Coldwell Banker Brokers Of The Valley
Deborah Russell Broman, Coldwell Banker Brokers Of The ValleyPhone: (707) 337-4976
Email: [email protected]

How Relocation Can Impact Cost of Living

by Deborah Russell Broman 03/15/2020

Image by Wellnhofer Designs from Shutterstock

When you’re relocating you search for a property and learn the real estate market in your new area. Are you also looking at what the general cost of living is in your new city? The cost of living can be very different from state to state and city to city. Here are some common daily expenses you may want to research as part of your relocation planning. 

Groceries

The cost of groceries and home goods can vary drastically from place to place. If you’re moving to a new city or state your general cost of goods may increase or decrease depending on where you move. This is a cost many people don’t consider when thinking about the affordability of a new area. The price of milk might be 50% more or even double the cost from where you live now. The same shampoo you purchase in California might be half of the cost in Arizona. A change in sales tax will also make a difference in what you pay for goods. To gather information about how this may impact you, check into a few retail stores in your target area (or online if you can’t be local) and make some price comparisons based on the products you purchase regularly.

Transportation

Gas prices can make a difference to your monthly costs. On the coasts, prices can be as high as $4.00 or more per gallon, but in the Midwest and South prices can be under $2.00 a gallon. If you’re moving to a location where gas prices increase consider those additional fill-ups when determining what commute you can manage. Is it most cost-effective for you to live further away from your workplace in a less expensive home? Does it make more sense to find a home closer to work allowing for a shorter commute or the use of a public transportation option? Consider also the amount of time you’re willing to spend on your commute each day.

Food and Entertainment

The amount you spend on entertainment and dining each month may change when you move. In some places a higher minimum wage is set for service industry workers, so a lower tip percentage is common. In other locations the service industry wage is quite low, so a higher tip percentage is the norm. Explore the activities you enjoy while you house hunt to get a better idea of what differences you might experience in your new location.

Services

Finally, the cost of general services can affect your bottom line. From your new hairdresser to housekeeping services to home repair companies you could see a change in pricing. If you frequently use these types of services or would like to, consider how the average cost for them fits into your monthly budget. 

These cost differences may not seem like a big factor, but they can impact your monthly expenses. If you’re moving to a more affordable place you may save enough on basic goods and services that you can increase your mortgage budget. However, if you’re relocating to a city with a higher cost of living, you may need to revisit your monthly budget to see what you can really afford.

About the Author
Author

Deborah Russell Broman

Selling Napa Valley real estate is an attitude with me. I combine my talents as a former marketing director and newspaper editor to bring you the highest quality service possible. I have been a Realtor for over 20 years, am a Broker Associate and hold my CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and GRI (Graduate of Realtor’s Institute) professional designations. I am also a Coldwell Banker Previews Specialist and a Coldwell Banker Certified Masters Home Marketing Specialist.

My positive attitude ensures that my buyers and sellers will receive only the highest in quality service.  I've consistently earned the top office producer designation both at the Coldwell Banker office in St. Helena, as well as at my former office at Prudential California Realty.

Community involvement is very important to me. I have twice served as president of the Napa County Assn. Of Realtors, is a past board member of the Northbay Assn. Of Realtors, past president of the Women’s Council of Realtors, the Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley, and the Northbay Regional Center, and is a current member of the Napa Valley Vintners Association and Wine Institute.

My winemaker husband, Bob, and I live in St. Helena. We produce Broman wines, have three grown children,  a 10 and 11 year old and a host of animals.