Cross-Country Move Considerations: The Northeast


A Region Rich In History and Culture

Whether it’s the old world charm of New England, the bustling cities of New York and Philadelphia, or the formal mindset of Washington DC, the Northeast has different vibes to suit everyone’s preferences. Even the weather can be counted on to change expectedly throughout the year: winter brings along the snow, summer provides plenty of heat, and spring and autumn nicely transition everything in between. The diversity of the region can require some adaptation though, so here are some things you should know before you make the move. SEE ALSO: Cross-Country Move Considerations: The Southwest

The Culture

Considering the original 13 colonies of the United States are all located in that part of the country, the Northeast is steeped in both history and culture. Because the first European settlers settled in what is now Massachusetts, much of the surrounding areas played an important role in establishing the foundation of the country. This plays out distinctively in Northeast culture, whose features include:
  • High emphasis in education: home to the country’s oldest institutions of higher learning, and boasting many of the top ranking universities, don’t be surprised if one of the first questions someone asks you is, “So, where did you go to school?”
  • Liberal outlook: according to Forbes, six of the top 10 most liberal U.S. cities are in the Northeast, with many of its states being first to legalize same-sex marriage. The progressive region is also accepting of the highest percentage of many religious groups in the nation, including Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists.
  • Uninhibited attitude: New York, DC, and Boston are often seen as global, economic, and cultural power players, which can be seen through the bold, unrestrained attitude usually associated with people from those cities. In fact, the New York Daily News revealed that people in the Northwest tend to be more uninhibited and temperamental. So, don’t take it too personally if someone is rude or in your face. That’s just how they are.
  • Mindful of the land: even with many highly populated cities dotting the region, a majority of the Northeast consists of undeveloped land. Because of strict, highly funded land conservation and protection programs, you’ll be able to enjoy the millions of acres of naturally beautiful landscapes with the knowledge that they’ll always be there.

The Cost

  • Average cost of gas for New York: $3.47 (US average: $3.38)
  • Average cost of bread for New York: $2.67 (US: $1.42)
  • Average cost of milk for New York: $2.37 (US: $3.86)
  • Average cost of energy for New York : $0.198 per KWH (US: $0.134)
The Northeast is known for having well-established cities, prominent universities, highly paid salaries, top healthcare establishments, and a stable job market. So, it’s no wonder its taxes, cost of living, and housing market are often the highest in the country. In New York, for example, you’ll likely be paying around $1,475 per square foot for a home, while the national average is $119. With all the convenient amenities available though, paying more for your comforts can balance out in the end. However, if you’re worried about your budget, there are always cost saving alternatives. For one, you can take advantage of the public transportation system to avoid paying for a car, gas, and auto insurance. Also, try avoiding those fancy, world-renowned restaurants and popular tourist spots, and cook at home instead.


Like many other things in the Northeast, you will be paying more for your utilities on top of everything else. A big reason for that is the shifting weather mentioned earlier. Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home throughout the year will cost you. But again, you get what you pay for. Comfort and convenience come at a price, which is likely why all the richest Americans live in the Northeast (TIME). SEE ALSO: 5 Red Flags That Indicate A Moving Scam

What You’ll Need

Living in the Northeast requires a certain mindset as well as other necessities to make the experience worthwhile. Here’s what you’ll need if you plan on moving there:
  • A full wardrobe to dress comfortably throughout all four seasons.
  • A thick-skinned attitude so all the rude comments and unfriendly gestures just roll off your back.
  • An open mind to appreciate and accept all the history, diversity, and culture the region has to offer.
  • A big bank account, because, honestly, you’re going to need it.
From the outside looking in, the high cost of living in the Northeast might not seem worth it. But with a steady job, creative budgeting, and positive attitude, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the benefits and luxuries of living there, and soon be proud to call that part of the country home.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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