If you’re a list-maker, you know the value of a good, old-fashioned checklist, especially when you’re preparing to relocate. Before moving to the southeast, you’ll want to know the common costs of arriving—and living—in the deep South.
Once again, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find a financial checklist to prepare your bank account for the best this region has to offer.
Start with some obvious to-dos:
- Secure the Goods – First, pack up your most important documents—marriage papers, professional licenses, passports, birth certificates, mortgage agreement, and living will—and carry them with you on your person.
- Plan for Bills – A few weeks before the move, cancel your utilities and contact the water, internet, electric, waste, and other service providers in your new town to get connected early. Celebrate the fact that winter in your new neighborhood will likely cost you less in heating bills, with the average yearly temperature across all 3 states sitting at a balmy 70 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
- Budget for Tolls – Westerners, you may not understand the concept of tolls, but a few miles into your new state and you’ll quickly realize that toll roads are a part of life here. Not to worry, though, a quick look at Florida’s, Georgia’s, and South Carolina’s highway authority websites can get you up to speed.
- Switch Insurance – Plan to pay more for homeowner’s insurance once you arrive, as this coast tends to see more damage from hurricanes, and insurers know it.
- Register Your Vehicle(s) – Budget in a buffer for vehicle registration, which for most states hovers between $15 and $80 a year for typical cars. Floridians, though, can expect to pay more than triple that amount, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The figure may take your breath away until you’ve lived here a few years and realize it’s a great conversational piece for small talk at cocktail parties.
Enjoy the Perks
Your new region enjoys a ton of unique financial perks that become yours the moment you arrive, including:
- Housing – Unlike other areas, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida have a range of housing options—from outrageously expensive to ridiculously cheap, and everywhere in between. The variety of choices gives you the power to select your standard of living, something other areas can’t always offer.
- Taxes – Kiplinger’s 2016 taxation heat map shows our area goes easier on taxpayers in general, with a drill-down feature to detail specifics. Florida is famous for imposing no income tax, though it’s important to know what other taxes you’ll pay in the Sunshine State.
- Entertainment – Of course, you’re able to find affordable fun wherever you are, but we Southerners tend to pride ourselves on our resourceful ability to enjoy just about any outing, so long as we’re with those we love. So once you arrive, check out our region’s best farmer’s markets and sweet weekend getaways that are good for both your memory book and your pocket book.
Let us be the first to welcome you home. The one thing you’re guaranteed to find different about Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina is the friendliness of the faces you’ll meet.
Moving is a life event full of tasks and to-dos. It’s just too much to try to keep straight without a little system. Keep this financial checklist handy so your relocation doesn’t take a toll on your wallet.