The Right Moves
A more relaxed lifestyle, better weather, a return to family, or a change of job – whatever your reason for starting over in a new town or city, the stresses of relocation remain the same. But there are some sure-fire hacks for helping smooth the transition, making the move an exciting adventure, rather than a frightening leap into the unknown.
Take time to find the right area
Unless you’ve an in-depth knowledge of the place that you’re moving to, or have to move to a specific suburb due to work or family constraints, don’t rush in and buy a house before you move. In fact, don’t take on a long-term lease, either. Treat the first couple of months of your transition as an extended vacation. Thanks to services such as Airbnb, short-term accommodation is cheap and readily available, only a few taps of a finger away. Give yourself time to get a feel for your new city or town – explore it and experience what different suburbs have to offer first-hand, before you commit yourself to putting down roots.
Pay for a professional move
Until you’ve decided on a new home, you don’t want to be burdened with furniture, so travel light. Pack your bag as if you are going on an extended family trip and trust your move to professional home removers – not two men with plumbers’ cracks and a dodgy old van … And pay the extra to have the contents of your old home professionally packed. (If you’ve never used a professional packing service before, you don’t know what you’ve missed out on. You leave your house for a few hours, and when you come back everything is packed, labelled and bubble wrapped. It’s easy, not too expensive and takes all the stress out of moving.) Then organise for the removal company to have your goods put into storage at the other end. Once you’ve decided on your long-term home, they can come and unpack everything, stress-free.
Research house prices
This is a fact: outsiders moving into an area pay more for homes than people moving within the same area. Locals know the ins and outs of an area that can affect prices on certain streets (think traffic, plane noise, crime, flooding danger) and keep an interested eye on the prices their neighbours’ homes sell for. Once you’ve an idea of where you want to live, do proper research into the property prices in the area. Talk to real estate agents, talk to a local mortgage broker and tap them for advice on the average property prices in the streets that interest you. Don’t let your enthusiasm for an area cloud your judgement on auction day. It could end up costing you dearly.
Get to know the neighbourhood
Every area has its own community websites, so get Googling. Local sites such as www.northernbeachesmums.com.au are a great place to start when looking for the lowdown on schools, parks and services in the areas you’re interested in. Making contact with other like-minded people in a neighbourhood is the quickest way of finding out whether the location suits you, your family and your lifestyle. You’ll probably make a few new friends, too.
Become part of your community
Once you’ve relocated, become part of your local community. Join your school’s fundraising committee or help out with out-of-hours groups and clubs and get to know your neighbours. It’s all too easy to shut your front door and retreat inside your home, but if you don’t help work for your community, it’s never going to work for you.
Louisa Sanghera is a Finance Broker for Residential Mortgages, Vehicle and Asset Finance, Commercial Lending and Budgeting and Cashflow Coaching with Zippy Financial.
She has gained more than 30 years in the Banking and Finance Industry, and since founding Zippy Financial, has become a multi award nominated expert in the field of finance featuring regularly in industry press and speaking at finance and investment seminars across the country.