Moving to a new city is a daunting experience, even more so if the move also involves settling in another country. Leaving friends and family behind is difficult, but the rewards are equally as stark. New experiences, better job prospects, and the chance at a new life are all rejuvenating. If you’re contemplating a big move, here are some tips to make the process that bit smoother.
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#1 Research prices
You’re probably familiar with house prices in your local area. The longer you stay in a place, the more you get a feel for its various districts, where the expensive properties are, and where you might be able to scoop a bargain. The same isn’t true of new cities, though. Rather than zeroing in on your area of choice straight away, research house prices across the city. This is certainly time-consuming, but it will save you money. Find the average price for each district and make a decision accordingly. You might even find that you were paying well above the odds for a home in your preferred area, giving you more room to negotiate.
#2 Consider renting first
Moving somewhere new is a huge step. Unless you’ve spent a long time in the area before, it’s difficult to say with complete certainty that you’ll be happy there. That’s where renting comes in. Choosing a lettings company and sourcing a rental property in the area you hope to one day live permanently can really inform your decision and remove any doubts. Renting is (obviously) much less of a commitment than taking out a mortgage or buying a house. If you find that the new place doesn’t quite live up to your expectations or that you miss your old home, it’s cheap and easy to reverse the decision. In any case, you will need the help of moving companies to move your belongings safely, so make sure you factor that in, as well.
#3 Network in advance
Making new friends is one of the more difficult aspects of a big move. Loneliness is bad for mental and even physical health, but it’s hard to know where to start. Worse still, your first weeks in a new place will likely be your busiest, leaving little time to socialize. The internet has the answer. Using social media and apps, you can network with people well before you arrive. Join neighborhood groups, chat on apps, and research events that you can attend either virtually or when you arrive. Having a group of friends in place before you get to your new home makes a world of difference. You’ll settle in much more quickly and keep any feelings of loneliness at bay.
#4 Research amenities
As well as house prices, you should pay special attention to amenities like parks, supermarkets, museums, and public transport links. Research your new area extensively before you arrive and make a list of where all the top amenities are located. Your first days will be your busiest, so it pays to have these places close at hand. You might even revise your choice of location if, for example, you find that the nearest train station is several buses away. Not everybody drives (and some cities are notoriously difficult to navigate by car) so pay special attention to the public transport links.
#5 Plan for the future
Following on from the previous point, think about the roots you’re putting down. Unless your stay is a short one, you’ll want to keep half an eye on the future. This means looking at things like local schools and catchment areas, perhaps even colleges and universities. Anybody family-orientated should also consider the proximity of parks and child-friendly activities like playgrounds. Even if you don’t want to start a family right now, it never hurts to make plans for the future. Taking these factors into account now makes a house feel more like a long-term home.
#6 Go to events
Events are one of the best ways to meet people in the early days after the move. You’ll find long lists of events online, across social media, and you might even see them on posters around your new city. Concerts, theatre, and sporting events are fantastic ways to meet new people with shared interests. Smaller-scale events like auditions for amateur dramatics, bake, and yard sales are just as useful. Not only do these events help you to meet other people, but they give you a talking point and a new social circle with whom you share at least one interest. It might be intimidating to attend an event alone, but the benefits far outweigh any feelings of anxiety.