Moving From West Coast to East Coast | Long Distance Usa Movers

Best Tips for Moving from the West Coast to the East Coast

Relocation is a tiresome process, even if it means going just a few blocks away from your old house. However, nothing can compare to the grueling process of moving from the West Coast to the East Coast, and the amount of stress you will undoubtedly be exposed to during the nearly 3000-mile transition. Luckily, we have some tips and suggestions that will make your move more bearable. Stay tuned and memorize them to ensure your own peace of mind.

New York City's Manhattan in the distance
The relocation costs can be a little easier to bear if you follow our advice

The Rule Above All Others – Know the City You Are Relocating To

No matter the reasons for your move, it is essential to know the place that drew your attention so you can adjust to the new town more quickly and easily. When you move between coasts, be prepared to experience a big culture shock. Yes, you are still in the States, but the differences between people, cultures, and even food habits and preferences are vast. Make sure to learn as much as you can before you begin your relocation – you don’t want to be miserable because you just can’t (under)stand the city’s vibe.

Is the West Coast or the East Coast Better?

The answer to this question depends on where you were born – it is a never-ending competition between the two groups of Coasties. However, those whose character is more laid-back and relaxed will always choose sunny California than the overly ambitious business vibe New York provides. On the other hand, those who seek authenticity won’t like the focus on physical appearances California and other western states are famous for.

Where Should I Move to on the East Coast?

The city you decide to relocate to should suit your preferences, but also your needs. For example, if you’re looking for the cheapest place to move to, you should consider Savannah, Georgia, where the average cost of living is 12.1% less than the national average. Note that housing in this part of the States is considered very cheap, with the median home value of around $135,000 (America’s average is around $285,000). Lower costs in this town are combined with job growth of 1.4%, so now would be an excellent time to move. Other cities you should consider if low expenses are important to you are Avon, Connecticut, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Reading, Pennsylvania.

If you’re a young professional seeking job opportunities, it is always good to go for the big cities, such as New York, Boston, or Washington, D. C, because they offer the most job opportunities in big, national, or worldwide companies. However, don’t underestimate places such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a community with a rather young population, where the average personal income is more than $50,000, and monthly rent is below the national average.

Suppose you’re searching for a vibrant community that never sleeps – living in New York and other urban hubs should be your choice. However, if you want to enjoy the famous southern charm, choose cities in Georgia, which will give you the suburban feel and the experience of a very tight community.

If you’re on the lookout for some of the safest cities in the USA, see places in Connecticut, such as Darien and Ridgefield, or Franklin, Massachusetts, but note that the state of New Jersey is one of the safest ones in the US. If you’re looking for the best educational opportunities for your child, pick cities in New Jersey, Massachusetts, or Florida, and when the time for college comes, remember all the Ivy League schools that are on this side of the continent.

Pinned map of the United States of America
Whichever city you choose, make sure that it fits your personality

How Do I Move From the West Coast to the East Coast – Determine the Logistics of the Move

If you don’t want to have some bumps on the road, literally and figuratively, you need to organize your move so that everything works like a well-oiled machine. From the biggest tasks to those seemingly unimportant, each aspect of your relocation should be planned in a proper way. The budget, transportation method, boxing up, the goodbye party – everything needs to be a part of your plan. If you don’t want to feel lost and helpless, write everything down and make a checklist for relocating to a different state.

Yellow post-it note and scrabble letters making words
Writing everything down will help you get more organized

Planning Your Budget – The Crucial Step of Moving From the West Coast to the East Coast

In order to prepare for anything else, you should first determine the relocation budget and what limit you can’t cross under any circumstances. It will ultimately affect your decision about choosing cross-country moving services, supplies, transportation methods, and so on. Ensure to be thorough at calculating how much money you should save to move out of state. So before you start anything else, just do the math – you don’t want this long-distance relocation to bleed you dry.

How Much Does It Cost to Move From the West Coast to the East Coast?

The cost of relocation between coasts depends on the choices you make – do you plan to hire long-distance movers or do you want to relocate all by yourself, will you relocate using your car or will you hire an auto transport company, and so on. According to your choices, you are looking at a sum from $3,000 to as much as $10,000. When thinking about the budget, just keep somewhere in mind that the general cost of living is higher for people in New York or Massachusetts, for example than in California or Oregon.

A woman calculating expenses for long-distance moving
Make sure that you calculate your expenses before anything else

How to Choose Among Different Relocation Companies?

Relocating from the West Coast to the East Coast is a job you should hand over only to a company you previously researched. With so many relocation scams nowadays, you need to be careful about choosing in whose hand you want to put your future. Consider the following tips as our version of the ten commandments when choosing the relocation company:

  • Check online reviews and recommendations,
  • Look for the company’s license and DOT number,
  • Get more than one estimate and compare relocation quotes,
  • Demand an in-home estimate,
  • Look for companies that charge by the inventory weight, not cubic feet,
  • Check the company’s reviews on BBB,
  • Discus the highest possible price,
  • Ask about the insurance policy,
  • Never pay in cash,
  • Document everything.

Of course, you may think: “Finding long-distance movers near me and researching them is pointless if there is a high possibility that some sort of scam might happen.” However, we strongly suggest that you take into consideration the rules we pointed above – they will help you separate fraudsters from trustworthy relocation companies.

DIY or Hiring a Long-Distance Moving Company – Comparing the Costs

Of course, there are tons of other reasons why you would choose to relocate by yourself rather than hiring long-distance moving services. One of the reasons for selecting a DIY option could be money and finding the cheapest ways to move out of state. However, try not to be easily confused – if you decide to move with a rental truck, you should count on more expenses than just the rental price. Your estimate should include the cost of gas, insurance, parking fees, and so on. Furthermore, you will need to book hotel rooms for you and your family, if you are relocating with kids, then make sure that everyone is well-fed. Before you write off hiring a cross-country moving company, make sure to compare expenses properly.

You would also need to think about packing – not just in terms of packing fragile items, but also how to immobilize boxes with delicate objects so they don’t move and protect them from moisture and other risks. Of course, the further the distance, the more difficult it is to protect your belongings, especially if you are relocating for the first time and don’t know how to pick the right supplies and keep your things safe.

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Is Hiring a Car Shipping Service a Safe Option?

When relocating with a car, you have three options. You can:

  • Drive your vehicle during the move,
  • Transport your vehicle on a rented truck with the rest of the stuff,
  • Hire an auto transport company.

Many relocation companies offer additional car shipping services. Ask your company if hiring their cross-country movers can provide you with a discount for auto transport. If so, there is no reason to torture your car and choose to drive it to the other end of the States – let it rest and be safe and comfortable in a relocation trailer.

Cars on an open carrier truck for cross-country moving
Choose an auto transport service if you want to travel in peace

Listen to Reason When Packing

If your goal is to move efficiently, you must plan the order of packing ahead – save your kitchen and bathroom for last because you will be using those two rooms until the relocation date. On the other hand, pack storage spaces first because they are areas where we store things we don’t use often. That should be your general rule. Pack those things you know you won’t use while still living in your old house right away.

Think about the items you want to get rid of. You may have some unwanted appliances, clothes, and electronics you can sell if you decide to have a garage sale. You can also opt to donate unwanted things for those who are in need. Either way, you will be getting rid of belongings whose weight would otherwise affect the final cost of the move.

When it comes to your clothes, have in mind that relocation between coasts means having to adjust to a huge climate difference. When you leave California and other sunny states, don’t pack too many summer clothes – living near the Atlantic means having all four seasons in a year.

Call for Help (if You Need It)

Hiring a professional packing service can make your life easier and save you a lot of time you can then use for other different pre-relocation projects. Many relocation companies have packing services included in their general services, so know that your appliances will be packed free of charge. However, if you want help with trickier objects, like glassware, china, the piano, or a treadmill, hire a crew – it will be a wise investment.

Pack an Essential Bag for the New Home

It is highly possible that you will arrive at your newest home way before your movers. Make sure to have all the necessities by your side – your documents, medications, change of clothes, bedding, and the like. The same goes for a DIY move – you won’t unpack for weeks after the relocation, so ensure that all of your relocation essentials are within arms reach.

If you want to learn more relocation hacks for a DIY packing process, make sure to watch the following video:

Organize Your Documentation and Transfer Utilities on Time

Gathering and organizing important paperwork is a dull but necessary task for every relocation, especially one that implies more than 2000 miles between your old and future home. When the time for relocation comes, be sure that you have by your side your medical documentation, vet records (if you are relocating with pets), bank statements, insurance policies, tax documentation, and the like.

Be very thorough when gathering financial documentation – you will need it to secure a house or an apartment. Landlords will sometimes demand that you show a letter of recommendation from the previous landlord on top of regular financial documentation. Furthermore, if you don’t earn enough for their standards, you may need your guarantor to sign a contract.

Your utilities also need to be transferred or canceled before the move, so make sure to:

  • Cancel your gas, electricity, and water,
  • Find a way to transfer your internet and television service to your newest home, if possible,
  • Cancel all your subscriptions or opt for digital ones,
  • Change your address via USPS.
A pile of letters
Change your address to continue getting mail

To Rent or to Buy, That Is the Question

When choosing your living arrangements, find your answer in the middle. Of course, it is always better to be your own (land)lord, but try to wait for a while – choose temporary housing until you get to know the city. You need to find a different doctor for your family, schools for your children, explore the neighborhoods, and see which one suits you the best. Only then should you approach the possibility of buying.

An exterior of a house
Rent a house before you choose the right one in the right neighborhood

The Final Tip for Moving From the West Coast to the East Coast – Meet New People

Exploring a city means exploring its people, too. Don’t let the fast pace of life along the Atlantic consume you too – try to meet your neighbors and make an effort to make friends in the new city. If you wanted to move away and start over, making some quality connections with people in your life will help you center yourself after completing such a complex task as relocating across the country.

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.


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