Relocating to a new community can be an exciting new adventure, from planning the journey to settling into a new home. But the process entails far more than just packing a moving truck. There are plenty of pitfalls awaiting the unprepared. To avoid these frustrations, formulate a plan to address these critical issues.
If you are transferring with your current employer, make sure you are aware of all the company services available to you for relocating. Carefully review any relocation package offered to you. Are there also employment opportunities for a working spouse or domestic partner? If you are active in a church or social organization, check to see if there is a branch in your destination community. Do that same investigation for all family members. Transitioning will be much easier if there are friendly faces when you arrive.
Research The Cost Of Living
This is particularly critical when you consider housing. If the cost of living is considerably higher than your current community, you may need to lower your expectations in that regard. You may need to find a more modest home than you have enjoyed in the past, or you may have to consider a longer commute. Sometimes you can get more bang for your buck when you are willing to drive a little further to work.
Arrange For Temporary Housing
If you are working with a realtor to find a new home, you may also find assistance with a rental property during the search. It’s important to know the customary expectations of landlords well in advance as well. Don’t assume that renting in your new city will follow the same practices as the one you are leaving. Deposits and commitments vary widely. In areas with housing shortages, you may find yourself bidding against other prospective renters. If you can make an advance trip to make these arrangements, you will save yourself many headaches after you arrive. Many people jump into purchasing a new home before they get to know the community, only to wish later that they had waited awhile. Until you know where you want to be, renting will probably be the best option. Avoid a lease or other long term commitment.
Investigate Educational Opportunities
Whether you have children in school or just want to take the occasional class yourself, this can be an important consideration. Community colleges and universities are relatively easy to research, but school districts are a bit more complicated. You can begin with GreatSchools to learn the basics about schools in the neighborhood your are considering. By entering the zip code, you will obtain a list of both public and private schools. Each school will have a score from one to ten based on several factors, such as test scores and equity.
Get To Know Your New Environment
If you haven’t had the opportunity to fully explore your new community before the move, be sure to make time for it after you arrive. Explore the neighborhoods. Check out the entertainment opportunities, including the outdoors. Go sightseeing. Make sure you know all of the best things your new location has to offer.
Make Relocating An Inclusive Process
Everyone in the home is going to be affected by relocating, so everyone should be included in the decision-making process. Of course, children will not have the same degree of input as a spouse, but even very young children should be included in exploration, looking at the parks and playgrounds and the schools they will be attending. Transition to a new community is much easier for everyone when they know their feelings were considered. Make relocating a family affair.