Whether local or long-distance, moving can come with all sorts of anxiety. The packing, the truck, the displacement of your possessions, the interruption in your routine, all of it can make getting used to a new environment exhausting.
While packing and logistics can be simplified by hiring professionals, acclimating to a new surrounding requires a hands-on approach. Here are a few tips to help see you through:
- Tip #1: Do your research. Thanks to the internet you can get a pretty good idea of what an area is like from the palm of your hand. Try seeking out local resources such as a community Facebook page to find out what events are happening in your new neighborhood. Use this opportunity to mix with the locals.
Second, look up a pizza place on Yelp, read the reviews, then go. Don’t order to-go, stay for the entire time it takes you to eat the pizza. You’ll get a feel for the regulars and maybe pick up on local gossip.
Tip #2: Start talking. While you’re having pizza, ask the server or bartender about their favorite places. No one knows more about local hotspots then a server or bartender. Plus, they can tell you which places to avoid.
Tip #3: Think hashtags. Query the community’s hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. This method will produce results related to events, or people who could be your new friends or neighbors. If you see a park or an event that interests you, check it out. You’ll likely encounter people with the same interests as you.
Tip #4: Reach out to people. Use your current network to build a network in your new neighborhood. Friends of friends are an excellent resource for the local perspective — hair stylists, doctors, veterinarians, schools, neighborhood vibes, and so on. Not everything you want to know about a community is going to be on the internet.
Tip #5: Get your pet’s insights! Saving my favorite for last: walk a dog. Dogs are the most social of animals and tend to like long walks in their immediate vicinity. If you’re a dog owner, great, you have a built-in community explorer at the end of a leash. If you don’t have a dog, borrow one. Contact a community outreach person who fosters dogs and volunteer to walk a dog in need. You’ll gain a unique perspective on the territory while giving back at the same time.
Whichever way you decide, follow up with action. Getting out and about physically is the fastest and most efficient way to understand and appreciate your new neighborhood.
If you are making a move to or from Philadelphia, contact me for local information and helpful resources.
Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
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