Good planning and a detailed checklist will take some of the stress out of relocating whether it is just you or an entire family. As you investigate your options, think about what you are and are not willing to give up. Know what you can do without. And call on the wisdom and knowledge of a local realtor to narrow down possible areas instead of taking an overwhelming, whirl-wind trip to the area.
Here are some other things to consider.
The New Area
· Affordability is key. Cost-of-living realities are unavoidable. If choice is involved, don’t move to a new location that requires you to financially extend yourself from day one.
· Understand your commute realities and the related costs.
· Understand the traffic not only in regards to your commute, but local traffic as well.
· Research public transportation options.
· Research amenities – restaurants, recreational activities, shopping, churches.
· Research service and social clubs.
· Understand local costs of groceries, gas, utilities, etc.
· Understand the state and local tax burdens, especially the property tax rate.
· Research crime rates and statistics.
· Know where hospitals, police and fire stations are located.
· Research quality health care - human providers and veterinarians.
· Is a climate change involved? Understand how different weather will impact clothing and vehicle needs, outdoor activities, etc.
· Work with a realtor to understand real estate value in the area.
When Moving with Kids
· Tell your children as soon as possible about the move. Provide them with opportunities to say goodbye to friends and establish channels of communication for after the move.
· Research area schools and believe the reports and statistics provided.
· Is there school choice? How are they organized?
· Is there busing?
· Have your children tour their new school if possible and appropriate.
· Research local sports clubs or other interests important to your children.
The Actual Move
· Hire a reputable moving company. Ask people for a recommendation and check online reviews and ratings. Make sure they are properly insured and licensed with the Department of Transportation. Contact three to four companies for quotes and to get a feel for who you would be working with.
· Pack all important documents separately and keep them with you.
· Keep family heirloom and irreplaceable items packed separately and with you whether driving or flying.
· Pack slowly and steadily instead of trying to do the entire house at one time.
· Use the move as an opportunity to thin things out. Sell extra furniture, donate unneeded clothes, gift knick-knacks that are fabulous but not move-worthy.
· Don’t forget to decide what will happen to any indoor plants you might have!
· Label all boxes clearly and in detail.
· Prepare “Open Me First” boxes with essentials for the first few days in your new home.
· Include in your moving plan arrangements for moving your pets.
The Other Stuff
· Submit an address change to the USPS and have your mail forwarded.
· Notify utility companies associated with your new house of the “start” date and current companies of your “end” date.
· Send out a change of address card to friends and families (if you’d like to be found).
· Research local pet licensing requirements, they sometimes vary from city to city.
· Obtain a new driver’s license. Most states have a requirement to do so within a window of time and will require proof of residency and personal identification.
· Understand the time requirements and fees for vehicle registration. Some states impose an impact fee for each vehicle brought into the state or require vehicles to be physically inspected prior to registration.
· Remember partial year state taxes when filing your next round of income tax paperwork.
There are many factors to consider when relocating. A realtor’s deep knowledge of the local market can expedite your search and free up some of your time and energy for actually moving. Contact me today – I look forward to assisting you with your move!