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Moving to Georgia: A Step-by-Step Guide

Imagine a place where the tea is sweet and the trees are covered in Spanish moss. Georgia fits this picture perfectly. With more than 10.8 million people living in the state and over 80,000 new people moving to Georgia and making it their home in 2022, Georgia has captured the attention of those seeking new horizons.

Beyond its charming characteristics, laid-back ambiance, delectable cuisine, and ingrained southern hospitality, Georgia boasts historical landmarks, picturesque landscapes, and a burgeoning job market. It also encompasses top-tier educational systems and a vibrant, diverse metropolitan area. Thus, Georgia stands as a state of peaches and possibilities, promising a tapestry of experiences that make it an enticing relocation choice.

Is Moving to Georgia a Good Idea?

If you’re considering joining the ranks of these incoming residents, here are some things to know before moving to Georgia and discover why Georgia is a favorable state for relocation. Here’s some of the top reasons why you should consider moving to Georgia.

  • Movement towards Georgia: Newcomers have had Georgia in their minds for the past few years. As per the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the net migration rate per 1000 persons reached an impressive 14.7 in 2022. This signifies that more individuals are moving into the region than departing for every 1,000 people in the population. This fact alone attests to the excellent prospects to relocate to Georgia.
  • Affordable houses for sale. Housing costs in Georgia remain budget-friendly when compared to other states. According to Zillow, home values in the state have increased by 1%, reaching $319,330 compared to last year. Even with the increase, a house for sale in Georgia still comes in below the national average of $416,100 as of the 2nd quarter of 2023.
  • Great weather. Georgia experiences a humid subtropical climate, resulting in brief and mild winters accompanied by lengthy and hot summers. Situated adjacent to Florida and bordered by the coastline, anticipate summers marked by humidity and mugginess. Although climate varies depending on your location within the state, average temperatures span from 35 degrees Fahrenheit during winter to 89 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
  • Booming job market. Georgia stands as a major economic center offering diverse job options across fields such as healthcare, technology, and finance. It is home to eighteen big companies like Coca-Cola, Delta, and Home Depot that are in the Fortune 500 list. These companies chose Georgia because it’s affordable to do business here, they can reach new customers easily, and there are great programs to train workers. As a result, a lot of people in Georgia get jobs in these companies. Not to mention the many colleges and universities in the state that employ a vast majority of residents.
  • Access to top-quality education. Georgia boasts top-notch colleges and universities, both public and private, attracting numerous students to the state annually. Among these esteemed institutions is the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), renowned for nurturing creativity. Other universities in the region include the Gwinnett School of Mathematics-Science and Technology, Emory University, the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Mercer University, Spelman College, Agnes Scott College, and the University of North Georgia.
  • Beautiful surroundings. Georgia showcases its own Seven Natural Wonders, spanning from the towering 729-foot Amicalola Falls to the majestic 650-foot Stone Mountain. Savannah is celebrated for its enchanting Southern live oaks, which serve as the official state tree. When it comes to coastal havens, although Georgia’s beaches may not carry the same fame as Florida’s, their beauty rivals, if not surpasses. Exploring Georgia’s beaches and islands is a rewarding experience, whether for a visit or permanently moving to Georgia. Even the cemeteries are beautiful, with Georgia’s Bonaventure Cemetery being notably featured in the bestselling book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”


Things to Consider Before Relocating

Relocating to Georgia is undoubtedly an exciting decision, yet it’s important to recognize that this transition involves more than just changing your residence; it signifies a shift in your entire life. Relocating to a new place prompts a series of considerations that extend beyond physical location, affecting your personal life and relationships. Here are key aspects to consider before moving to a new city.

  • Family and Friends. When you’re single or just fresh out of college, the idea of moving to a different city or even a new country can be relatively straightforward. But if you have a family or close group of friends, the decision-making process is more complicated. You have to consider the career impact on your partner, the possible effect on your children with their education, social relationships, and childcare. If you’re accustomed to relying on nearby family or friends for assistance, moving away might mean a loss of this vital support system. Assessing these aspects comprehensively will help you make an informed choice when considering a move to a new destination.
  • Location. When considering a move, reflect on what you enjoy and dislike about your current living situation. Does your potential new location offer similar benefits or address any issues? Check if you feel comfortable navigating the area or if it is a safe neighborhood. In Georgia, counties like Baker, Dade, Johnson, and others reported zero crime according to 2021 Georgia Bureau of Investigation statistics. Consider the weather and see if it is compatible with your preference. Think of your hobbies and social life by exploring the local culture for entertainment options, nightlife, sports, dining, and recreational activities and think about how easy it will be to establish a social life in the new place.
  • Cost of Living. When you’re calculating the cost of living, make sure to factor in all potential expenses. For example, think about housing costs. Whether you’re renting or buying, your monthly payments will depend on where you live. Utility expenses can vary significantly, especially in places with extreme weather conditions that require extra heating or air conditioning. You might also need more expensive insurance. Moving to Georgia pros and cons include the weather. It offers longer summers for outdoor enjoyment, but it’s also prone to various natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, and floods.

Take your tax situation into account. Different states and counties have varying tax systems and rates. Don’t forget about everyday expenses too, like transportation, groceries, entertainment, and childcare if you have kids. If you know someone in the area, you can pick their brain about expenses and the local economy.

  • Career Prospects. It’s important to think about how feasible it would be to find another job in your new area if things don’t go as planned. Explore the job landscape in the local area and check the potential openings within your chosen field. Could you easily switch to a different position within the same location, or would you potentially need to return home to secure similar employment? Is remote work an option in case it’s needed?
  • Moving Expenses. Take into account the expenses associated with relocating, such as hiring moving services, renting trucks, and securing temporary accommodations. Some companies provide relocation packages when employees are required to move to a different office site. These packages often include the fees for professional movers to handle the packing and unpacking of your belongings. Additionally, certain employers might cover the costs of shipping items and even storage, if needed.


7 Steps to Follow When Moving to Georgia

Relocating requires considerable effort. From organizing your belongings, assisting your children and pets through the change, to loading a moving vehicle with your possessions, the process can be quite demanding. Since there’s so much to keep up, this event calls for careful planning and preparation to guarantee a seamless shift. Here’s a comprehensive checklist that can help:

Step 1: Have a Clear Plan

TIMELINE: 8 – 10 Weeks Before Moving Day

The moving process involves more than just packing – careful preparation is a must. Begin by planning your moving day details well in advance for a smooth transition. Opt for a cost-effective moving day, such as mornings, weekdays, or off-season months.

Develop a comprehensive budget to encompass all expenses. Factor in minor costs like packing materials and tips, along with the major ones. For moves within 100 miles, anticipate around $80–100 per hour with two movers and a truck, while longer distances could range between $2,000–5,000. Evaluate whether professional movers or a DIY approach suits your situation, and explore options like partial DIY moves or rental containers.

Catalog your possessions to guide packing, maintain a dedicated moving folder for essential documents, and notify schools about the move. Additionally, ensure your furniture fits the new space by measuring both the furniture and doorways. By thoroughly addressing these aspects, you can navigate the moving process with greater ease and efficiency.

Step 2: Decide What to Purge

TIMELINE: 6 – 8 Weeks Before Moving Day

Before you begin packing, resist the urge and declutter first. Involve your family in deciding what to keep and what to donate. Consider the effort of moving an item to your new home – if it’s not worth it, let it go. For items in good condition, donate to places like Goodwill or local food banks. Keep receipts for tax deductions. Focus on decluttering common areas like the bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen, and garage. Get rid of items you haven’t used, from clothes to kitchenware, and expired products. This process gives a fresh start in your new space.

Step 3: Start Packing

TIMELINE: 3 – 6 Weeks Before Moving Day

As you’ve progressed through the moving checklist, it’s time to start packing, marking a significant milestone with about a month and a half remaining. Seek out free moving boxes from local businesses, ensuring you have ample containers. Employ clear labeling, potentially color-coding boxes by room for organization. Collect necessary moving supplies, including a dolly, furniture pads, packing materials, and sustenance like snacks and water. Begin packing items you won’t need for the next six weeks, and compile a start-up kit containing essentials for your first week in the new home.

Ease the transition for children by preparing activity boxes with age-appropriate items. Safeguard valuables and essential documents in a separate box for safekeeping during the move. Incorporate bonus packing tips, such as using Saran wrap to prevent liquid spills and photographing electronics for reassembly guidance.

Step 4: Announce Your Change of Address

TIMELINE: 2 – 3 Weeks Before Moving Day

Changing your address during a move is a necessary step to avoid mail and service disruptions. Allocate time amidst packing to notify various entities. Begin by informing utility companies about your move and scheduling service activation at your new location. Update governmental agencies such as the DMV, IRS, and voter registration office. Modify subscriptions and memberships, update health facilities, and connect with businesses like banks, cell phone providers, daycare, and insurance companies to ensure a smooth transition to your new address. This effort minimizes potential inconveniences and ensures you receive important communications at your new residence.

Step 5: Make Final Preparations

TIMELINE: 1 – 2 Weeks Before Moving Day

As moving day approaches within two weeks, it’s time to wrap up your preparations. By now, most of your moving checklist should be completed, allowing you to enjoy these final moments in your current home. Focus on tasks like preparing equipment, clearing your pantry, addressing any home improvement tasks, cleaning the house, servicing your vehicles, and emptying/defrosting your refrigerator and freezer. Completing these tasks will help you leave your current home in good condition and be well-prepared for moving to Georgia.

Step 6: Get Ready to Move

TIMELINE: Moving Day

Moving day has arrived, and your thorough preparation from this checklist pays off. Your main tasks involve welcoming and guiding movers, doing a final sweep of your old home, tipping movers, unpacking essentials, and finally, taking a well-deserved break. Your endeavors have resulted in a seamless shift to your new residence.

Step 7: Settle In

TIMELINE: 1 – 2 Weeks After Moving

Congratulations! You’ve completed our moving checklist. Now, it’s time to relax and settle into your new home. Unpack everything within two weeks, secure homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, ensure fire safety devices are functional, locate reliable professionals like mechanics and plumbers, and recycle your packing materials by donating them to fellow movers. Your well-prepared approach has eliminated any potential hiccups, allowing you to fully embrace this new chapter of your life.

Renting vs. Owning: Which option is better?

Deciding to buy or rent is a big choice that affects your finances, lifestyle, and personal aspirations. Your decision depends on how much money you have and how you want to live. Both choices need you to have a job to pay for things. But renting and owning a home are really different. Renting means you don’t have to worry about all the stuff that comes with owning. You can also move more easily. However, owning a home grants you the power to make it look how you want and pick the design, get a sense of stability and pride of ownership, along with financial benefits like tax deductions and equity.

Traditionally, people believed that renting was more affordable than buying, leaving extra money for savings. Yet, this isn’t always true anymore. Changing property markets can make buying cheaper than renting in some places, plus it can increase your personal wealth. If you’re having second thoughts about owning a home, our Georgia Realtors can help you understand the market and find a home that aligns perfectly with your goals and budget.

Moving to Georgia FAQs

Is it expensive to live in Georgia?

Georgia is far from being expensive. The cost of living here is quite affordable. Both housing expenses and rental costs are well below the national average. Furthermore, the state’s economy is thriving.

How much should I earn if I want to live comfortably in Georgia?

In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA metropolitan area, homeowners spent an average of $66,620 per year during the 2020-21 period, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. From this data, it’s safe to say that an annual income of $80,000 to $100,000 would ensure a comfortable lifestyle in Atlanta.

What jobs pay the most in Georgia?

In Georgia, the top earners are Finance Services Directors, with the subsequent roles also commanding high salaries:

  • Primary Care Pediatrician
  • Medical Director
  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Senior Vice President, Sales
  • Board Certified Orthodontist
  • Pain Management Physician
  • Associate Medical Director
  • Primary Care Physician
  • Acute Care Physician


Find Your Perfect Home Without Hassle

Don’t let the challenges of moving to Georgia prevent you from discovering a new home that perfectly suits you and your family. With our trusted Hummel Group Realtors, you can feel confident you’re collaborating with a Realtor who is well-versed in the local market of Metro Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia.

Our Realtors are committed to helping you uncover your ideal home. They understand the potential stress of buying a house and will lead you through the process, ensuring you make a wise investment that matches your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

Contact us now to start the journey.