Young, happy family with moving boxes preparing to move because of a relocation.

Relocation Tips: How to Make a Smooth Transition

Whether you’re moving for a dream job opportunity, relocating for a better climate in retirement or you’ve simply decided it’s time for a fresh start, deciding to make the move to a new city or state can be as daunting as it is exhilarating. One of the biggest challenges a relocation presents is making sure you find a home that will make the transition as comforting and reassuring as possible for you and your family. Finding that perfect little nest is challenging enough when you’re shopping local, but the task becomes doubly hard when you’re attempting to look for a home from many miles away. Here are some helpful relocation tips to assist you in your search.

1) Research the Area

The famous Latin saying “Caveat Emptor” (which translated means “Buyer Beware”) applies doubly to something you are buying from far away. The best first step you can use is to make sure you do your research. Utilize internet search engines and tools, keeping up with local news in your soon-to-be new city, and finding out more about the schools and services that are available are all an important part of making sure you are picking a home in the right area for you. Websites such as U.S. News & World Report can provide tons of useful information about the housing market, livability scores, job markets, schools and cost of living and crime rates.

2) Decide What Works for You

Deciding what you want and need in a house PRIOR to looking for one is vital. This is one of those times where writing down an old-fashioned list can be extremely helpful. Do you want to live in the city or in a more rural or suburban area? Is it important to you to live within spitting distance of the local hotspots, or would you rather your closest neighbors be trees?

After you’ve figured out the needs of your environment, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty on the house itself. How many bedrooms do you need to make sure everyone in your family is comfortable as possible with the new home? Bathrooms? Do you have a redecorating or renovation budget, or do you want the new home to be as turn-key as possible? Having a list of these specifics will make house hunting much easier for both you and any realtor with whom you work.

3) Decide on a Realistic Budget

It’s important to know the average selling prices of homes in your new area, so do your homework. Once you’ve settled on the area you feel is the best place for you, start doing research not only on how much homes are selling for, but also on the cost of living in the area. Luckily we live in an age where this type of information is just a few keystrokes away.

Find out the prices for groceries, gas, tuition, childcare, etc., and factor that into the budget for how much you are truly able to spend on a home. Use online mortgage calculators to determine how much an estimated mortgage payment will run you, and plug that into your new monthly household budget. Being armed with these numbers will help lessen the stress of moving to a new city for both you and your family.

4) Plan a Visit

Even with new real estate websites offering full pictures and online video tours of homes, you can only get a real feel for the neighborhood and vibe of a potential home for your family by seeing it for yourself. It’s important that you plan a visit to your potential new location. This will also allow you to tour your potential new community, finding out what resources are available, how far stores and amenities are from your potential new home, and possibly give you a chance to meet some possible new neighbors. This will all help you get a lay of the land before your potential move.

5) Hire a Good Moving Company

Moving to a new home close by isn’t easy, but moving to a new state is its’ own special challenge. Trying to move your entire life to a new state is not a challenge you are going to want to take on yourself with everything else you have to worry about, so make sure to factor hiring an interstate moving company into your budget. You are going to want to make sure you are hiring trustworthy, reliable organizations to help you do it. Check to make sure the moving group you hire is licensed and insured, and look into websites like Yelp! And Angie’s List to see what other customers have given them for reviews.

You can also ask your realtor for any recommendations they might have for a reputable moving company. By doing this, you are taking a major burden of the move off your plate, and you’ll be able to focus on settling into your new home.

6) Ask if Your New Company Offers Any Assistance

If you’re moving for a new job, make sure to ask your new employers for any assistance tor tips they can offer. Today, many companies not only offer a relocation bonus to new employees, but also offer relocation services to assist you in your move and in getting settled in. These types of concierge services can be very useful, and really assist in making your move as effortless as possible.

7) Trust Your Instincts

Ultimately, no one knows your family better than you, so you will know when a home is going to be right for you and your family. Make sure you don’t settle for anything that feels less than the right fit. This is a huge step in your life and you want to make sure you do it right, so give yourself plenty of time. If a new job means you have to move quickly, ask your company about helping you find temporary housing, so that you don’t feel rushed into buying a home that you haven’t fully vetted or that might not be the place for you.