Finding a Place to Live in a New City or State

moving to a new city or stateMoving can be an exciting but challenging experience.  Finding a new place, packing your belongings, and making the journey to your new destination is exhausting, especially if you’re moving to a new city or state.

One of the most stressful parts of relocating is finding an apartment or house that you love.  After apartment-searching out of state (for an Ohio to California move), here are a few tips I learned that can help make your search a little easier.

Ask for recommendations

Before looking on Craigslist, newspapers, or rental websites, be sure to ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations.  If you don’t know anyone with knowledge of your new city, try posting on an online forum.

When my husband and I were searching for a place in Monterey, we used to help us get a better sense of neighborhoods that might be a good fit for us. City-data has relocation forums for every state and most major U.S. cities. Google is another tool that can give you information and valuable insights about your new city before you move.

In addition to City-data and Google, my husband’s school created a Facebook group for new and existing students. The group was a great source for new apartment listings, info about the city, and other helpful tidbits. Nothing beats local knowledge!

Explore your new city firsthand

Depending on your timeline and your particular situation, visiting your new city may be an option. If possible, try to visit at least once before making the move.

Have a list of neighborhoods or places that interest you. Be sure to visit your prospective areas during the day and night to get a better representation of the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, because my husband and I were moving across the country, we were unable to visit Monterey before the move. But luckily, things worked out for us in the end. Sometimes you just have to leap without looking!

signing a leaseReally research your rentals

Before signing a lease, make sure you find out as much information as you can about who you’re renting from.

If you’re renting from a management company, a quick Google search should give you information on how long they’ve owned a particular property and reviews from past tenants. On the other hand, finding information from an individually owned property might be more difficult.

It’s also beneficial to know your city’s and state’s rental laws, in case you have an issue with your management company or landlord. Knowing your rights beforehand can spare you unwanted stress or anxiety, or worse, a legal surprise when the rules don’t work the way you think they do.


Finding housing in a different city or state can seem overwhelming, but it can be done. With a little extra  time and research, you can find a place that works for you.

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Jackie is an Ohio native who recently moved to Monterey, California. A former Spanish teacher, Jackie is now pursuing her dream of working in television. When she’s not blogging or writing, she loves to travel with her husband, work out, spend time with their three dogs, and soak up as much sunshine as possible. Jackie is happiest when she is being active. To follow her natural hair journey and other adventures, check out her blog. Got a question for Jackie? Write to

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