Author Topic: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted  (Read 2390 times)

pbnjpeg

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Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« on: January 24, 2017, 08:43:27 AM »
Hello Kind, Wise, Physically Attractive Mustacians,

I'm 27 years old, and I've spent nearly 100% of my life with twenty miles of Atlanta, GA. I'll be graduating from college (yeah, it took me a while) after this summer, and after copious frugal celebration, my plan is to move to Denver. Why Denver? Well, I want to sort of start with a clean slate, escape my childhood environs, find myself, all that jazz. Plus, I have a couple close friends in Denver and I've lived there for a couple months at a time over summer breaks, so I know that I like the city well enough. Plus, mountains.

ANYWAY. So I'm planning to move. Work is not really a problem. I've worked for Starbucks for five years now, and while not the highest paying job in the world, it does offer good benefits like cheap health insurance and a 401(k) with five percent match. Another benefit is the ability to transfer to any other store in the country, so I can pretty simply and reliably request a transfer to a Denver store and I'll be employed. Plus, Denver has a much higher minimum wage than Atlanta, so I may even get a raise out of the deal.

SO ON TO THE REAL ISSUE. How... does one go about landing an apartment across country? Physically moving is not really an issue. I've always been a semi hardcore minimalist, so I can pretty much fit anything I might need in my sexy 2007 Ford Focus hatchback when I drive there and buy whatever else I need once I'm settled. I'm also single and have no pets, which both work in my favor. But seriously, WHERE ON EARTH do I start to go about finding an apartment in a city 2000 miles away? Has anyone ever done this? How do I sign the lease? How to I view the apartment before I sign? So many questions, and yet I have no idea. Any advice would be INCREDIBLY helpful.

Also, this might be obvious considering which forum we're on, but money isn't really an issue. I currently have about $25k in savings and investments, and I'm expecting to have about $40k before I actually pull the trigger and relocate.


cj25

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 09:43:10 AM »
My friends up and moved to Denver with no place to live.  They stayed in an inexpensive hotel/motel for a few days until they could look at and secure an apartment. So there is that option.  Is it possible to stay with your friends for a week or so?  Or maybe airbnb/couchsurfing for a week? It shouldn't take too long to get an apartment.  Good luck!  Sounds exciting!  If I had no debt, I would be picking up and moving out of state as well!

Dave1442397

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 10:45:29 AM »
You can find plenty of apartments or rooms to rent (usually cheaper) on Craigslist - see under "housing" - http://denver.craigslist.org/

There are usually plenty of facebook groups and realtors advertising on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DenverApartments/

You should be able to get decent pics of the apartment from the listing, but it's also worth checking Google to see what's in the area, and check for anything you might not want to be near. For example, I looked at nice apartments in Edison, NJ years ago, but when I went there I found that they backed up to the loading dock of a major supermarket, and there were railroad tracks and high tension power lines running alongside. No thanks! I like peace and quiet.

Another way to search is using Yelp. There are plenty of apartment reviews there - https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=apartment+reviews&find_loc=Denver%2C+CO

One option, if you don't want to commit to a place in advance, is just rent a room on a month-by-month basis until you find a place you like. You can do that using Craigslist, or sites like Airbnb - https://www.airbnb.com/s/Denver--CO?sublets=monthly&checkin=02%2F01%2F2017&checkout=03%2F01%2F2017&page=1&s_tag=_ZYao7Rj&allow_override%5B%5D=

It's a lot easier these days than it used to be. If you do your research, you should be fine.

Another thing to remember is that Denver traffic sucks, so try to rent close to work, if possible.

pbnjpeg

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 11:11:27 AM »
Thanks so much for the replies so far. Crashing with a friend for a few days while I look for a place seems like a good plan. I had originally been thinking of living on my own, but the roommate listings on Craigslist look like too much of a good deal to pass up, especially if I can find the right location and see a few of them in person.

And yeah, I've heard about Denver traffic, but Atlanta traffic is equally bad, I'm sure, so I have LOTS of practice with patient driving and gridlock. :)

Since Starbucks are literally everywhere, though, I'm sure it won't be too much of a problem to find a nice place within walking distance of one. Getting rid of my reliance on my car is part of the plan!

Keep the advice coming, guys! The more knowledge I have to play around with, the better I feel about this adventure.

AMandM

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 11:23:13 AM »
Back in the days before the internet, I once rented an apartment transatlantically before moving overseas. I contacted a real estate broker and we handled most of the issues by fax.  It cost a packet, but the broker's job was to make sure the apartment lived up to its advertised terms.

In your case, I'd start by figuring out what general area of Denver you want to live in.  If you don't mind big, professionally-managed apartment complexes, there are lots of listings online and since they're big, that apartment is likely to be what it says.  Cjheck zillow or apartments.com.  If you'd rather live someplace more individual or unique, so that you'd want to see the place in person first, then I'd find an airbnb place in that neighborhood to use as a base for apartment hunting once you get there.

Good luck! 

davef

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 12:59:55 PM »
I've done this twice. I looked on rent.com found one i liked. looked on google earth checked out the area, etc. If you can, ask your friends if that is a nice are. You can also look up crime statistics etc. for the area, average age,demographics and such.

J Boogie

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 01:00:46 PM »
Good for you man, sounds fun.  I worked for SBUX when I was 20, funnest job of my life.  But then again it was also just fun being 20.

Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2017, 01:16:05 PM »
Stay in a campground, hostel or cheap hotel or a friend's couch for a week while you figure it out.

Don't rent the first thing you find, even though you might be in a hurry to get settled in. Shop around a bit. But a week should be plenty of time. Needless to say, have the money in your checking account ready to go for the deposit, 1st last&first month rent, and utility deposits.

robartsd

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2017, 01:34:38 PM »
It's also worth checking Google to see what's in the area, and check for anything you might not want to be near.
Google street view is enormously helpful to do a virtual drive by of a location. I used street view and satellite imagery extensively to filter out which properties were worth visiting when house hunting - and that was in a local real estate search.

researcher1

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2017, 02:48:16 PM »
I'll be graduating from college after this summer...

Work is not really a problem. I've worked for Starbucks for five years now...and reliably request a transfer to a Denver store and I'll be employed.

Why did you bother getting a college degree if you plan to continue working at Starbucks?

I think you need to set your sights a little higher.

Just Joe

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2017, 02:48:44 PM »
Also cross check any potential unknown roommates (social media, news, registries) and the neighborhood best you can for crime stats.

pbnjpeg

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2017, 09:13:53 AM »
I'll be graduating from college after this summer...

Work is not really a problem. I've worked for Starbucks for five years now...and reliably request a transfer to a Denver store and I'll be employed.

Why did you bother getting a college degree if you plan to continue working at Starbucks?

I think you need to set your sights a little higher.

To be honest, I'm continuing to work for Starbucks for the time being because I'm getting my degree paid for by them. Starbucks has what they call the "College Achievement Plan" where they offer 100% tuition reimbursement for an online degree through Arizona State University, which is consistently ranked as one of the best state schools in the country. It's too good a deal to not take advantage of.

I'm also using Starbucks as a platform for moving. Since they're literally everywhere, I can pretty reliably request a transfer to another store anywhere in the country and have a guaranteed job when I arrive.

My sights are higher in the long run, though, I promise. Once I'm settled into my new life in my new city with my fresh degree, the better job hunt will begin. It's just that the job hunt is a couple extra numbers down on my list of things to tackle in life at the moment.

Thanks again for all the advice, guys. I really feel like I have a much better grasp on what to expect when I finally get moving, where to look, and what to look for. You guys rock.


mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Planning a Cross Country Move - Advice Wanted
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2017, 09:57:42 AM »
I had a friend who house sat for about 1 month while looking for a place to live - free housing + some income.  Something to consider :)  Good luck with your move!