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Tips for Out-of-Towners Settling Into Their New Home
Moving from out of town could mean moving across the county, across the state, or across the country. No matter what category you fall into, you’re considered an out-of-towner, which makes settling in that much more of a process. There are forms to fill out, a house to update, and a new area to get to know, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think.
Notify the Right People
You let family and friends know your new address, but they aren’t the only ones who need a heads up regarding your change of address. You’ll need to alert the post office so you can have your mail forwarded, visit the dreaded DMV to update your license, and alert the IRS, banks, and credit card companies so all your important documents and statements come to the right place. One thing you might not think about is car insurance, but you’ll want to call and make sure your current provider does business in your new area. You may have to change your coverage to meet your state’s minimum requirements, as well as consider making changes depending on the underinsured and uninsured driver statistics. You’ll need to report your move to your health insurance company so you can enroll in a new plan if necessary.
Remodeling and Maintenance First, Then Unpack
You’re chomping at the bit to get unpacked, but you need to prioritize maintenance and remodeling too. This includes updating any outdated systems such as plumbing, wiring, and HVAC. If you plan to make any upgrades such as new flooring, painting, or remodeling, it’s best to do that before you unpack so you aren’t constantly moving things around. Once the house is the way you want it, you can start unpacking boxes. Hopefully you organized each box by room, but if not, you can still focus on one room at a time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Have the kids unpack their rooms first, and then focus on the main areas such as the kitchen and bedrooms. Once everything is unpacked and in its place, you can start decorating. You don’t have to be Joanna Gaines, but you can make your house a home and give it personality with a little color coordination, personal touches, and storage to maximize the space.
A Word About Fido
You can vocalize your concerns about settling in, but Fido can’t, so you’ll have to help ease the transition. Designate a space for your dog with their bed, food, and toys as soon as possible so they have a place to retreat to. Spend some extra time snuggling to ease anxiety, and walk with your dog around the home as they explore. Introduce your dog to the neighbors as well, and encourage them to speak up if they have any concerns or issues. Make sure Fido is a good neighbor by keeping him secured and cleaning up after him.
Getting to Know the Area
Settling into your home is easy, but settling into an unfamiliar area takes a little more time. Get familiar with and explore the neighborhood by heading to the visitor’s center to get info on the local hotspots as well as asking your landlord (if you have one) about the area. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the previous owners, as they are probably more than happy to share some info about the neighborhood. Places you are sure to find a friendly face are the local coffee shops, parks, dog parks, and shopping centers. To get to know some people and start building relationships, hold an open house with light refreshments or at the very least put a notice in mailboxes giving the neighbors a little info about yourself and inviting them to stop by.
You’re an out-of-towner now but before you know it you’ll be a local. Just remember, settling into a new home, neighborhood, and community takes time. However, by focusing on the house first, you’ll find that the rest falls into place.