Author Topic: Ever moved across the country?  (Read 9255 times)

V

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Ever moved across the country?
« on: November 07, 2014, 06:44:55 AM »
My husband and I keep debating whether or not we should leave GA and move to Colorado.  I'm just wondering if anyone here has made a move like this?  Do you have any regrets?  My husband and I have visited Colorado a few times over the years and both loved it, but we keep seeing things on different forums that make us nervous.  I've read several posts about water being a huge deal and how the traffic to get to the mountains on the weekends can be brutal.  I'm just not sure how much of this is actually true.  Some states have different definitions of traffic, and Atlanta sucks in that regard.  The increase in cost of living is my husband's biggest concern and he isn't sure how much of an adjustment we would really have to make.  How can you truly prepare for the increase in cost of living or is it more of a mental thing?  We have decent paying jobs and live comfortably, but I still hate GA all together.  My husband says he is "all for leaving" but it makes him nervous and he seems to be pushing staying here more now.  Any advice on moving cross-country or what it is really like in Colorado would be great!  Oh and because it has been all over the other forums, we are not considering moving because of the legalization of marijuana.  We are looking for a lifestyle where we can enjoy more of the outdoors and enjoy the little things that nature has to offer (like feeding the chipmunks at Estes Park).

jennifers

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2014, 07:02:21 AM »
I moved to Seattle when I was younger and ended up moving back to Wisconsin about a year later.  I don't regret either of the moves at all.  I moved back because my temporary job ended and I missed seeing my family.
If at least one of you can get a job in Colorado before moving, I'd say go for it.  I don't think cost of living will be a huge factor except for housing costs.

GoldenStache

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2014, 07:03:22 AM »
Do you have comparable jobs lined up in CO?  I have moved across the country several times for jobs and do not regret it, but I always had the job lined up before I started packing up.  CO is booming right now, population is growing far faster now than it has been in years.  I don't know how much of that is because of the legalization but as more states legalize it will be less of a factor.  I have some friends in the Denver area and are having a hard time filling jobs that require drug tests (all DOT related: truck drivers, heavy equipment) but don't know if the job market has been able to keep up with the booming population or if the job market is causing the booming population.       

The traffic to the mountains can be brutal, Atlanta's traffic is nothing compared to it.  One of the biggest factors is that tourist that do not normally drive on snow fly in to go skiing and either drive way too fast and crash, or way too slow and back up traffic.   

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2014, 07:20:38 AM »
Also in Atlanta and been debating the same for LA and Colorado.

I've moved from cross country and country to country over the years.

Regrets - only the same one we all have "if I had known then what I know now"

  Some states have different definitions of traffic, and Atlanta sucks in that regard. 

Everyone complains about traffic everywhere. In Iowa I lived in a town of 60,000 people and they would complain about traffic during "rush hour". Being from Atlanta, their idea of rush over felt like most metro Atlanta streets on off peak hours.

I also regulary visit Toronto which has a ton of traffic and sucks to deal with.

I just came back from LA which is often compared to Atlanta traffic, but I'll tell you my experience and differences...
In Atlanta, everybody is angry as fuck. They are cutting each other off. There is no common courtesy for letting people over or when lanes merge.

In LA, there is just a ton of people. They don't get as mad when people need to get over. They traffic moves slowly, but it's usually moving.

Man, honestly - people in Atlanta are just becoming bitter as fuck it seems like to me. I've been here for a long time, but it's definitely becoming a shit hole quickly imo.


HairyUpperLip

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014, 08:10:01 AM »
Apply for jobs before you go.

There is an IBM facility in between Longmont and Boulder.

mlejw6

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2014, 08:16:43 AM »
I'd say go for it. If you hate where you live now, doing something new will help you understand what's really important to you. I moved from the DC area which I hated to Albuquerque, NM, for the lower cost of living and fewer people. The attitudes of people are completely different in the two areas. People in the west are just so much more relaxed and seem happier to me.

Since you are young, now is the time to make a big change. But, be sure to be smart about it. Get a job before you move, and make sure you have a place to stay. With the internet, it's so easy to research jobs and living situations before you move. Good luck!

OSUBearCub

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2014, 08:47:22 AM »
I moved from Columbus, Ohio to Orlando, Florida two and a half years ago for a job.  It has been great for my career but I wasn't planning on the mourning period.  In my experience I mourned the breaking of ties with the place I had put down roots for a LOT longer than I was expecting.  And to grind a little salt in the wound, my grandfather passed away on moving day.

Truths I've Learned:
1. Everyone says they'll come visit but very few ever find the time or finances to do so
2. Social media becomes somewhat painful for the first few months
3. DIY moving is insanely stressful - happy pictures of people doing it themselves online are damn lies ha ha
4. Have a bank, shelter, and job locked down before you move and leave as few loose ends to tie up with your current living situation - these transitional activities are a major pain in the butt from 1000 miles away

What I Wished I'd Have Done:
1. Doubled my efforts to improve my career prospects in Columbus before jumping at the opportunity in Florida
2. Spent some time doing those "25 Amazing Things To Do in Columbus" lists to rediscover my city - after 12 years I was taking a LOT for granted

pzxc

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2014, 09:01:17 AM »
I grew up in Indiana, 5 years ago moved to Florida with a couple friends and met my SO, 2 years ago moved to California with my SO.  My feelings are the exact opposite of regret -- I would regret it if I *hadn't* done what I did.  Not just because of my SO.

Did you know that most people spend their entire lives, and end up dying, within 100 miles of their birthplace?

I didn't want that to be me.

The truth is, no place is perfect so every place has it advantages and disadvantages. And humans are great at adaptation. It ends up being the same play, just different actors and a different setting.

Siobhan

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2014, 09:04:00 AM »
Husband and I did your EXACT move 5 years ago (military).  Moved from Atlanta (me) and Fort Gordon (him) to Colorado Springs.

Traffic....Ain't got NOTHING on Atlanta, even going to Vail, on a Friday, in the height of ski season (it's the equivalent of a Friday traffic day on 85/285 night sucks though since there are very few street lights).  I commuted between COS and Denver for a while for a job, and it's a long drive but in all honesty traffic moves, even in rush hour.  You aren't sitting in a dang parking lot every day.

Cost, that's going to depend on what part of Colorado you live in.  Boulder/Denver are going to be more expensive then the Springs was, yes water is pricey (mountain desert) but at least in the Springs the utilities company is a not for profit, our utilities on our house were 150 bucks a month CHEAPER then when I lived in a place half the size in Atlanta because they didn't have all the stupid usage fees.  Electric was MUCH cheaper then ATL. 

Weather...this was the hardest adjustment for me.  It is insanely dry in CO compared to GA, and depending on where you chose to live you can get A LOT of snow.  Denver area, they would get a foot of snow in a storm, where as the Springs would get an inch or two since it sits in a protective bowl (lived there 4 years, never once shoveled the driveway).  It can, and does however, snow in late May to June, and we always had our first flurries in September, you also get hurricane force winds coming down off the mountains on some days.  On the flip side, you never get a 100 degree day with 100% humidity like you do it GA either.

We LOVED CO, wish we didn't have to leave, just make sure you have jobs before you go.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2014, 09:26:38 AM »
And to grind a little salt in the wound, my grandfather passed away on moving day.

Damn man, that's tough.

tmd012

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2014, 09:28:53 AM »
I grew up in central IL and after college I took a job in Philadelphia-  I had never been to the east coast before going out there for my job interview. I felt like it was the perfect time to try something like that and the job opportunity was too good to pass up.

I still remember flying in the Sunday night before starting work the next day.  Checking in to the hotel, dropping my bags and thinking, what now?  I didn't know a single soul within 1000 miles. It was a very overwhelming feeling.  I didn't have a single person I could call to go for a beer or go grab a bite to eat or hang out-  it was all on me to make friends.  I ended up staying in Philly for 4 years and made some great friends but it was incredibly tough in the beginning.  You really have to put yourself out there.

However, I think it would be much much easier to do it with a spouse because you will never truly be alone.  You will always have each other.  Go for it!

DeepEllumStache

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2014, 09:53:22 AM »
Grew up in South Texas, spent a summer in FL, spent a summer in Chicago, moved to NJ for 2.5 years, then moved to Dallas.  I always had a job lined up before moving... less stress and huge bonus if the company will pay for the move.

The northeast was pretty expensive compared to the South (my rent more than doubled for a place with fewer amenities).  For me, cutting out "luxury" spending and do your research so you don't put yourself in a bind on the big costs like housing.  Once you settle into the new cost of living, then slowly add stuff back in to see what you really need.

It's an adventure and it's easier to laugh at the weird little issues along the way.  For me, having grown up in a warmer location, no one mentioned the "winter" version of windshield wiper fluid.  In fact, my dad watered down our windshield wiper fluid to make it last longer.  I didn't even know that winter stuff existed.  I moved up to NJ in January and my windshield wiper fluid was a solid chunk of ice for a few months.  I learned my lesson... d'oh.

Caoineag

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2014, 10:02:11 AM »
Moved from MI to CO a number of years ago. Helped my friend do the same a few years after. Moved my brother out here about 4 years ago. All of us are still out here, so that should tell you something. Good job market, great weather, lots of traffic but the traffic moves.

You don't have to go to the mountains to enjoy the outdoors, the parks here are everywhere. Cost of living will be a change but the pay is different too.

If moving from Georgia, learn to drink water. We have no humidity. You will end up with new shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, lip balm and water drinking habits. Do you hate bitter cold or oppressive heat? Great you will love it here. No humidity really changes the feel of temperatures so what temperatures you think you are comfortable at, forget them out here.

If you don't do well with change, moving across country is difficult. Its still possible but it takes longer to adjust (brother had issues with this but managed). If you handle change well, you will wonder why you even worried about it (this was my husband and I, my friend was somewhere between us and brother).

None of us moved with jobs lined up, the longest to find a job was my brother who had never held a job before and didn't have a college degree, took him 3 months.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2014, 11:54:20 AM »
And to grind a little salt in the wound, my grandfather passed away on moving day.

Damn man, that's tough.

Thanks.  Yeah it pretty much sucked any excitement right out the window. I stuffed my three moving buddies in the car following my Uhaul so I could cry in private. Lol

Louis the Cat

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2014, 12:18:13 PM »
We moved from Indianapolis to the Denver/Boulder area 4 years ago for my husband's job. The move itself sucked: I was 13 weeks pregnant (didn't know it was twins 'til after the move), it was July/August (90s with 80% humidity in Indiana), my parents were helping us but my father was having an as yet undiagnosed mental issue, and one of the cars broke down in Omaha, where a nun called the cops on us for leaving our dogs in the (shaded) car, with water and the windows open. I swear I'm gonna write a book about that week.

However, after the move, wild horses couldn't drag us out of Colorado. The weather is beautiful, the scenery is beautiful, the jobs are good, it's perfect. Housing is pricey, especially coming from the midwest. I suspect Atlanta is somewhere in between so the sticker shock shouldn't be as bad. I can't speak to traffic into the mountains because snowsports aren't our thing but there are tons of options for hiking and other outdoor activities, near and far. I'm an extrovert who moved a lot as a kid so I'm biased toward moving but I say go for it! Lining up a job seems like a good idea but I can see how you could do it without that cushion.

gimp

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2014, 12:22:11 PM »
I've made five such moves. (Four were for six-month durations, one is permanent, or as permanent as these things are.) With the caveat that I'm young and mostly single and easily fit my entire life into a small vehicle, it's really fucking awesome to go live in new places and do new things.

sol

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2014, 12:25:00 PM »
If you have lined up a job in Colorado before your move, then your moving expenses are tax deductible.  Every little bit helps.

nedwin

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2014, 12:31:32 PM »
I have lived in CO for most of my life, so I'll comment on your concerns about CO.  From my perspective, traffic going to the mountains from Denver can be pretty awful, and also coming back.  But this is just the I-70 corridor, and it's only during certain periods.  Saturday and Sunday mornings (westbound) and Sunday afternoons/evening (eastbound) are the worst.  Add snow and/or an accident to the mix and it can be terrible.  It should usually be about 1.5 hours from Denver to the mountain resorts, but it's taken me more than 3 hours before.  I've actually fallen asleep in the driver's seat because we were stopped so long because of an accident.  If you travel outside of these times, or on different roads (I70 is not the only way to the mountains) you should not have a serious problem.  Summer traffic is not as bad as winter traffic.

Water is a big deal here, but water bills are not generally high.  If you are very extravagant watering your lawn your bills will be significantly higher.  The rates are usually tiered so it gets more expensive the more you use.  In a dry year the utilities will impose watering restrictions for lawn watering.  In very severe dry years lawn watering may be curtailed completely.  That's probably the biggest problem you would face. I've never really put much worry to it.

CO is a pretty wonderful place to live.  We have tons of sunshine all year long, 4 real seasons and no humidity.  People are friendly.  Jobs are available.  Wages are good.  What's not to like?

gimp

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2014, 12:48:34 PM »
If you have lined up a job in Colorado before your move, then your moving expenses are tax deductible.  Every little bit helps.

Even if you don't have a job lined up yet, if you get one soon, and reasonably believe you will stay for at least some time (36 weeks?) then it is tax-deductible. Not only that, but it's deductible above the line - meaning you can itemize and claim it or claim standard deduction and still claim it.

Though I did find that instead of the expected 56 cents a mile, they allow 24 cents a mile. They also allow lodging, but no meals.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2014, 01:52:42 PM »
I moved from Alabama to California, moving with all I could fit in my car, followed by a U-Haul with the other 'stuff'.  If I had it to do over again, I would do it IN A HEARTBEAT!  I miss those at home, but find myself travelling back there at least once a year.  Best thing I ever did.

Changes I would make:
1) Sell EVERYTHING - especially furniture.  Keep that follow-up vehicle load small (or eliminate it completely). 
2) Use the cash from (1) to buy EVERYTHING 'new to me' furniture via Craigslist/Thriftshop.  I did lots of this, but in hindsight I would do it 100%
3) Embrace the change, and re-create yourself in your new home - A new 'persona'.  All the way from 'new glasses frames', to new wardrobe, etc.

Make sure you:
1) Have an adventure!  See every sight you can on your trip across - stop at the 'largest ball of twine', etc.
2) Put your mustachian skills to the test, and find ways to save on the entire experience.
3) Stay with friends along-the-way - catch up, and save at the same time.

Once you arrive:
1) Rent a by-the-week place for the first month -  use that time to find a full-time residence once you've gotten to know your new area.

Grateful Stache

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2014, 07:07:25 PM »

belgiandude

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2014, 07:19:08 PM »
Everyone complains about traffic everywhere. In Iowa I lived in a town of 60,000 people and they would complain about traffic during "rush hour". Being from Atlanta, their idea of rush over felt like most metro Atlanta streets on off peak hours.

I moved from Brussels (Belgium) to Atlanta, GA. Being from Brussels, Atlanta's idea of rush hour feels like most Brussel streets on off peak hours. ;)

Anyway, I would just go. So far, I quit my job twice and moved to a different city without having anything lined up. I had a new job within 2 months (and enjoyed the time off). Sell what you do not need before moving. I moved with my possessions fitting in a carry-on luggage. Quite liberating ;)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 07:20:49 PM by belgiandude »

Spondulix

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2014, 03:39:02 AM »
Also grew up in CO... one thing to consider is that "going up to the mountains" doesn't have to mean going deep into the mountains. There's a lot of beautiful places to hike along the front range, and pretty much anywhere along there you see mountain views. Boulder and the Flat Irons feels like you're in the mountains, in Northern CO there's Estes Park... so there's mountain areas to go without having to make the trek up I-70.

The same could be said about the traffic - I-25 is atrocious, but depending where you live (and where you need to go) there are a lot of alternative highway options, which is where you find some towns off the beaten path (that might be places like Windsor, Longmont, Louisville, or Brighton - MMM's stomping grounds)

It's come up other threads, but CO really could be broken into about 7 different states given how different the cities are (in vibe, politics, newer vs established, etc). So if you're not sure where you want to end up, it would be worth it to take a week and come explore...

Spondulix

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2014, 09:17:45 PM »
12 of us were more than happy to help. :) There are almost 25,000 topics and half a million responses on this forum... sometimes it's hard just to find an answer to some questions, especially if your specific needs/questions are different from what others have asked before.

ChiVolter

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2014, 12:24:54 PM »
I have moved in the following order:

1) Jacksonville, FL
2) Orlando, FL (2002)
3) Chicago, IL (2008)
4) Los Angeles, CA (2011)
5) Chicago, IL (2014)

I had spent all of 6 days in Los Angeles before moving there. Most of it was in Disneyland which isn't really LA. I do not regret the time I spent there at all.

However, it was a sudden decision to move for my job and I only had 2 weeks to get my affairs in order. I rented an apartment without ever seeing it. I liked the price but had no idea it would take me 2-3 hours to get to work each day, each way. It would take me about 45 minutes for the same distance in Chicago.

I also did not know about CA State Disability Insurance, higher sales tax, and the impact of location on food/energy/fuel/etc. costs.

Take some more time to actually spend in the area of CO you are considering and take a close look at the tax rates and commodity costs compared to GA. Get a more accurate picture of your situation now and what your new situation will be before you commit.

Again... I do not regret any of my moves but the one that was the biggest eye opener has changed my way that I evaluate long-distance relocation for the future.

mlipps

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2014, 01:13:49 PM »
If you have lined up a job in Colorado before your move, then your moving expenses are tax deductible.  Every little bit helps.

Even if you don't have a job lined up yet, if you get one soon, and reasonably believe you will stay for at least some time (36 weeks?) then it is tax-deductible. Not only that, but it's deductible above the line - meaning you can itemize and claim it or claim standard deduction and still claim it.

Though I did find that instead of the expected 56 cents a mile, they allow 24 cents a mile. They also allow lodging, but no meals.

I think the mileage is because they assume there is a moving van/truck involved. We drove our own U-Haul & took actual gas instead of the 24 cents.

Gin1984

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2014, 01:28:09 PM »
I moved from San Jose,Ca to Buffalo, NY.  It took a while till we found the deals, it required different clothing so extra purchases in the beginning.  Also it was a bit of culture shock at first.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2014, 01:52:17 PM »
I moved from Minnesota to Pennsylvania (for grad school, so kinda different I guess) and then from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma (for a job, and my boyfriend came with me). The latter was a MAJOR climate and culture shock, but I'd say we have adapted very well. I think moving with an SO makes it much easier... I was here alone for several months before my boyfriend followed and I definitely had some pangs of loneliness at the beginning, although I made new friends pretty quickly. We both would LOVE to move to Colorado, or back up north somewhere (I love our friends here, and love some things about Tulsa, but overall we both pretty much hate the weather, the politics, and the lack of access to hiking, etc., plus I would love to be closer to my family)... it's in the five-year plan :) But I don't regret moving here at all. We've definitely made the best of it, and it was for a great job that allowed me to pay off my student loans quickly and start stashing for a down payment.

gimp

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2014, 03:23:51 PM »
Yep, I didn't think to mention, but you can either get 24c/mile or actual gas costs.

I can't do actual gas costs since I combined my move with a massive road trip (Alaska isn't on the way to California and if I get audited they will fairly quickly point that out to me.) So I'm calculating the shortest possible distance from A to B and using 24c/mile. I'm also only using two hotels, since they're more or less along the route, and ignoring all the other lodging since it's way the hell out. That reduces the write-off amount sadly but what can ya do, eh?

Much easier if it's a direct trip. They are pretty flexible with what's reasonable (eg, I might prefer to sleep in my car for convenience/cost but they're not going to dither over a $40 hotel or a $100 hotel, or premium gas vs standard.)

kimmarg

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2014, 07:30:51 PM »
enjoy the little things that nature has to offer (like feeding the chipmunks at Estes Park).
Don't be a tourist- DONT feed the chipmunks! That's not you enjoying the little things of nature that's them enjoying you. And then they try to eat my sandwich later </rant>

I've moved cross country several times. I would agree on have a job for at  least one of you, also you mentioned real estate people. Don't even think about buying. Get a short term lease, even if it costs a bit more it's worth it to get to know the area.


Grid

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Re: Ever moved across the country?
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2014, 07:43:00 PM »
If you have lined up a job in Colorado before your move, then your moving expenses are tax deductible.  Every little bit helps.

Good to know!