It is easy to underestimate the impact that moving can have upon a family. In fact, moving has long been considered one of life’s strongest, if overlooked, causes of stress. One reason for this is that moving, especially to a new home far away, can involve not just one, but multiple stressors. Planning ahead is one of the smartest strategies you can employ to ensure an enjoyable moving experience.
Research the Area
It just makes sense to know as much as you can about the area you are moving to. Review trends in housing costs, the cost of living (including staples like groceries and gas), how the local schools are rated and more. While online information such as the city’s official website or the local chamber of commerce site can provide good initial information, dig deeper. Sites with crowd-sourced reviews will let you in on how the locals feel about day-to-day life as they have experienced it there.
Consider Renting at First
There are many advantages to renting a house instead of buying one. For one, housing markets can fluctuate wildly. You may not want to invest a sizable sum upfront given the vagaries of the market. Secondly, some sellers might imagine that they are at an advantage should they suspect that you are in a hurry to conclude a deal. Moreover, there is still only so much that you can learn about a city or region in advance. The best way to know a place is to live there for a bit. Renting allows you the financial and mental freedom to get to know a city at your leisure.
This same concept applies to visiting a city first. While online research remains an important first step, every city has a unique ambiance. A city’s history, neighborhoods and residents all create an environment that does not necessarily translate fully when written about. Even before lining up a rental, try to visit your soon-to-be home. Once there, you may experience mild culture shock. Addressing this before the move will prove one less potential stressor.
Moving can be nerve-racking, but it doesn’t have to be. Preparing for such a major life event can eliminate unwanted surprises along the way. After all, there is no reason not to enjoy the process of putting down roots in a new place.
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