Human beings love stability. Settling down in an ideal location and grow old there is an idea that’s both attractive, and rare. Moves are inevitable in our long lives and knowing what you’re in for is a key part of the process. Here are eight essential questions to ask before uprooting your family, your career, and your psyche, and embarking on your next great journey.
Where exactly will we live?
Any resident of a city will tell you, the rosy pictures presented in tourism brochures and commercials are nothing to go by. That’s not to say that cities don’t feature these glossy attractions, simply that the actual quality of any particular neighborhood varies widely. Moving to a new city doesn’t mean you inherit the entire city at once. Your experience is localized to a particular community, and determining where that is will help you focus your expectations, perform more intensive research, and determine how to adapt to the new situation.
How are the schools in that area?
One of the aspects of communities that can differ in a significant way is the school system. It’s important to keep in mind that the milieu of a new city isn’t limited to your opportunities. It’s about making the best of the situation and taking everyone’s interest into account. Looking for a solid school district
will not only mean a better experience for your children, making friends, interacting with high-quality teachers, etc. but will help shape their future for the better.
What attractions are nearby?
If television was enough to keep us busy, then amusement parks would be in short supply. Once you’re done moving, unpacking, and working for the week, you’ll need something
to do. This means paying attention to proximity to national attractions and local hotspots. While investigating nearby activities, read between the lines. A campus town could mean college football games and a robust arts culture. Moving to a more rural community could mean county fairs and camaraderie. In each case, determining what your destination has to offer will help stave off boredom and give your family something to be excited about.
Are the neighborhoods safe?
There are fun questions to ask (what will we do, where will we go), and then there are more serious questions to consider. Once again, moving to a city means inheriting a community of people, some more unsavory than others. Checking local crime statistics
is an important step, but if you need additional peace of mind, installing a quality security system
can help ensure that your loved ones are looked after. It’s not a pleasant topic to think about, but it is necessary.
What is the cost of living?
A new opportunity may seem like an upgrade, until you realize that your new income has less spending power. Moving across the country to a great city can be exhilarating, but learning that the grocery bill is double what it used to be is a realization no one wants to experience. Check cost of living statistics before making your move and compare them to your current area. It’s not that an increase should be a deterrent, but living within your income is essential.
How do we adapt to change?
The logistical side of the moving process has its own challenges, but what many fail to recognize is the psychological aspect. As much as we’d all love to be Zen masters, moving with the changing tides without consideration or consternation, knowing your family’s capacity for handling change is important. In addition, prepare them, and yourself, for the experience. Explain how circumstances will be different and elaborate on the benefits of the move. And remember: take care of yourself in the process, especially if you’re leading the charge.
What are we leaving behind?
Another difficult topic to address, understanding what you’re giving up is a necessary part of the moving process. Great neighbors? Community events? Good schools? It’s not as though you’re searching for reasons to stay, but knowing the cost of a move, both financially and emotionally, will help determine whether the move is a good idea.
Will we be happier in the long run?
Ultimately, a move should be a boon for you and yours. Moving for moving sake is likely to cause frustration and confusion with your family, so make the change with purpose. Keeping a long-term focus on your family’s happiness is especially important when you arrive. There are likely to be some growing pains as everyone adapts to the situation, but the real effect of the move sets in over time. Keep things in perspective and remember, moving is no short fix; it’s a big investment that requires all the consideration and deliberation you can muster.
Relocation can be a challenging life event, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing how your circumstances will change and, more importantly, improve, will help you and your family adapt to the process and mean a better experience in the long-haul. Pay attention to key characteristics of the specific neighborhood, like schools, attractions, and safety. Determine whether or not you’ll have the financial and psychological capability to handle the change and give some serious thought to the long-term effects of the move. Some topics are easier to consider than others, but knowing everything about your situation and destination, good and bad, will help you make an informed and intelligent decision.