead.

crisw's avatar


I think looking into renting a place to practice is a great idea. Drums, especially, carry a long way (much farther than your immediate neighbors), and there are many people working night shifts these days and sleeping during the day. Plus, most people like to come home and relax in peace and quiet, not be subjected to noise they cannot control.

I can say from experience at being at the receiving end of the noise of the local band playing in their garage that there aren’t many better ways to get people upset (and calling the police or sheriff if it’s at night.) This isn’t fuddy-duddiness; it’s the basic principle that your right to do almost anything ends when it affects someone else negatively.

FluffyChicken's avatar

My Boyfriend just sprung the idea that he’d prefer staying in the county we’re in and just moving to a different town on me just now.. looks like Santa Cruz won’t be on our map, but all this advice is still super helpful! It’ll also be easier to get a different job, and maybe keep the one I have until I find a new one. this seems much more sensible, and less stressful maybe.

@Pied_Pfeffer that one letter can be so confusing. ha!

@crisw I would hate to make any enemies wherever it is I end up.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I would look for a job first, and the housing last. It would be horrible to find work that’s an hour away from where you live.

dabbler's avatar

get your telecomm (phone /internet) straightened out ahead of time. It could take a while to set up and you’ll get to the new place and be all ready to blurt happy msgs out to your pals but be stuck in the dark.

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