Our guide to a smooth relocation
You may be thinking about relocating for many different reasons, whether it is to be closer to family, getting access to better education for your children, or maybe you are moving to where your skills are in demand.
Whether you are crossing the county border or moving overseas it is an exciting time, a fresh start for everyone. However, there can be a lot to think about. But fear not! We have some great advice that will help you settle into your new life.
Have a scouting party
It sounds obvious but even if you are not moving very far away, take the time to acquaint yourself with the area you are thinking about calling home. Think about all the things that you do that make you happy (and those you would like to do) and look at all the opportunities. If you are sporty, then what facilities do they have? Is there a cinema and a theatre? What are the cafés, pubs, bars and restaurants like? Are there any nice walks and cycle paths? Social clubs and evening classes?
Where are you going to live?
This is the most important factor in any relocation. Uprooting the family can be unsettling especially if it is to an area none of you are familiar with. If you have a family perhaps you might want to consider settling into your new role for a short while before they join you (just in case things don’t work out, or you have a change of heart). Your family can come and visit at the weekends and you can be their guide as you all explore the area together, helping everyone to acclimatise to their new lives at their own pace.
Education, education, education
Taking children out of school can be one of the biggest worries, so before you decide where to call home check the latest OFSTED reports and arrange to visit some of the schools. Be sure to quiz family, friends and your new colleagues about their experiences. Also, think carefully about the right time to make the move, especially if they have important exams looming. This could be a fantastic opportunity to choose the school that is ideally suited to your children, rather than the lottery of the catchment area.
Cost of living
Whatever your reason for relocating, the main reason is because you are looking for a better life. However, it is inevitable that there will be costs associated with moving home, whether you are selling and buying a new house, or looking to rent. Spending some time on websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove can help you to understand how far your money will go. If you are moving out of London you may be in for a very pleasant surprise!
Also, if you are moving to a different country be mindful of the exchange rate, different costs of living and levels of tax. Diligent planning in advance can help avoid any unpleasant surprises further down the line.
Also, if you are moving overseas don’t forget to open a new bank account!
Planning your new commute
If you dread getting in the car each morning, or can never find a seat on the train, this is a major consideration when deciding where to call home. This is your new opportunity to cut down on your commute (maybe ditch the car, train or bus in favour of pedal power or a walk). Less time travelling means more quality time to spend with your family and other things you enjoy. You might even find time to take up that hobby you always thought about.
Brushing up on the language
If you are starting a new life overseas where English isn’t the first language, or are coming to the UK, it is a great idea to enrol in a class. Not only will it help you to improve your language skills but you will also get to meet new people in the area, learn more about the culture and it will help you to do your job better.
Thinking about your next career step
It might sound crazy to be thinking about your next job at the same time as planning your relocation, but it is an important consideration. What does the local labour market look like? Does the area have a range of opportunities that will enable you to take the next step when the time is right, or will you be thinking about relocating again? This is especially important if you are planning to work on a fixed term contract.
Finally, allow yourself time to adjust. It is a big move and it will inevitably take a while to settle in to your new life and routine. Remember, wherever you are relocating if you do your research it will help you to assimilate quicker and that means you can begin to take advantage of all those new opportunities that motivated you to move in the first place.