Cost of living -

7 Things to know and do before moving to Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States. It is also known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This state is located on the East Coast. Massachusetts is famous for its rich history, some of the world’s best seafood and exceptional education.

It has some of the best colleges and universities, a thriving economy, and a diverse culture. In addition to this, Massachusetts has beautiful beaches and outdoor activities. Whether you’re somewhere around Boston or at any other place, you’ll find a lot of fun things to do.

So, if you are considering moving to Massachusetts, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Massachusetts of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Massachusetts.

Moving to Massachusetts: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Massachusetts

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Massachusetts, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Massachusetts, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Massachusetts? Take a look at our selection of:

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Massachusetts had an unemployment rate of 2.6%, which decreased from 3.1% in April 2023.

Jobs that are often in high demand are grocery clerk, medical director, and demand planner.

Finding a job in Massachusetts is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Massachusetts from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Massachusetts. Book a flight from your departure city to Boston Logan International Airport, depending on your destination within Massachusetts.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Massachusetts cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Massachusetts may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you are moving to Massachusetts permanently, and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.
  • Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Massachusetts, selling or donating the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. You can sell your old household items and personal possessions, and anything that will not be useful. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in Massachusetts, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a non-profit organization.

2. Upon your arrival in Massachusetts

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

You can easily get around in Massachusetts. There are several options available. 

  • MBTA – You can use their services and travel via bus, subway, light rail, and ferry.
  • The Ride – It’s a shared-ride transportation to which people are not able to travel via bus, subway, or trolley.

Exchanging your driver’s license

Once you move to Massachusetts and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license as soon as possible. There is no grace period provided as per the law. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to visit your local MA RMV office in person with the required documents. You will also have to surrender your out-of-state license. You can also book an appointment online ahead of time to avoid wait times at the RMV.

Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Massachusetts, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle with RMV within 30 days. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. To get your car registered in Massachusetts:

Bring your vehicle title, bring proof of insurance, bring odometer disclosure statements, and pay registration fees at your local RMV office. You can expect your license plates and car registration process to complete immediately. Your new title will arrive within 10 days.

Complete a vehicle inspection within 7 days of your registration. You can visit the Car Registration Page to check out all the documentation requirements and details.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Massachusetts, like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Massachusetts, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person. 

To register by mail, you need to fill out the Massachusetts Official Mail-In Voter Registration Form and mail it to your town election office. You can register to vote in person at a local MA election office.

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

Obtaining a bank account in Massachusetts is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Massachusetts for easy access is Citizens Bank. Massachusetts’s residents has access to a whopping 196 branches of Citizens Bank in the state.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of Massachusetts proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Massachusetts as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare


Employer-sponsored health insurance


Non-employer-sponsored health insurance




Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Massachusetts

Best places to live in Massachusetts

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Brookline. It offers a suburban feel, a thriving nightlife, a diverse culture, and a lot of amenities.

If you are a family, you might want to consider Wayland. Wayland offers good housing facilities, some highly rated public schools, and it’s a suitable place to raise a family. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Cambridge. Cambridge is home to Harvard University and a lot of great educational institutes. This is the reason a lot of young professionals live here. In addition to this, Cambridge offers a lot of amenities.

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, and internet in Massachusetts is a straightforward process. 

  • Department of Public Utilities, is the responsible for investor-owned electric power, natural gas, and water companies in Massachusetts. You can visit their website and search for electricity, water, and gas providers and even reach out to them if you have any inquiry. 
  • The best internet providers in Massachusetts will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.

Should you rent or buy?

The average Massachusetts home value is $590,852, increased by 4.3% from 2022. Massachusetts’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $661.99.

Finding an apartment for rent in Massachusetts is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Massachusetts.

Cost of rent in Massachusetts


1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

City of Boston (Outside of Center)



Cost of buying a property in Massachusetts


Average home price 

City of Boston


Numbeo (Oct 2023)Zillow (Oct 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

Getting home insurance is essential, whichever state you are residing in. It is a financial protection that will cover for your expenses if a natural disaster damages your home. Residents in Massachusetts are at a risk of earthquakes and experience some other natural disasters such as coastal erosion, flooding, and an occasional nuisance landslide.

4. Cost of living in Massachusetts


Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list ($76.87 multiplied by 4)



Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage


Internet with 60 Mbps


Transit pass



Meal, taxi, movie


Gym membership 




Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Massachusetts

On average, there are 197 sunny days per year in Massachusetts. The highest temperature in Summers is 82° and the Winter low is 16 degrees. Massachusetts averages 47 inches of snow per year and 49 inches of rain. Massachusetts has one of the loveliest summers and fall seasons in the nation. 

The residents of Massachusetts enjoy mild summers (you don’t have to worry about sweating in the sun as you step outside). In addition to this, Massachusetts is famous for having a breathtaking fall season. It’s colorful and mesmerizing. On the other hand, winters can be harsh.

6. What to do as a local in Massachusetts

After you are done settling into your new home in Massachusetts, you will want to familiarize yourself with the state and all its attractions. Some of the most popular activities and locations in Massachusetts include:

Harvard tour: Take a tour of the popular Harvard University and see where it all began for some of the most influential people today.

Cape Cod National Seashore – You can do a lot of activities here such as hiking, swimming, surfing, riding a bike and much more.

Mohawk Trail – Here you can enjoy the scenic route and take part in various recreational activities.

Museum of Fine Arts – A must-visit place. It’s the 14th largest museum in the world.

Some common grocery stores in Massachusetts are: Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, & MayFair Foods.

The two most popular big chain stores are Walmart and Costco.

Must-visit food places in Massachusetts are The Daily Catch and Red Rock Grill & Bar.

Visit the popular cities in Massachusetts: Boston, Cambridge, Springfield, and Worcester.

7. Fun facts about Massachusetts

  • Fun Fact #1: The first post office in the US opened in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Fun Fact #2: The first college for higher education was founded in Massachusetts (Harvard University).
  • Fun Fact #3: The first subway in the US was also built in Boston, Massachusetts.


Massachusetts is home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities and colleges, including Harvard, MIT, and Boston University. If you value a quality education, this state offers top-tier options. The state offers a great and diverse economy, there are ample job opportunities, particularly in the greater Boston area.

While moving to Massachusetts has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably in this city and call it home. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Massachusetts is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Massachusetts. 


Widgets Magazine


Widgets Magazine

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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