Talk of a “California Exodus” is sweeping the country—masses of residents, from tech giants to everyday Americans leaving California for less-crowded, more affordable states. With COVID-19 accelerating the outflow, it leaves many wondering: Where are they going?
The answer: Texas.
According to the 2020 Relocation Report by Texas Realtors, Texas ranked the second-best place for relocation in the country. Whether they come for the cost of living or the culture, Texans can no longer deny that their state has become a hotspot for West Coasters.
The Dallas housing market in particular is a major hot spot for out-of-town movers. In fact, home prices in North Texas and across the country have seen significant gains as demand for houses has risen in the past few months. One of the most affordable real estate markets in Texas, Dallas was expected to outperform the nation in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, realtors predict the DFW area to remain strong, and well-suited to buyers.
So, what do you need to do when packing up and moving to the Lone Star State—besides buying yourself a pair of cowboy boots?
Research Your New City
Texas is a big state, and each city has its own unique culture, geography, housing market, personality and more. So, regardless of whether you might be moving to Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, Midland, San Antonio, or anywhere else, be sure to familiarize yourself with your new city before, and after you get there.
Make Change to Important Documents
Once you get to Texas, be aware of specific regulations or laws that require immediate action or big changes during your early days as a new resident. Some important ones include:
- Inspecting and registering your vehicles
- Updating your insurance policies
- Getting a Texas Driver’s License
- Making sure your kids’ immunization records are up to date
- Registering to vote
- Decide Between a Professional or DIY Move
Moving across the country can be hard to do without professional movers—but it’s not impossible. If you decide to hire a moving company, make sure it’s a reliable one (do we have a blog post about this? Can’t find one). There are a few resources you can check out to decide which company is the best fit, but ultimately you’ll want to keep an eye out for customer reviews, the moving company’s Better Business Bureau rating, their USDOT number, and official complaints filed with the FMCSA, and COVID-19 safety measures. Be sure to contact at least three to four moving companies for a quote.
Of course, the COVID pandemic does present concerns with hiring a company for an interstate move. More than that, crossing state lines means a more expensive bill. Luckily, there are a few options for those who decide to do it themselves. First, you can rent a portable moving container, which may cost anywhere from $2,000-$3,000 a month. The second option is to rent a moving truck and drive your belongings to your new home yourself.
Find an Out-of-State Realtor
Your agent will be your eyes and ears as you search for a new home, and with the pandemic making even this process virtual, you’ll need to trust their expertise. Set up a Zoom of FaceTime meeting with any potential realtors to discuss your wish list and priorities, and talk through your options for viewing and buying. Most likely, you’ll be viewing through virtual tours, a remote, video-enabled walk-through of a property. You can find these on realtor sites to do some research independently, or your realtor may have alternative options facilitated through them.
Work with a Home Inspector
Once you’ve found a house you like, you’ll need to work with a home inspector to find and describe the property’s defects. A home inspector’s job is to help you understand as much as you can about your home’s condition before you commit. Keep in mind that every home inspection company is different. While some will only evaluate what is required by the Texas Real Estate Commission, others will go above and beyond those minimum standards. One great way to vet a potential home inspection company is to ask what is and is not included in their home inspection. Keep in mind that COVID-19 has had some impact on the home inspection process, so you should feel free to ask any potential companies what you can expect from a COVID-safe home inspection. After you’ve found a company you want to work with, you should feel encouraged to ask your home inspector some important questions before and after their inspection.
We hope you find this advice helpful. Please reach out to us for more information about how we provide top-notch home inspection services at reasonable prices with the best customer service in the North Texas area.
About Our Licensed Dallas Home Inspections
Keith Boggs is the owner of Stonebriar Property Inspections. He is your personal home inspector, and his investment in the company will be reflected in the quality of your inspection. Mr. Boggs’ inspection reports are professional, comprehensive, detailed, and clear. They average about 60 pages, include 100 to 200 color images, and include detailed findings, recommendations, tips, and best practices for maintaining your home. Buyers also receive a full video debrief explaining all findings. Stonebriar Property Inspection’s customer reviews speak to Keith’s reputation as an ethical, reliable, and courteous Dallas home inspector. Stonebriar Property Inspections is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. SPI is fully licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission for home inspections and the Texas Department of Agriculture for termite/wood destroying insect inspections.