Moving to a new city is exciting, but as many of us know, it can also be stressful. On top of worrying about accomplishing your massive to-do list, you may be wondering how to adjust to a new city. While moving to a new area can be challenging, with proper planning, it can be a smooth and even enjoyable process. Keep reading our relocating guide to learn how to prepare for a move and make a seamless transition to your new home and new city.
What to Consider When Moving to a New City
Before you start your exciting journey to a new city, it's crucial to take some key steps to ensure a smooth transition. From organizing important documents to researching the local area, preparation plays an essential role in having a successful move. Let's delve into the essential tasks you should complete before you make the leap to a new city.
Choose a City
When choosing a city to live in, it’s important to consider various factors. For example, you should consider: activities and cultural amenities, the size of the city, cost of living, and public transportation. These are all things (and more) that you should research before committing to a new city. It’s best to look for a location that balances your needs and wants.
Determine the Cost of Moving
Determine how much it will cost to hire movers/rent a van, ship other items if necessary, and move out of your current home (i.e. damage deposits, cleaning costs, etc.). While this initial moving budget may only be an estimate, it will help prepare you financially for the costs you will incur.
To Rent or To Buy
A major decision you have to make before moving to your new city is whether to rent or buy a home. Much of this decision will be based on your current financial situation, but either way, you’ll have several considerations to make. For example, if you plan to rent, you’ll need to determine what type of property you want to rent (apartment, townhome, single-family home, etc.), research local neighborhoods, scout rental listings, and ultimately, pick a new home, after reviewing the lease carefully. The process of purchasing a home isn’t that much different from renting. However, there are some other things you’ll need to do, including finding a local real estate agent, deciding whether you want to buy a pre-owned home or new construction, and if buying new construction, choosing a local homebuilder.
Set Up Utilities for Your New Home
You’ve decided on where to move, so what’s next? One of the first items to tackle is setting up utilities for your new home. Contact your new utility companies (oil or gas, electricity, phone, and internet), set up accounts, and tell them your move-in date to ensure everything is up and running the day you arrive. Additionally, make sure you cancel any services, such as cleaning and lawn care, at your current home.
Your move date might seem far away, but it can creep up on you unexpectedly. To avoid being overwhelmed with packing, start early! Clearly label your boxes so you know where to find what you need. And in case your boxes take a while to arrive, prepare with a bag with an extra change of clothes and toiletries.
Things to Keep in Mind During Your Move
Moving to a new city doesn't have to be stressful if you keep a list and plan ahead. Here are some useful tips for getting things done in a timely fashion and keeping your stress level (relatively) low.
- Don’t move everything at once. If possible, moving a few items ahead of the big moving day can help you stay calm and organized. Rent a storage space near your new home or ask a nearby relative to temporarily store things that you want but may not need right away.
- Pack a box of essentials. Your moving essentials box should contain things like important documents, snacks, etc. and be easily accessible when you arrive at your new home.
- Donate anything you don’t want. If you have items that you don't use or want, you can donate them to a local charity to lighten the load. Moving is a great excuse for clearing out your clutter!
By following these tips and getting started on your packing early, you can save a lot of headaches down the road. This is especially true if you are moving far away to a new state.
After the Move
Once you’ve made it to your new city, it may take you time to settle in. A good way to do this is to establish your routines, explore the neighborhood, and finalize your transition. Here are some ways you can help expedite the process.
Update Your Information
One important task when moving to a new city is to notify everyone about your move. Register to vote, update your driver's license, and change your address for bills and mailings. If you have kids, registering them for school is a top priority upon moving. Pet owners, too, should register their four-legged friend with the city and get updated tags if required. Most of this information can be found on a city’s website.
Acclimate Yourself With the Neighborhood
During the first few weeks after you arrive, spend a little time each day exploring your new neighborhood. Find the closest grocery store, look for local handymen and gardeners, and make a list of the nearest fire department, police station, and hospital. When you're feeling settled, it’s time to meet new people! Consider having a housewarming party or introducing yourself to your new neighbors.
Of course, there are other ways to get to know your neighborhood. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Do an old-fashioned Google search. Look for "[City] [State] neighborhoods" for your new city and state.
- Look for town or county websites. This will be helpful for a smaller town or rural area.
- Register with Nextdoor.com. Neighbors' posts will include everything from new store openings and lost pets to inquiries about contractors. Find local services and engage with your community.
- Join a local group or charity. Find a group in your neighborhood that interests you to meet like-minded neighbors.
- Attend town meetings. Keep up-to-date with what's happening in your area while meeting your neighbors. Meetings are usually open to the public.
- Social media. Social media is a great way to explore your new city. Explore hashtags to find out where locals are hanging out on Friday nights, and follow various accounts of your liking to learn about upcoming events.
Adapting to a New City Can Take Time
Now you know what to do before you move, how to make the move smoother, and how to adapt to a new city. It will take time to learn about your new city and neighborhood (and feel like a local), but there are resources to help you acclimate and feel more comfortable. Have fun living in a new city and exploring your new home!
By guiding you through the full homebuying process, we help homebuyers like you find the perfect home in the city of their choice. Begin your home search with us today. Who knows? Your dream home could be waiting right next door or a couple of states away!