With success and a desire to travel, many professionals wind up living across multiple states. Though there are countless perks to having multiple home bases, complications can arise.
For business executives on the move, Amelia Island real estate professional Jason Mudd recommends these best practices.
1. Prioritize organization across home and business
Even if your company is in one location and it’s just you who travels across state lines, organization is essential. Keep personal and company documents secure and accessible; you never know when you might need a legal document or record.
The easiest way to ensure access (and security) is to digitize your documents. Depending on the type of documents you need to store, review options like data encryption, password protection, and external hard drive storage.
You can even purchase locks for USB drives – adding a layer of physical security to digital storage. Or, lock your digital data in a physical safe or secure travel container.
2. Hire a registered agent to keep your company covered
Owning homes across multiple states involves extra paperwork and costs, and company ownership adds complications, too. Especially if you travel frequently between properties, keeping your company running becomes more difficult.
One way to reduce risk and avoid bottlenecks is to establish a registered agent. A registered agent acts on your behalf for specific scenarios, processes, and decisions.
That way, your company continues operating in your absence, even if serious issues like lawsuits or tax problems crop up.
3. Compare state costs before serious purchases
Expenses add up when you’re maintaining two homes and running a company. Before making significant personal or company purchases, research which state has the most favorable pricing structure.
Big-ticket financial items like car insurance might be cheaper in one state versus another. Research the residency laws in your area, then shop around for insurance if possible.
Tax obligations vary by state, and how much time you spend in each state also impacts your cost savings. For example, property taxes are highest in New Jersey, per Yahoo Finance.
Your home budget may not stretch as far depending on where you purchase a second property, so shop carefully if you’re new to multi-state living.
4. Practice safety and security at home (in both places)
Maintaining a household in multiple states requires organization and planning. Namely, you want to keep your family and belongings safe no matter where you reside.
Consumer Affairs recommends security steps for new homes like replacing locks, installing a security camera system, and making a safety plan for family members.
But safety goes beyond locks and cameras; household hazards can also pose a risk to your family. Check for household dangers like fall hazards, unsecured cleaning and pesticide substances, and fire risks. Also, check smoke alarm batteries, and add carbon monoxide detectors if your home doesn’t have them.
Be cautious when buying into nonessential “safety” products, though. An unbiased source will offer the most honest reviews, so research thoroughly before committing.
Average costs across the U.S.
Costs for household services can vary widely depending on your state and city. Here are some example costs for common expenses.
- Child care in San Diego costs an average of $1,412 per month.
- Finding San Antonio storage units is affordable; prices start at around $40.
- Energy bills in Fernandina Beach, Florida, average about $180 per month.
- Gardening services in Jacksonville, Florida, start at $25 per hour.
- Car insurance is cheapest nationwide in Maine at $865 per year.
Living in separate states presents unique challenges and opportunities. Steps like bringing on a registered agent and securing each of your homes offer peace of mind while you enjoy multi-state living and keep your company running smoothly.
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