Author Topic: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?  (Read 1442 times)

Eliza_FIRE

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Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« on: February 13, 2018, 10:49:50 AM »
I currently live in Queens (saving that money on rent) and work in Finance in Manhattan but I am trying to move to Denver with my boyfriend (who I live with and has work experience in Ad Tech/Marketing) before the end of our lease, which is the end of April.  Denver's cost of living is much lower than NYC and the quality of life (less traffic, access to the outdoors, work life balance actually existing, etc.) is significantly higher. We would be able to save more even at lower salaries and actually enjoy life without being as stressed and exhausted.

We are full swing into our out of state job hunt and are willing to fly out at the drop of a hat for any interviews but companies and even 3rd party recruiters won't talk to us because we are out of state. We are both from the NYC area and we went to college in upstate NY so most of our network is in the NYC area. We have some friends and I have a cousin out in Denver so we do have a small network for personal purposes but they are not in our fields of work. I had no issues getting a job out of state in NYC when I moved to Charlotte after college and am used to hopping on last minute flights so the lack of response is surprising and unnerving. I'm starting to get nervous that neither of us will get a job offer before our April 31 deadline of our lease so I am trying to figure out a plan b.

Is it completely irresponsible and crazy to just move at the end of our lease without jobs?  I feel like it would be easier to find jobs once we get rid of the out of state stigma but we are 27 & 28 so it's not like we are right out of college but we don't' have a family yet. We each have at least enough cash savings to live on over 6 months (assuming conservatively higher expenses than what will be real case and this is after moving costs and pre move interviewing costs) plus some investments (not 401k) we could cash out and a little bit of student debt left. He just got let go and has unemployment coming in which we should be able to switch across state lines and I could probably swing 1 month of working remotely in Denver with my current job. Some concerns my parents have brought up: no health insurance (we would look for something basic and as low cost as possible just for emergency), we would have to get a car (would probably look to buying bikes and uber to interviews if they were far), sitgma of being out of a job could hurt us, using savings for being unemployed is irresponsible.

I've never really done anything this risky so I would love to get some non-biased opinions on this.


Lady SA

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 11:30:56 AM »
Is there a reason you chose Denver in particular? Other places also might have the amenities you are looking for - Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, just to name a few.

Since your boyfriend is currently not working, why not have just him leave and try to get set up in Denver with a job and apartment, and then after he is relatively stable you can join him? Then at least one of you will be working the whole time and have some income coming in to support the other during their new job search. You currently have the luxury of being this flexible, because you have very simple logistics (no kids to coordinate care and transport). Your bf could stay with your friends in Denver until he makes progress in getting a job. Then you can swing the working remotely for a month in Denver while looking for a new job on the side, so you are looking for a job while still employed.

Essentially, what I'm trying to say is that you have many options that exist between the two extremes of "stay in NYC forever" and "both of us drop everything and move to Denver with no buffer/fallback plan". A more medium option would be less risky.


edit: also, how confident are you two about getting jobs in your field in Denver? Is there a big market for professionals in your field there? Have you already conducted research into companies you would be targeting? Are you sure that recruiters are passing you by only because of your location, or are companies looking for people with different skills/fields/etc than you possess?
This move hinges on "how easy will it be to get another job in your new location". Please examine this question very carefully--is there something you need to do to make yourselves more attractive to employers?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 11:41:57 AM by Lady SA »
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frugaliknowit

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 11:31:08 AM »
Crazy-no.  Should you do it-NO WAY.

Employers nowadays often skip over non-local candidates as they are concerned about two things:

1.  They don't want to compete with those that pay relocation expenses.
2.  They are concerned about applicants' sincerity about being willing and able to move.

Suggestions to help your job hunt(s):

1.  Get a Denver area code phone number for contact purposes (psychology).  This could be your cell phone number. 
2.  Get or establish a Denver contact address for job applications (this could be a relative's/friends).  Don't put your New York address on your resume or on job applications.
3.  Don't present yourself as out of town until and unless you have to.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 11:34:49 AM by frugaliknowit »

Eliza_FIRE

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 11:53:14 AM »
Addressing a few questions and comments:

As for why Denver, at the risk of ranting on about our preferences on cities, I will just say that we looked at multiple cities over the past year and a half and Denver was the one we agreed had everything we were looking for including cheap flights back to NYC. I moved to Charlotte and hated it so I wanted to make sure that I was moving for reasons important to me instead of for a job or just for low cost purposes.

In NYC, there is limited flexibility with moving. You need a broker fee, pay moving truck costs, first and last monthís rent and finding a month to month rental is near impossible and usually at a very high cost. We have a few thousand $ worth of furniture I would need to move or put into storage if I found a craigslist person to take me in on a month to month basis while he moved out there. I cannot afford to live by myself and my Parents arenít keen on taking me back home. They got rid of my room after I graduated college and the train + subway commute from the suburbs would be probably $400/month.  We are hoping my bf could crash on couch or two for a week or two during the job hunt but we donít want to be too intrusive on the friends we have out there. This complications with NYC renting is really the issue with the deadline of April 31.

Hiding my current location is tough.  I work for a large corporate that doesnít really have a presence in Denver but if you think I could get away with not putting locations despite this, I could give it a try.  I currently have ďrelocating to Denver March 2018Ē on my resume.     

Has career (Advertising/Marketing) is more common in Denver than mine. Financial services is much bigger in NYC than it is in Denver but many companies have FP&A roles, Corporate Treasury roles, Financial Reporting roles, that I am qualified for based on job specs.  Recruiters have told us that most companies will not let them submit our resumes based on our location.  Salaries would be less than what we currently make but not by too much where it wouldnít make sense.

I also have been looking up networking groups and events and we are trying to coordinate a trip out there to go to some next month.

Lady SA

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 12:04:17 PM »
In NYC, there is limited flexibility with moving. You need a broker fee, pay moving truck costs, first and last monthís rent and finding a month to month rental is near impossible and usually at a very high cost. We have a few thousand $ worth of furniture I would need to move or put into storage if I found a craigslist person to take me in on a month to month basis while he moved out there. I cannot afford to live by myself and my Parents arenít keen on taking me back home. They got rid of my room after I graduated college and the train + subway commute from the suburbs would be probably $400/month.  We are hoping my bf could crash on couch or two for a week or two during the job hunt but we donít want to be too intrusive on the friends we have out there. This complications with NYC renting is really the issue with the deadline of April 31.


Ok, I understand. Is there a reason your bf couldn't go out to Denver this month (Feb) to find a job, and then you follow him before April 31? Then you are only moving once, to Denver, instead of moving within NYC and then again to Denver. I guess I am not following why that wouldn't work, besides you not being able to afford to live by yourself in nyc while bf is in Denver -- but that is only 2 months that you would have to swing rent. I don't understand the need for a month-to-month rental, if you get this done before your move-out date.

So my thought on how to manage this transition, is while your bf is in Denver, he would crash on someone's couch for a few weeks (super cheap), and you would continue to work as you currently are, and if needed, you can supplement by dipping into existing savings for a month or two. Also, your bf could contribute a bit towards your rent out of his checks (whatever is fair). Once he is stable, then you also move, with your belongings, to Denver and work remotely for a month while also job hunting.

All of that could happen well before your lease is up. You have 2.5 months before the lease ends, so I think having bf go out there sooner rather than later is in your best interests. Unless I'm missing something, of course!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 12:13:22 PM by Lady SA »
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Eliza_FIRE

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 01:16:26 PM »
Think couch surfing for a few weeks could be doable but after reading this, I'm thinking maybe a super cheap motel or short term rental for a month or 2 could be added onto our expenses. This way we wouldn't be imposing for too long on our friends. We split a $2k apartment so if maybe we find somewhere that's $500 or $600 a month for March and April, we could just split it and add it to our monthly cost which could increase our likelihood of him landing a job before I have to move out there, saving us $$ in the long run because he wouldn't be out of state anymore for the job search.

Appreciate the advice and being able to talk this through! About to long into some short term rentals now.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 01:55:28 PM »
Have you actually seen apartments in Denver that are $500 a month? If you were in a 2k/mo rental in Queens, that's fairly large and/or nice for one couple sharing a bedroom. Denver is not cheap. If y'all can find a place that cheap, please let me know, and I'll move out there too.

DenverDad

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 04:14:05 PM »
I recently needed a short term rental in the Denver area, and the cheapest apartment I could get into ended up being $1140 a month plus utilities. Most apartment complexes wouldn't do shorter than a 6 month lease. My situation prevented me from renting a room from someone, but even then, most were in the ballpark of $600-700. While Denver isn't New York City, you should do some research on the city data forums at http://www.city-data.com/forum/denver/ since cost of living isn't necessarily cheap here.

blinx7

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 04:30:08 PM »
Denver housing market is hot and increasingly expensive.  You are moving into the middle (maybe end of) the boom.  I work in commercial real estate, it's arguably the hottest market in the country.

Wages are also lower that you expect -- perceived QOL (mountains, fresh air, hiking, craft brew) means that many people are willing to take a paycut to move.

I can't say whether you'll like it enough for that all to be worth it, that's up to you.

If you really wanted to go, I'd wait until at least one of you found a job and then you both move and #2 can search locally.  That way at least you have some income coming in at all times. 

Eliza_FIRE

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 07:18:01 AM »
Have you actually seen apartments in Denver that are $500 a month? If you were in a 2k/mo rental in Queens, that's fairly large and/or nice for one couple sharing a bedroom. Denver is not cheap. If y'all can find a place that cheap, please let me know, and I'll move out there too.

We are in a 3rd floor walk-up that is in a safe neighborhood (by NYC standards, there's probably a murder once a year in the neighborhood near the hookah lounges and some streets you shouldn't be on late at night) but a 15 minute walk to the subway, an hour commute to my office, and its a very small 1 bedroom apartment. We walk 3 blocks to do laundry, have roaches, our heater makes loud noises that wake us up and they leak.  My previous walk up apartment in Queens with my old roommate that was $2500 for a 2 bedroom that routinely flooded from the ceiling, 10 min subway walk and hour commute, roach problem again, crazy neighbor that would throw things at her husband in the middle of the night, no dish washer, across the street from a loud bar. Don't even get me started about how my hour commute on the subway frequently turns into 2 hours because of our failing infrastructure. Long story short, our standards for housing are pretty low. 

We also did research on the salaries we would likely get and they are less for sure but the decrease in cost of living would offset this by a lot.  State and sales taxes alone are half of NY's and rent is much much much less.  If I was commuting 1 hour to Denver and had $2k to spend on a 1 bedroom I could do very well despite the recent housing crazy in Denver. It's all relative.

Did some research and probably the cheapest I could find for a short term rental is over $1k a month. We may just send him out there for a couple of weeks to couch surf and rent a cheap airbnb and then we may just sign a 6 month lease a month or 2 early so he can move. We were going to have to pay double rent during April anyway. If we do this, I would only be out of work for a few months if I moved at the end of April. Another options is we could move our stuff over there and I could potentially live with my parents at our lease end date if he didn't have a job and I could co-sign for the apartment since I have a job.

This whole process has made me do some reflection. I luckily have an enviable job in a city with many opportunities, a great resume lined with promotions, and a decent savings but I am struggling to move to another city for a better life. I can't imagine trying to do this if I had been let go, living in a city that was losing jobs and was older with a family. I frequently hear people talk about how people should stop complaining about the cost of living in expensive cities or the lack of opportunities in others because they can just move to a better city. Wish the process made it easier for those seeking a better life.

Just going to keep applying every day for now and hopefully my worries on the job search are just my NY neurosis at play. It's been 2.5 weeks of reaching out and applying and we have about 2.5 months left for one person to get a job. Talking this out with all of you has helped me come up with some back up plans though.

ohsnap

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 10:00:10 AM »
My daughter recently moved from our HCOL area to a MCOL area.  She tried to get a job before the move, but other than one contact that led to a phone interview, she got no responses in months.  So she packed up and went anyway and lived on a relative's couch for a month.  She then got 3 interviews and 3 job offers within 3 weeks!  Being there really made a difference.  She also ended up with a HUGE pay increase, which she didn't expect.  That was probably more a factor of the job she left was the first job she'd had post-college, which she'd just been happy to get.  With 2+ years of experience, she was a more valuable candidate at a new company.

Everything worked out great for my daughter and she is so happy she moved.  One other thing I'll mention is that she is saver like you - she had a bunch of $ saved before the move.  So she had that to fall back on, as well as the local relative.  You mentioned that you have 6 months of expenses saved, and some friends/relatives you can rely on.  So maybe stay at one for a week, then another, etc. so your welcome isn't worn out.  I think you should go for it.  The idea of him heading out there now is a good one.  As soon as he lands a job, he can rent an apartment so you'll have somewhere to go at the end of April when you start your search again.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 10:02:29 AM by ohsnap »

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 10:14:49 AM »
Just curious, OP -- have you ever even been to Denver?  I only ask because there are multiple cities I've visited that sound great on paper, but when I get there and actually visit, I'm often not over the moon about living there permanently.
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Jouer

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 10:30:16 AM »
About a year after university I moved from a LCOL to MCOL area. I was sick of 3-month contracts in my economically challenged province so I picked up and moved. Like you, I tried applying remotely (for at least 6 months) but had no luck. Within 6 weeks of being in the new city I had a good job. This was during the early 2000s downturn.

Unlike you, I didn't have to worry about moving furniture et al. I travelled by car and took only what could fit in the car. I rented a hovel with a friend where we shared a room (how's that for MMM??!!).

So it is possible. But it is scary.

wbranch

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 10:33:38 AM »
My wife and I moved across the country last year (1300+ miles). Before we lived in a small town on the outskirts of the Twin Cities metro. Now live in Coeur d'Alene, ID. Cost of living is similar in both locations. But Coeur d'Alene sucks, just in case anyone else was thinking about moving here (just trying to act like the locals).

We planned the move for almost 12 months, making sure we had enough savings to last close to 12 months without dipping into proceeds from selling our house. My wife does web/graphic design and jobs did not look promising in the area. The few posted were much lower pay. Fortunately when she put in a long notice at work they asked her to work remotely and gave her a 3 months of unpaid leave. So we traveled around western states and national parks for 2 months, found an apartment and moved in with plenty of time for her to start work.

I am a CPA with BS and MS degrees and it took me about 2 months (5 months total not working was great) to find a job doing internal accounting at a company. Would have been faster if I applied to CPA firms. Base comp is about 12% more than what I was making before. Job search was not too bad, got plenty of interviews, most were through a recruiter. Recruiters were happy to work with me due to qualifications, I would imagine it would be similar for someone in finance moving to Denver.

We did consider Colorado for our move, but i think the only places I would have been willing to live in CO is the Grand Junction area, or smaller towns in SW Colorado. Just not a big city person. We have only been to downtown Spokane twice for entertainment purposes since moving here and it is about a 35 mins drive.



I have some Denver friends that had two people relocating to Denver move in with them for around 9 months during 2016-2017. One was an accountant and the other had a STEM degree (both in demand) and it took them 6+ months to find jobs and another few months to find a place to live.


Eliza_FIRE

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2018, 12:31:51 PM »
Just curious, OP -- have you ever even been to Denver?  I only ask because there are multiple cities I've visited that sound great on paper, but when I get there and actually visit, I'm often not over the moon about living there permanently.

Yes we have been to Denver.  I made the jump with Charlotte when I was younger without visiting the city just for the job opportunity so I didn't want to make that mistake again. We did a ton of research on potential cities and even had SWOT analysis on each one. Vetoed one city that we were interested in but hadn't been before because we visited. It really does make a difference being there in person and trying to act like you live there instead of just visiting the best parts of a city.

snapperdude

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2018, 07:22:42 PM »
If y'all ...


Please leave the south immediately. Missing teeth and porch based banjo playing are in your very near future.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2018, 09:00:50 AM »
If y'all ...


Please leave the south immediately. Missing teeth and porch based banjo playing are in your very near future.

This is prejudiced BS.

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2018, 10:37:25 AM »
If y'all ...


Please leave the south immediately. Missing teeth and porch based banjo playing are in your very near future.

Is this type of stereotyping necessary?


MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2018, 11:16:10 AM »
Crazy-no.  Should you do it-NO WAY.

Employers nowadays often skip over non-local candidates as they are concerned about two things:

1.  They don't want to compete with those that pay relocation expenses.
2.  They are concerned about applicants' sincerity about being willing and able to move.

Suggestions to help your job hunt(s):

1.  Get a Denver area code phone number for contact purposes (psychology).  This could be your cell phone number. 
2.  Get or establish a Denver contact address for job applications (this could be a relative's/friends).  Don't put your New York address on your resume or on job applications.
3.  Don't present yourself as out of town until and unless you have to.

Get your point and youíre not wrong, it will still be easy to tell from their resumes that they arenít local.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2018, 11:19:50 AM »
If y'all ...


Please leave the south immediately. Missing teeth and porch based banjo playing are in your very near future.

Wow! And people call me rude!?!

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Moving to a Lower Cost City Without a Job - Crazy?
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2018, 11:33:35 AM »
OP: sure, itís crazy AF, but who cares? Do crazy. Whatís the worst? You move back to NY, tail between legs? Thatís not so bad. If you have 6 months living and youíre both good workers, youíll find something. My advice: set yourselves up as consultants. Donít include your address on your resume, doesnít need it. You just need email and phone. Update your LinkedIn. Move there and join lots of meet ups. Donít ask people or anyone for a job. Just meet people you find interesting, make genuine connections and add them to your LinkedIn. Then start scheduling coffee dates to ask people you meet to tell you about where they work and good areas to live and schools and all of that. Ask people for advice about your resume. If they have friends at companies youíre interested in, ask for an introduction to learn about the company, what they do and advice about your resume. Keep doing this. Youíll tap into the hidden network. Meanwhile, sign up for temp agencies while you work things out or see if you can actually do some consulting. Take risks, go full steam ahead and stay focused, itíll happen.