(Click Image Above for Video Version of This Message)
I have had a TON of experience moving. I have personally lived in almost 20 different houses during my life and have done 7 larger state-to-state moves. I think I know a little bit about how to move, what to do and what not to do. Here are 8 tips on how to successfully move to a new area, especially when you are limited on how much you can travel there!
1) Use this website to help you identify what areas are safe and what areas are not. When I was moving I used this website to compare the crime levels of where I was living to where I was thinking of moving. This helped me have something to compare it to. I knew the threshold of what I would tolerate and what I wouldn't. It was because of this website that I was able to narrow down my choices of where we ultimately decided to live.
2) Spend as much time in the area as you can. Travel there as often as you can. When Peter and I did our first major move, it was a few hours away, so we would travel there once a month. While we were there, we would drive around the area, visit open houses, shop at the stores. We visited local churches. We used this time to just get used to the area.
3) Use your vacation time to travel to the area. This is good for destination areas or areas that are longer distance away. Like the previous tip, this one will give you a good idea of the area and places to live or not to live. The two years leading up to our move to Florida, we did three vacations in the area. We specifically timed one of them to be in the heat of Summer. We wanted to know that we could live in Florida when it was the hottest.
4) Join groups of interest in the area of where you are moving. There are so many groups on social media: running groups, foodies, new moms, etc. Find and join these groups on Facebook or other social media channels. Join as many as you can and start to socialize remotely with them. Then when you finally move here, hopefully you will already know a few people. Also look for local rants and raves groups. This will offer great insight into the area. You can know what restaurants are popular or not popular. You can also find out a lot about different areas, ones to avoid and ones to go to. It can also give you insight into any safety concerns you might have.
5) Follow local churches, schools, and businesses. Similar to the previous tip, get to know others in the area and start to understand the goings on and the culture. Before we moved to Saint Cloud we had no idea there was such a farming presence, but it has been such a pleasant surprise. Our girls even get a day off of school to enjoy rodeo day. How would have thunk!?! The goal is to connect with as many people as you can from a distance, so when you finally move you can plug right in and enjoy your new life!
6) Start listening to sermons from local churches. With today's technology, this can be done through listening to podcasts or watching the streaming of the services. Watch different churches in the area. That way when you get there your choices are already narrowed down and you may even know which church you will join and bonus if you already know some people there.
7) We have written about this before here. When you finally get to move and if you are driving your own truck, hire movers to help you on either side of the move. We have used this service before and it was seriously the best $200 bucks we have spent. Thanks to movers we found on U-Hauls website, we had our truck unpacked in Florida in just a couple of hours with the furniture placed exactly where we wanted it. We have recommended this to others and we have all thoroughly enjoyed this service.
8) Work with a local real estate agent. We know where to live, where not to live. We see houses all the time. We know the tips and tricks of the school systems and zonings and taxes. We can be your eyes and ears on the ground until you get here. Peter and I personally offer our clients Facetime, Google Duo, and video tours all the time. Lean on us to help you out!
We are here to educate and pass along as much information as possible to you. Please let us know how we can best help you! Do you have any other hacks for long distance moves?