COLDWELL BANKER OFFERS TIPS TO HELP EASE LONG DISTANCE RELOCATION WOES
The days of spending 20, 30 and 40 years in the same company, and in the same facility, are almost a thing of the past. Today it is likely for an individual to have 13 different employers in a lifetime, according to data from the U.S. Labor Department. Whether prompted by a corporate transfer, career change or lifestyle goal, Americans are on the move.
But picking up and moving cross country, or to another state, is complicated. One must find a home, schools, perhaps even a job for a spouse, not to mention get a feel for the community and general lifestyle before settling in on a new location.
The professionals at Coldwell Banker recommend the following steps to ensure that when and if it comes time to move a long distance, the process is smooth and simple.
Get Organized. Put together a list of the key information you need before settling in a new city or town, such as:
- What is the cost of living? How far will the new money go?
- What is the price of a similar sized house in the new location?
- What is the community like? Crime rates?
- How is the school system?
- What is the noise factor?
- Will this be a good area for my spouse to find work?
Do Your Research. To learn more about the typical lifestyle of the new town, as well as community events and crime rates, get a few back copies of the local newspaper, or log on to the local paper's Web site. This third party information, plus what you learn from the local Chamber of Commerce, will give you a sense of the personality of the area.
Use the Internet. For your home search, the World Wide Web is an invaluable tool. Web sites such as www.coldwellbanker.com can provide visitors with lots of useful information. A function like the Home Price Comparison Index on the site will calculate approximately how much a house will be worth in the new market, which as a result will provide insight into the cost of living. Visitors also can find a variety of community and neighborhood information including median age and income, percentages of married couples and children, recent home sales, and a listing of elementary and high schools with demographic information on the schools.
Field Reconnaissance. When you begin working with a real estate sales associate to look at houses, consider having him or her take you through the neighborhoods "after hours." If possible, observe the area at 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. as sometimes a community can take on a different persona after dark. Look to see how much new construction and remodeling work is taking place. This will tell you whether the neighborhood is popular, and whether current residents plan to stay.
Coffee Talk. Try to have a few conversations with the "locals" near a prospective home. More than anyone they have their fingers on the pulse of the neighborhood and the community at large.
Work With Your Employer. Make it clear to your new employer that your significant other now will be in need of a job. The company likely will have relationships with relocation experts and executive recruitment firms to help in the spousal job search process.