Tag: moving

5 Ways to Get Acquainted With a New Neighborhood

Across the country, people are packing boxes, hiring trucks and moving short and long distances. The U.S. Census Bureau says that around 12 percent of the population moves each year. According to a survey by DuProprio, a Quebec-based real estate advice site, 28 percent of Canadians feel the need to move every five years. Surprisingly, DuProprio also found that 14 percent of owners wish they could move every year.

The main reasons people move are expansion of the family, a career change, retirement, empty nest situations, or when moving is more practical than large-scale home renovations. While some people stick close to previous home locations, a 2015 American Community Survey found approximately 16.9 million people moved to a different county in 2015.

Whether a move is across county lines or overseas, it can take some time to acclimate to a new neighborhood. These tips can help anyone get acquainted with their new surroundings and make friends in the process.

1. Host a housewarming party. Get to know immediate neighbors by hosting a party. After some unpacking is done, host a simple get-together for people who live nearby. Ask if neighbors can help out by bringing chairs. Offer light refreshments and some type of activities for children. The event doesn’t have to be extensive, just long enough to engage in some conversation and introduce yourself.

2. Walk and drive around. Scout out the area by driving around and making note of shopping centers, parks and places of interest. Schedule times when you will get out of the car and walk around on foot, which makes it easier to take everything in. Use a website like Walkscore.com to find places within walking distance of your new home. Bring the dog along. Dogs can be great ice breakers with new neighbors.

3. Check out community blotters. Community events may be posted in print and distributed through a local newspaper and also on municipal websites. Find out where the locals go on weekends or during the week. Communities may take pride in certain activities. It’s easier to get a feel for the neighborhood by spending time with the locals.

4. Become active in the community. Find a volunteer organization or join a local house of worship. Check with the local chamber of commerce for ways to get involved or clubs to join. Like-minded people can make living in a new locale more enjoyable.

5. Dine out once a week. If budget allows, try a new neighborhood eating establishment each week to get a lay of the land. You’ll identify hot spots and hidden gems and will also be able to mingle with the community. An app such as Open Table can help you find places to eat nearby.

How to Make Moving Go Smoothly

People relocate for various reasons. Many relocate for professional opportunities, while others relocate to pursue their educations. And while some may relocate to enjoy a lower cost of living, others may find themselves relocating to satisfy their sense of adventure.

Regardless of why a person is relocating, doing so without preparing for the move can make the transition that much more difficult. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 19 percent of the 35.9 million people one year and over who moved between 2012 and 2013 did so for a job-related reason. Relocating to a new city for a job is different than moving from one home to another within the same community. Relocating to a new city can be a life-changing event that requires planning and maybe even a little luck to make it work.

· Examine your finances. Moving is expensive, and it can be even more expensive when moving to an entirely new city. If you are moving to pursue career opportunities but don’t yet have a job offer in hand, examine your finances and work out a worst-case scenario in the event that your job hunt takes longer than you hoped for. Unless you have a benefactor who can help you pay your bills and avoid debt while you look for a job, make sure you have several months’ worth of living expenses saved up before moving.

· Research the job market. Certain cities have more opportunities for people in certain fields than others, so make sure the city you plan to relocate to is a place where you will have ample opportunities in your chosen line of work. Otherwise you might find yourself settling for a career you don’t like or relocating again to a job market more accommodating to someone in your field.

· Research the real estate market. Before hitting the road and heading for your new home, research the real estate market in that area. Try to find out the average rental price via online forums or even online newspaper classified sections. Find out if people tend to live with roommates or go it alone in the city you’re relocating to. If you are moving to a city where you know very few people or no one at all, consider becoming someone’s roommate. The right roommate can provide an instant social network and help you learn the ropes of your adopted home. If you plan to live alone and rent, recognize that many landlords will require a guarantor before renting to tenants with no income.

· Don’t be shy. Unless you are moving to a place where you already have a built-in social network, you should expect to encounter some loneliness upon arriving in your new location. Resolve to make the most of all your new home has to offer by joining a social organization, connecting with your university’s alumni group or volunteering with local charities. If you have a job lined up, sign up for company-sponsored outings or teams.

Relocating to a new city can produce mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement. Planning ahead and doing some homework can help you as you transition to your new home.