For over a decade, I’ve worked with individuals and families who were moving to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. The stress of relocating is one of the most daunting aspects of the relocation process because it involves not only financial strain but also the emotional pain of leaving established relationships and seeking to form new friendships.
I’ll never forget one encounter at a local grocery store with a lady who was pushing a cart with three toddlers. She stopped me and asked if I could recommend a local church. They had just moved and she didn’t know anyone. We invited them to our church and they became good friends.
While it’s not easy to move, I’ve discovered as I’ve worked with individuals who are relocating to the West Michigan area that there are some things which can you can do to help reduce the stress…often from the comfort of your current home.
Explore your community via the Blogosphere…
Researching a new locality can be daunting especially when your search results continue to land on commercial sites which are designed more to get your pay per click advertising dollars than to deliver helpful lifestyle information.
One way to get a taste of the local fare is to specifically search blogs. Reading blogs will give you insight into what is important to the locals and will often provide pictures of different aspects of the community as well as reviews.
Simply input the geographic location followed by “blogs” in the google search bar and browse. If you want to be more specific, you might try searching for a specific type of blog such as a local real estate blog.
Research Hotels & Restaurants…
Finding places to eat and a good hotel can make all the difference in the world in setting a good tenor for your stay. A couple of years ago I was introduced to an excellent site called Yelp. It has proved an invaluable user guide when travelling to strange locations. I also like Trip Advisor. Often times, you’ll find that the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ has true value in steering you aright.
Plan a Trip to See the Area…
This can be really beneficial. It’s important to get a feel for what a city feels like apart from the limited perspective you might get during an interview session. This can be accomplished by staying an extra few days after your interview to simply sight-see, check out local restaurants, schools and points of interest.
Connect with a Good Real Estate Agent…
Not every agent is experienced in dealing with the unique challenges of a relocation. It is not uncommon to find a wide range of service options and customer service levels. One of the best ways to ease the stress of relocation is to interview the agent yourself and ask the questions which are important to you. This can be especially important if you are assigned an agent through a relocation company.
Here are some questions which you might want to pose:
How many relocation clients have you assisted?
What fee do you charge for your services?
What type of community research will you provide?
Can you provide video tours or pictorial guides?
Will the home listings you provide be supported by pictures?
How often will I be updated?
Are you able to provide short term rental assistance if needed?
Can you provide a list of references?
What is your plan to make sure my time is used efficiently?
Be Kind to Yourself…
And to your partner and family. The stress of a relocation move can bring out the worst tendencies in all of us. Sometimes in surprising ways. Living in the cramped space of a hotel room and dealing with the uncertainties of an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar faces can be emotionally draining.
Make an effort to be polite to those who matter most…your family. Don’t rush into making a hurried decision if this is not necessary. Talking about the pros and cons together will usually result in an outcome which is better than a position reach through division and strife.
If you’d like to discuss your move or relocation to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, please contact us at 616-791-0511. We’re here to listen and to help.
Here’s a link to a great site for relocation information.
Here’s a link for other articles about Relocation by Audu Real Estate
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