Local Highlights

5 tips for moving coast to coast


The distance between New York City and Los Angeles is a whopping 2,798 miles. According to Google Maps, to make that trip would take you 38 days by foot, 41 hours by car, and 5 hours by plane. But actually making the move — picking up your life and permanently relocating from one coast to another — is a venture that could take months of your time, and maybe a bit of your sanity.

It doesn’t have to, though. With smart planning and a few of our expert tips, your move across the country can be more exciting than stressful — as it should be! Whether you’re moving from San Francisco to Chicago or New York to Los Angeles, Common has you covered.

Know your options

There’s no right way to make your cross-country move, only the way that’s right for you. Before you book a UHaul or a flight, make sure you’re familiar with all the options available to you.

Renting a UHaul

If you’re a true DIY-er, you’ve probably already considered renting a UHaul. A UHaul truck is one that you can load and drive yourself, and the company offers various sizes depending on how much you’re moving. It’s a great option if you want to keep track of all of your things easily, save some money, and take advantage of the opportunity to go on a road trip. But it’s also probably the most labor intensive option, and you’ll have to refill on gas yourself if you run out.

Hiring movers

Just like you would for a move across town, you can hire movers for your cross-country relocation, too. Although more expensive than a UHaul, hiring movers means you don’t have to make drive across the U.S. yourself, plus they take care of the literal heavy lifting.

There are a few downsides, though. One is cost: it’s probably the more expensive option when — afterall you’re hiring an entire team — and the second is timing. Your stuff might arrive after you do if you’re flying to your new apartment the same day, so plan accordingly.

Starting from scratch

Believe it or not, leaving everything behind and starting from scratch in a new city is possible and more common than you’d think. Many people find starting from scratch to be a great way to both save money on moving and get a fresh start. You can also make extra cash if you sell your things from your old apartment before you move.

Common’s coliving suites are a great option if you’re looking to start fresh, too. You’ll get your own bedroom in a fully-furnished shared suite – so there’s no need to lug that Ikea couch across state lines.

Research your new community

As anyone who’s lived in a big city knows, your neighborhood can make one of the biggest differences in the quality of your life. Most cities are composed of dozens of neighborhoods, each with their own merits, energy, and disadvantages.

If you’re moving to a new city, you need to be looking beyond apartment listings and first finding the area that’s right for you. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online to help you learn everything about a city’s various neighborhoods, including the Common blog. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Walkability – Do you need a car to be able to run errands or socialize?
  • Commute – How far is this neighborhood from your workplace or office? Is public transportation available?
  • Essential services – How many grocery stores does the neighborhood have? Is there a pharmacy? If you have a pet, look to see if there’s a vet and an emergency vet nearby.
  • Entertainment and recreation – If you love to play tennis, is there a court nearby? Will you have to travel across town for a nice dinner or a late night snack?

Leverage virtual tours

Moving from coast to coast is already expensive, so if you can find an opportunity to save some cash, take it. Instead of spending money on a separate trip to tour apartments, try taking virtual tours instead.

Virtual tours grew in popularity at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and have now been widely adopted by property managers and renters who are moving from out of state or simply have busy schedules.

Virtual tours also expand your apartment hunting timeframe. Instead of having to book one trip and hope you find your apartment in a week’s time, you can explore units from the comfort of your own home over an extended period.

If you’ve never taken a virtual tour, or just want advice on how to use them to find your dream apartment, check out a few tips from a Common member who found their home virtually.

Utilize a moving checklist

Staying organized is key to any successful move, but it’s especially important when moving long distances. You could rely on a handy to-do list, a traditional calendar, or the Notes app on your phone to keep you on track, or you could use a moving checklist. A moving checklist outlines everything you need to do before, during, and after your move to ensure that things go smoothly.

Move with Common

If you’re looking to truly simplify your cross-country move, Common has you covered. We offer studios, private apartments, and all-inclusive coliving suites in cities up and down both coasts, including New York, Washington D.C, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Our fully-furnished coliving suites come with everything you need to get settled in a new city (and timezone!) including pots, pans, and other household essentials. Just pack a suitcase, book a flight, and you’re ready to go.

Even our unfurnished, private apartments make the move easier. As a Common member, you’ll have access to a dedicated in-house support team and a built-in community that allows you to meet new people and discover your city through exclusive events.

Find your home today.

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