There can come a time in your life when you might consider relocating your family to a new place. It could be a brand new town or city, a new county, or you might even move to another country. It can be a big step, especially if you’re moving away from friends and family. But you might have received a great job opportunity, or maybe you think you can create a better quality of life for your family. Making a big move can be tough, but it could all be worth it in the end. So where do you start if you’re planning to move to a new home?
Making the Big Decision
Before moving to a new place, you need to make sure it’s the right decision for your family. It can be a tough one, especially if you have children who don’t want to leave their school and their friends. Getting the whole family involved in making the decision can help, but ultimately it will come down to the adults deciding what’s best for everyone. Leaving friends can be hard for both kids and adults, but new ones can be made. Your new home might provide you with a better quality of life and a higher salary – or maybe you’re even moving closer to family and friends.
Know Your Budget
Working out your budget is an essential step when you’re thinking about relocating. Not only do you need to think about how much you can afford when buying or renting a home, but you have to consider the cost of the relocation itself. If you’re moving to a different country or even just going a fair distance within the UK, your move could be pretty costly. Maybe your budget for your home will be similar to what it is currently. Perhaps it’s going to go up due to a higher wage from a new job or will need to be higher because of more expensive housing. But you could also reduce your costs if you’re moving somewhere you can get more for your money.
As well as considering the cost of housing, think about whether the cost of living may differ in other ways. The price of things such as going out to eat or enjoying family activities can vary, particularly when considering the north/south divide in England.
Start with Commuting Options
If you’re moving because of a new job, you will probably want to consider the best places to live in relation to where you’ll be working. You could live in the same place as your place of work, but the option commute a little further exists too. Many people who work in London choose to live up to an hour away by train and commute every day. Doing this can make housing more affordable, even with the added cost of your commute. Nearby towns and cities might offer better options for your family compared to living where you work.
Consider Job Opportunities
You might be relocating because you’ve already secured a new job. However, just because you’re guaranteed a job now doesn’t mean that you will be able to find lucrative opportunities in the future. Make sure you consider the job market in your field in the place you’re relocating to and the surrounding area. If you lose your job or you decide that you want to move on, will you be able to find something new without having to move again? It’s unlikely you’ve snatched the only good job in the area, but it’s worth considering the future and how things could change.
Plan to Visit the Area
What if you’re not particularly familiar with the location that you want to move to? While you might have visited once or twice, that’s different to living there. Finding somewhere to live without really knowing the different areas is pretty tricky, especially if you’re thinking about buying. You should plan to visit at least a few times, preferably for a few days, so that you have time to explore. These trips can give you time to view properties, walk around different neighbourhoods, and get a general feel for the place. It can be harder to do this if you’re moving far away, especially if you’re going abroad, but try to plan at least one trip.
Learn About Different Neighbourhoods
When you live somewhere for a while, you get to know all of the different neighbourhoods, suburbs, and even surrounding towns and villages. But when you move somewhere new, you can be faced with an unfamiliar landscape. Which places are the most expensive neighbourhoods? Which ones are up-and-coming, and which ones might not be very safe? You don’t have to explore all over the town or city to find out these things. You can usually find information online that tells you key details about different areas. You can look up everything from crime statistics to income levels in the locations you’re considering.
Check Out the Local Schools
If you have children, the local school options can be one of your main concerns when you’re moving somewhere new. If you’re looking at state school, they usually admit schools within a certain catchment area, which may affect your decision for where you’re going to live. You also want to find good schools for your children, whether you need to find the best primary schools or you’re looking at secondary schools. Although you might be searching for the right primary options now, you will also need to consider your children moving onto secondary school in a few years.
You can compare local schools using the government school comparison tool online, which gives you information such as Ofsted ratings and reports, as well as what types of schools are available.
Look at Transport Options
Everyone needs to be able to get around, whether it’s by driving, public transport, or any other option. Knowing how to get in and out of your new home and how to get around the town or city will help you make a decision about where to live, as well as budgeting your spending. If you’re going to be commuting to work, check out the public transport options and the road links, and compare the cost of driving with the cost of taking a train, bus, or other public transport. Of course, the time it takes matters too – maybe you value having more time at home over saving some money. As well as commuting, you might consider how easy it is to reach neighbouring towns or other cities.
You also want to know how you can get around. Are there good cycle paths? What are the bus timetables and routes like? Are there trams, water taxis, or other types of transport available? What is driving like in the city? If you live somewhere like Oxford, for example, cycling around the city or using buses can make more sense than driving.
Start Connecting to People
You might not be making the move just yet, but it’s a good idea to start talking to people who live in your intended location. They can offer you advice on moving, and you could start making friends too. You might already know someone in the area, but you can also find groups online that help you to connect. Try looking for Facebook groups or other networks and forums that help you to find local people. There might be groups for parents in the area or people in your career field, or perhaps groups for people who share hobbies with you.
Look at Leisure and Social Options
While work and school are important, your family should also be able to have fun. You will want to make sure that you have plenty of things to do in your spare time. Think about whether you have any specific requirements. Maybe you need to find a dance studio, music lessons, or sports clubs for your children. You might need a leisure centre or a public pool because you all like to go swimming. Parks and green spaces are often a must for people moving somewhere new. Maybe you’re a foodie, and you need somewhere with plenty of restaurant options. Only you really know what you want from the place where you live.
Plan the Move
When everything else has been decided, you need to plan the move itself. Hopefully, you have set a budget for your move and know how much it’s going to cost you. You’ll have to think about the practicalities of your move, which might include setting dates, handing in your notice at work, telling your kids’ schools, and starting to think about packing and moving your stuff. If you want to get organised, you can create a timeline of when you need to have certain things done. It will help you to make sure you’re not doing everything at once or leaving it all until the last minute.
Relocating your family can be stressful, but it could lead to a better life for all of you. Whether you’re moving quickly or taking your time, make sure you plan your move carefully.