As anyone who has ever had to move to a new city can attest, it can be both a daunting and exciting prospect. Each city has character, a personality of its own, and finding your place in it may seem like a step into the unknown. It’s like going on a blind date, except the stakes are higher because you’ve already made a commitment! So how do you find your perfect place in this strange new city?
- Prioritize your needs and wants. Buying a home in a school district with a great reputation will be at the top of the list for a family with children at home, for example. What do you love about your current city? What don’t you love? By asking yourself these questions you begin to see what’s important to look for in your next home.
- Do a little online research. Waleska Vega, marketing manager for Toll Brothers, Texas, says “It is very important to do research, get organized, and reach out to local professional experts to help you make a less stressful transition into the new lifestyle and hometown.”
- Check out the local newspaper for the day-to-day happenings. Reading local online magazines will give you more flavor and attitude. Searching city guides as well as local government web sites will help flush out the details of your new city or town. A simple Google search of your city is enough to get you started.
- Take a trip! Of course the absolute best way to get the flavor and feel for your new city of town is to visit. Take an extended weekend in your new city. You will get a real sense of place by simply being there. You also want to accomplish a few things while you’re there so make a list of things to see, neighborhoods to visit, and people to meet while you are there.
When visiting, the first person you should line up to meet is your realtor. They will be able to give you the nuts and bolts information on the city and housing market while also being able to point you in the right direction with any issues or concerns you may have. Make your realtor your starting point. You should also meet people with whom you already have an association. If you belong to a church or hobby organization, or old friends in the area, meet them for coffee and pick their brain about living in that city. Use your existing networks to bridge your old and new locations to help facilitate your move.
Does your new city have a reputation? Some of the most fun you will have is finding out the different aspects of your new city and whether its reputation is accurate. For example, Pittsburgh is known as a blue-collar steel town, and certainly that is true. But did you also know that it boasts many world-class museums and cultural events as well as their famous sports events? Let your new city surprise you. Generally speaking, the bigger the city, the more variety you will be able to find. For smaller cities and towns, you might have to dig a little deeper to find where you will be most comfortable and happy.
Prioritize your needs, do your research and take a long weekend to travel to your new city if you can. But don’t stress if a trip to your new city is out of the question.
Vega concludes, “Research, research, research could possibly be the number one relocation advice. If you are moving with family, get everyone involved. Assign or let each one select a topic to research and discuss over dinner. This will help keep everyone excited and motivated about the move.”