Relocate With Ease

By: Jake Marsh

Are you thinking of relocating to a new city? Maybe you've been transferred at work, starting a new degree or maybe you're just looking for a change of scenery. Although it's not an easy decision, relocating can be an exciting opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to expand your horizons. With a little research and some effort on your part, you can begin your new life with confidence.

Begin by researching your new area online. A basic search online should turn up lots of information, and you can get more specific as you hunt for detailed information. You may find useful tourist-focused sites that will give a general overview of your new location. Subscribe to the local newspaper for a few months before you move - it should help you get a feeling for local politics, organizations and cultural activities.

Find a realtor - they may be able to useful provide a relocation package. Talk to you realtor about what you're looking for in your new home. You should have a fairly good idea of your price range, and what kind of home you want (i.e. square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms, etc.). Check out some listings online, but don't get too attached to anything before you visit the new community. Get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know exactly where you stand financially and you're ready to make an offer when you find the right place.

When you first arrive focus your efforts on getting to know the area. Drive around, sample local eateries, visit parks and recreational areas. Where will you be working? Is there a particular school you want to send your kids to? Visit the neighborhoods near these places and get a feel for the atmosphere and amenities. This is important, because a seemingly perfect house won't be perfect if you choose the wrong neighborhood.

Once you've settled on an area, your realtor will be able to filter the listings based on the criteria that you provided him/her before arriving and you can then get on with finding the right property for your needs.

Remember, relocating to the new area will be emotional. Expect some stress and find productive ways to work it out - visit the gym, keep a journal, etc. Stay in regular contact with friends and family back home - having a support network to talk to will help you transition better.

Begin building a social network in your new town. When you notify your friends and acquaintances of the move and your new address, ask them if they've ever visited your new location, or if they know anyone in the area. They may be able to give you the numbers/email addresses of contacts or suggestions of things they've enjoyed in the area.

If you are involved with an organization, group or church in your current town check to see if they have an affiliated group in your new location. When you arrive, take a class, join a club or volunteer. Remember to give your self time to adjust - it may take a while to feel comfortable in your new surrounding. Don't give up too soon!

Don't be shy about inviting people to spend time with you. Ask new acquaintances to play a round of golf go to the lake or see a movie. Introduce yourself to your new neighbors and invite them for coffee. Host a monthly dinner party or potluck. Find a doctor, dentist, vet and other professionals. Ask for suggestions from your new acquaintances. Soon you'll find yourself so immersed in your new community that you won't remember when it didn't feel like home!

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