Are you considering relocating? RESEARCH! Relocating to another region is a huge decision. Whether you are moving for a job, a different lifestyle, or even hoping for bluer skies and warmer climes, we can’t recommend enough taking the time to research all possible angles. The place you’re dreaming of may not match the reality. With a decision as big as this, research is step one. There are the obvious areas to look into such as affordability, traffic/commute times, etc. What about some of the less obvious things you may not think of right away when considering a big move? Being a little more methodical and a little less emotional will increase your chances of being happy with your decision and your new home. Knowledge is power.
Have you considered looking into the local legislature, unique laws, quirks and more? How about the arts/cultural scene? What kind of extreme weather events are possible and how does that affect your homeowner’s insurance? Look at the bigger things, certainly, but it’s equally important to focus on the other crucial things to consider before relocating. For example, if you are considering the South, you’ll want to look at hurricane and flooding history, and regional flood insurance rates. North? How do you feel about snow?
One tool for helping you make informed decisions is called a PEST Analysis. While a very handy tool for businesses, it can also be very useful for personal decisions such as this one. PEST stands for Political, Economic, Social, and Technological; all things to think about when making a decision to relocate. Some things we suggest you check before you consider a major move to a new county, part of your state or another state, both obvious and not-so-obvious:
Crucial Things To Consider Before Relocating
- Crime rates, including sex offender map/listings obtainable from the police departments or county sheriffs.
- Weather – 10-year pattern for extremes, outages and more.
- Flooding and snowfall for the specific areas you are considering.
- Utility rates
- Tax rates
- Home values, foreclosure rates in the area and the cycle.
- School ratings. Even if you are past the age of having school-aged kids, the local schools affect how tax dollars are spent. Learn the demographics of the county and congressional district you are considering.
- What are the key industries that fuel jobs? Some states or regions have ONE industry or major employer. If something happens to one of them, the economy tanks and neighbors are on hard times. Will you be able to do what you do in this new location? Any opportunity for growth? Will you have to travel more?
The Less Obvious:
- Where is the biggest voting population? Are the issues important to them in line with your own, or are you on the opposite side? Research proposed legislation. What is the state focusing on? How about the county? People in a major metropolitan area have different needs for safety, medical, and schools than those in rural regions. How will those priorities fit with you and your family’s needs?
- Look at past election ballot pamphlets explaining what the issues were, for and against comments, and see how the votes went, as well as the fallout.
- Is public transportation helpful to you or annoying? If you are going rural, will you have to buy a truck for those roads? Will you need more than one?
- What’s customer service like at local grocery stores and local Home Depot or hardware stores? If you move, you’ll be in both a lot.
- Do you have medical concerns, issues? How easy will it be to get new doctors and dentists in the new location? Will they take your insurance? How GOOD are the hospitals? If you are a heart patient, cancer patient or have other chronic issues, you need to seriously consider a move that will have you changing doctors. Perhaps you are moving so you can improve that exact situation. If so, visit the local hospitals, interview potential specialists.
- How about auto mechanics – how do they rate? Does your brand of car have a place nearby that can service it? Do you have room to park your RV? If not, how much and far is storage?
- Hair salons? Visit the area, check out the mall, stop in high-end restaurants for an appetizer and look around – how are they looking? Do you feel out of place, or right at home? Ask someone where they get their hair done. They’ll appreciate you asked.
- Houses of Worship – is your brand of faith in the area? Faith communities can often be one of the best places to connect with new friends who are of like mind.
- Calendar of events – what types of events do they have annually?
- Check out the local papers for a few months. This is not a fast process. You are considering a big move – think it through.
- Check the stories published about the city and/or state you are considering in OTHER papers – such as the NY Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune. If they are writing about it, chances are it’s an “issue.”
- Set up a Google Alert for the area you are considering. Google Alerts sends you an email when the specific word or phrase is mentioned online. This can help you automate some of your research. Here’s on online how-to: Create a Google Alert.
Make An Informed Decision!
While it may seem like a gigantic task to check these things out, you and your family will be happier and more secure in your decision on where to relocate. Taking the extra time to consider these crucial things to consider before relocating will result in a happier move and a good fit.
Are You Ready?
Contact Blue Dot Real Estate today and we’ll help you get ready for your big change!