Module 3: Is Moving Right for You? — Making the decision to move

Making the decision to move 

In an ideal situation, moving to a new place increases a person’s housing security. But in some cases, the decision to move can lead to more insecurity. If it’s not an emergency, make sure that moving is the right thing to do for you. If you have time, try these tips:

Think it through. Sometimes people jump at the chance to change a situation, but it’s a really good idea to take at least 24 hours to think.

    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of moving, not just in the short term but six months down the road?
    • What are the financial, social, and health impacts of moving?
    • What will you miss if you move? What will change if you move?
    • Are you emotionally and mentally able to deal with moving right now?
    • Will moving help meet more of your needs?

Make a list of your costs. Finances are important. Try to calculate your costs to make sure you can afford a new place.

    • Make a list of what you spend money on each month. Be honest—no one needs to see it but you.
    • If the rent at the new place is higher, or it will come with additional costs (e.g., new accounts for utilities, fees to transfer utility accounts, laundry fees), what can you realistically cut from your current budget to be able to afford it?

Decide if you need a roommate. Sometimes people choose to have a roommate because they prefer to not live alone or they want to save money.

    • Remember, living with family members is helpful for some people, but for others, family relationships create challenges.
    • If you want to find a roommate, you can try posting online on sites like Craigslist and Facebook groups.
    • Community organizations may also be able to help you connect with possible roommates.

Talk honestly with a potential roommate. If you plan to live with a roommate, it’s important to have an honest discussion about your needs and lifestyle before you move in together.

    • Check for compatibility—for instance, if one of you likes to have guests over, and one of you prefers a quiet home, you may not be a good match.
    • It can be useful to make a roommate agreement that includes house rules and how the rent will be paid to make sure you’re all on the same page. RentSmart has a guide for living with roommates, as well as examples of roommate agreement forms.
    • You are not obligated to tell a roommate that you have HIV. but it’s a good idea to consider what might happen if they were to find out, and develop a plan for that possibility.

Consider the physical demands of moving. Sometimes moving things from one place into another is more work than people expect.

    • Think about everything you’ll need to move to your new place—maybe it’s just a couple bags of clothing and some kitchenware, or maybe you also have large furniture.
    • Then think about how you’ll be able to move these things. Are you physically able to move your belongings? Will you need people to help? Will you need access to a vehicle?
    • If you are leaving a rental unit, you may also be responsible for cleaning and clearing it before you go (if you don’t, you could lose your damage deposit).