How to Move to Another State Without a Job

By Meela Imperato
How to Move to Another State Without a Job

Is a new state or new city calling your name? Maybe you want to move to be closer to friends, family, or a significant other in San Francisco. Or maybe you’re simply in the mood for a fresh start in New York City. No matter your reasons, relocating to a new city in a new state can breathe a sense of adventure and welcome change into your life. 

If you’re eager to make your move, you may not want to wait around to get a new job offer lined up first. Luckily, with the right preparation, you don’t have to rely on an employee relocation package for your big move. 

If you’re wondering how to move to another state without a job or a new job offer, you’re in the right place. Below, we’ll break down the process step by step. 

Understand Your Options

Before you book a plane ticket or hit the open road, it’s important to review your options and know the pros and cons of relocating for a job before committing to anything. A little planning before your move can go a long way. 

For instance, you’ll want to:

#1 Evaluate Your Moving Costs

Moving in the United States can be expensive. One of the first tips for moving out of state you should consider is preparing your finances. Thus, it’s a good idea to calculate how much everything will cost (and round up) before you make any big decisions.

Some expenses to factor into your moving budget may include:

  • Transportation to your new state
  • Packing supplies
  • Professional movers or a rental truck
  • Temporary housing or accommodations
  • Storage facilities in your new state

#2 Consider Different Sources of Income

While you don’t have to move with a secure job ready to go, it’s still helpful to have income streams in mind for when you arrive. 

If you’ve been saving diligently for some time, you may be able to sustain yourself for a while without work. If not, you can supplement your income with:

  • Gig work – The gig economy offers many interesting income opportunities for people settling into a new state. For example, you can work as a ride-share driver or food delivery person. While these jobs may not be something you want to do forever, they can keep you afloat as you submit other job applications.
  • Freelance work – If you’re a skilled writer, graphic designer, marketer, translator, or IT expert, you may be able to secure some freelance work while you make your move.
  • Part-time work – Lastly, you can apply for a few entry-level, part-time jobs as soon as you get to your new state. Their financial support can propel you along as you search for your ideal position.

#3 Consider Becoming a Remote Worker

These days, more companies are offering remote work than ever before. In fact, over 25% of jobs are remote in 2023.1 For people looking to explore new places, remote work can be a worthwhile option, and there are many benefits that remote workers enjoy.

If you already have a job you love, you can ask your current employer if they’d be willing to let you work remotely. If not, you can offer to do as many tasks for them as you can online until they find an in-person replacement. 

Develop Your Moving Strategy

Once you have some potential income ideas in mind, you can start working out the logistics of your housing situation. 

First, you’ll want to start looking for places to stay once you arrive in your new state, whether that’s a friend’s couch, an apartment, or a forever home you want to purchase. 

You’ll also need to figure out what to do with your current home. If it’s a rental, you may want to wait for your lease to end before moving. Otherwise, you may have to pay a lease-breaking fee. If you own your home, you can rent it out or list it for sale.

Selling Your Current Home

If you decide to sell your home, you can do so the traditional way or by enrolling in a residential sale-leaseback program:

  • Traditional home sale – A traditional home sale takes place when you list your home on the market. To prepare your home for potential buyers, you may need to spruce up your yard, declutter your belongings, make key repairs, hire a realtor, take professional photos, and host open houses.

    Selling your home this way may get you the most money, but it can also take a lot of time and energy. What’s more, it may delay your move if your home sits on the market for a long time—so plan for the extra time accordingly if you choose this option.
  • Sale-leaseback program – A residential sale-leaseback program allows you to sell your home to a cash buyer with no contingencies. In turn, you don’t need to go through the work of preparing your home for online listings and in-person showings.

    Selling your house due to job relocation can be complicated. But once you’ve sold your house, you can continue living in it as a renter for as long as you need, up to a predetermined date. As a result, you can schedule your big move for a time that works best for your schedule, rather than planning it around the sale of your home. 

Find the Right Housing Option

If you’re moving to a new state, you may want to rent for a while before making an offer on a new home. This way, you can get a feel for a few neighborhoods and learn about the local housing market. 

If you already have an idea of where you want to live permanently, you can go ahead and purchase a home in your new state. Find a highly-rated local realtor to guide you through the process. 

How Do I Find a Place to Live Without a Job?

Qualifying for a new lease or mortgage can be tough if you don’t have a job or an employee relocation package. Most landlords and lenders prefer working with people who have steady employment and reliable incomes.

Fortunately, there are ways you can work around your temporary lack of employment while you take care of your job search. For instance, you can:

  • Couch surf for a few weeks – As you search for a job, you may be able to stay with a friend or family member until you land the perfect role to add to your resume and housing applications.
  • Use your ample savings to sway landlords – Some landlords may be willing to give you a chance if you can prove that you have several months of living expenses saved up. It also helps to have fantastic references, a good credit score, and a co-signer or guarantor.
  • Move in with a roommate – If you sublease a spare room in someone else’s rental, you may be able to circumvent the strict requirements of a traditional landlord. You can find short-term, spare room rentals on Facebook and other online platforms.
  • Pay for your new home in cash – If you purchase a home using cash, you don’t need to worry about qualifying for a mortgage. Selling your home before you move can give you the cash you need to take advantage of this option. 

Understand Potential Financial Obstacles

It’s important to be clear-eyed about the potential financial challenges you might encounter if choosing to move to a different state without a job. For example, you may need to dip into savings to pay for medical emergencies, costly auto repairs, or veterinarian care for the pets coming along with you. 

The best way to prepare for these challenges is to pad your savings with funds reserved only for these and other worst-case scenarios. That way, you can avoid finding yourself in a bind far from a familiar place.

Create an Emergency Fund

Without steady money coming in, having an emergency fund can make all of the difference to your financial security and peace of mind. As we mentioned earlier, it may also make it easier to get approved for a lease.

If you can, try to save up around three to six months of living expenses before you move. This healthy nest egg can take a lot of the stress out of your transition.

Get Settled

Once you’ve arrived in your new state, your new chapter can finally begin! As you settle in, you’ll want to follow these three steps: 

First and foremost, you must establish legal residency in your new state. Doing so will allow you to:

  • Vote
  • Pay taxes
  • Register your vehicle
  • Update your driver’s license
  • Enjoy in-state college tuition if you plan to attend school

To complete this process, update your mailing address with the USPS, your utility and insurance providers, your financial institutions, and the IRS (use Form 8822).2 You should also register to vote and apply for a new driver’s license at your local DMV. 

#2 Develop Your Social Network

Next, you can start forming new friendships in your community. While this process may take some time, you can expedite it by:

  • Attending community events
  • Taking up some group-oriented hobbies
  • Volunteering with community organizations
  • Networking with professionals in your industry
  • Chatting with people while you’re out and about

Once you land your first job, you may also form rewarding friendships with some of your coworkers. 

#3 Explore the Local Community

Lastly, you can get to know your new town and explore everything it has to offer. While you may need to stick to a budget until you find full-time employment, you can still:

  • Window shop at local stores
  • Grab a coffee at a cafe while you submit job applications
  • Visit different grocery stores each week to get a lay of the land
  • Ask new friends about must-see local landmarks

Make the Move Easy with a Sale-Leaseback

As you can see, moving to a new state without a job is possible, especially if you have some money saved up. One of the easiest ways to pad your savings account before moving is by participating in a residential sale-leaseback program. 

After converting your home equity into cash, you can time your move to best suit your schedule. You can then use the proceeds from your home’s sale to pay for your moving expenses and kickstart your new chapter with a sense of financial freedom.

Key Takeaways

Moving to a new state without a job may be intimidating, but it can be done with careful preparation. Begin by understanding your options and evaluating moving costs. Consider becoming a remote worker, and create a moving strategy with the necessary steps for selling your current home and finding the right housing option for you. Once you’ve established your budget, build an emergency fund and make sure to comply with the legal requirements in your new location. Once you’re settled in, start exploring the local community and building your social network to get comfortable in your new home. For an easier transition, consider taking advantage of a sale-leaseback as a helpful way to finance your move.


  1. Forbes. Remote Work Is Here To Stay And Will Increase Into 2023, Experts Say.
  2. IRS. Form 8822.
Written by Meela Imperato
Senior Director of Brand and Content, Real Estate & Finance Journalist

This article is published for educational and informational purposes only. This article is not offered as advice and should not be relied on as such. This content is based on research and/or other relevant articles and contains trusted sources, but does not express the concerns of EasyKnock. Our goal at EasyKnock is to provide readers with up-to-date and objective resources on real estate and mortgage-related topics. Our content is written by experienced contributors in the finance and real-estate space and all articles undergo an in-depth review process. EasyKnock is not a debt collector, a collection agency, nor a credit counseling service company.