Guest Blogger: Travel, Monica Smith
This year I am intentionally welcoming guest bloggers to share their expertise within their industry on our platform; I am so honored to have our first guest blogger Monica Smith discuss the challenge of living/working in two states.
Overcome the Challenges of Living and Working in Two States
If you opened up a new branch of your business or you’re starting a new company
in another state, you may be spending more time and money than you care to admit bouncing back between the two. Hotels are expensive, and gas isn’t cheap either. One solution is to purchase a home close to your second headquarters so that you can be there when you need to without spending $200 or $300 per night in a hotel. Today, I want to share some tips to help you overcome the challenges associated with dual homeownership.
Thinking Long Term
One big decision you’ll face regarding your living situation is whether or not you want to rent or buy. Each option has pros and cons, especially since it might not be financially feasible to own two houses in two different states – but it also doesn’t make sense to own a home in one state if you plan on spending most of your time in another.
If you own a home but don’t anticipate staying there, one option you could consider is renting it out – in which case, you might want to look into hiring a property manager to assist you since you’ll already have a lot on your plate.
One of the first things you should do if you’re planning to buy a home out-of-state is to see what’s available and find a local real estate agent. By having a local agent on your side, you’ll have insights into your new hometown so that you can make a more thoughtful buying decision based on cost, commute time, and other factors important to you.
Choose a Registered Agent
When you have an official business structure in place, you’ll want to ensure that you have a registered agent in both locations. But what does this mean? A registered agent is simply someone who receives information and makes decisions on your behalf. You can designate one as part of filing an LLC in New York. This will work to ensure that it's “business as usual” even when you are on the road or bunking at your second home for months on end.
Use Cloud Services
While dreaming of your second location, you had your head in the clouds. Now, it’s time to put your business there as well. The cloud is a catch-all term for subscription services and software you can use to run your business. You might, for example, use Google Docs or RedBooth to collaborate with your employees and customers.
Spend Your Money Wisely
When you have two homes, you have two sets of bills. There’s no way around this, but there are a few that you can consolidate, and there are many other ways to save money instead of spending your profits. One example is to purchase your healthcare or vehicle insurance along with your vehicle registration in the state with the lowest costs. Another idea is to keep a watchful eye on each property when you are not there. For this, consider investing in a home security camera, which This Old House asserts will help you keep an eye on your home all day. Take the time to research all products you buy for each home to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth; look for unbiased reviews that offer detailed information on the products you plan to buy.
Understand That Prices Vary From State to State
New York has a relatively high cost of living compared to the national average. Be prepared for pricing on everyday goods and services to change dramatically, depending on where your second address is. A few typical costs to keep in mind include the following:
Hotels in the New York City area can quickly become prohibitively expensive. Consider staying in a private rental with all the comforts of home.
Looking for infant care in Nashville? Get ready to shell out around $933 per month or more.
When you buy a home in Dallas, you’ll pay around $140 per hour for a skilled plumber to come in and fix line breakages or other plumbing issues.
Choose Maryland if you don’t have insurance and want relatively low healthcare costs. The average ER visit in this state is just $623.
There are many more challenges we haven’t covered, but saving money, working remotely, reviewing products you buy, and having a registered agent at the ready are just a few innovative ways to sidestep many significant hurdles. Most importantly, don’t forget to partner with a real estate agent who knows your future hometown to get a fantastic home that works with your work schedule.
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