This post will be the first of a series on ways to prepare for a relocation. Whether you’re being uprooted for work, family or any other reason, let us be your “go-to” on facilitating the whole process! We’ll begin by breaking up relocation into a timeline week-by-week, with some very general suggestions that will make each step feel less overwhelming. The first topics we’ll address are the Research Process, and Finding Your New Community.
Completing this first step properly is integral. Luckily, in this day and age, there is an endless amount of information at your finger tips. Even if your relocation is to a specifically assigned area, these tips will still apply. Here are a few ways to structure your research process:
Think of the things on which you absolutely won’t compromise. Think—school districts, taxes, amenities, commute, etc. Sometimes those things come with a different price tag than we expect, so make sure to formulate the most accurate budget possible when taking these factors into consideration. Consulting with an expert on the area to find out what is right for you is a great place to start, and will help narrow down your options to find the perfect new home.
Pretend You’re a Local
Learn as much as possible through immersion, especially if you’re not at the “visiting stage” yet. Join local Facebook pages and online forums for information on upcoming news and events. For a more authentic community feel, talk to as many people from the area as you can while they’re just out and about. Let them know you’re thinking of moving there, and they’ll be likely to tell you honestly about their experiences. Government and Chamber of Commerce sites can also be a great resource.
Get to Know the Finer Points
Do your due diligence, so-to-speak, when it comes to restaurants, grocery stores, area attractions, etc. You may find a community you thought was perfect is nowhere near a store you can’t live without! Also check the weather. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s amazing how the climate can change within a few miles, let alone a cross-country move. The Weather Channel online offers great 60-second forecasts and year-round weather data for almost anywhere you can think of!
Finding Your Neighborhood
So you’ve done your research, talked to an expert, and you’ve found the general area you’ll be moving to. The next step is narrowing down a neighborhood that meets the criteria of what you researched above!
Visit, Visit, Visit!
If possible, try to get there in person, but online virtual tours work too! When you’re visiting take a look around for things you’ve liked and disliked about past neighborhoods you’ve been in. Do you admire pristine landscaping? Are you keen on peace and quiet? Does on-street parking really set you off? Keep an eye out for the details important to you, because chances are if they are not up-to-par when you’re visiting on a random afternoon, they rarely will be. If you can’t make the trip in person, Google Maps “Street View” is a great way to pre-explore your destination.
The Info Search Continues
Your initial research should have given you a good idea of what the general region is like, but to find a specific house that will meet all of your specifications you’ll want to dig a little deeper. Use sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc. to refine your searches by number of rooms, yard space, etc. Make sure to take into account exact distances from local highways, hospitals, work, school and other important locations. Even the smallest extra mileage can really add up if you take frequent trips, so monitoring traffic patterns can be very helpful. Take the time to do this and you’ll be led to something wonderful!
It can’t hurt to keep all of your new home data in a spreadsheet or some type of journal. Seeing side-by-side comparisons of all your “candidates” will not only help speed up your decision process, but it will ensure that you’re not leaving any options out.
Still have questions and concerns about your relocation process? Let us know what you’d like to learn about. Stay tuned for more posts on settling into your new home, becoming active in your community, relocation success stories, and more!