If you are moving or thinking about moving, this will prepare you to hit the ground running when you get here and give you a game plan.
This is a popular topic as I am working with many buyers moving here from all over. Having moved myself across the country three times, I can tell you exactly what to do when you are new to a city…
PACK FOR A FEW WEEKS WITHOUT YOUR STUFF. If you are using long distance movers the truck may get here a week or two behind you. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to moving. They will probably have several moves in the same truck which can slow things down as well. Be sure to have things you need with you in the car for at least a 2 week stint. Think of it like packing for a vacation!
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT NEIGHBORHOODS. Walk around various neighborhoods. Attend open houses on weekends. Write down what is important to you in a house. Look for grocery stores, restaurants, gyms you know and like and research homes in those areas. If you have a dog you may want to consider living near a park or beaches.
REALTORS. It seems like everyone in Florida has a real estate license or a family member that has one. That doesn’t mean they are a good realtor or experienced enough to carry through a transaction. Be sure to interview several. Unless they do a buyer interview with you and take time to learn specifically what you are looking for they are probably not the right fit. Make sure they are a full time agent. There are many part time agents that do real estate on the side as a hobby. You want a full time professional that does this every day. If you are using Zillow note that these are agents paying for leads and may not always be vetted by Zillow. (P.S: I am a full time agent with an office and I do not pay for Zillow leads!)
TAKE TIME TO DO TOURISTY THINGS. Walking tours, restaurants and sightseeing tours can be a great way to get to know a city. Learn the hot spots. The faster you can familiarize yourself with what the area offers the more you will learn, things will start to make sense.
DOCTORS, OPTOMETRIST, DENTAL, VET. Transfer your records to new doctors.
DMV. This is of course a one stop shop for your new Driver’s license, voting, license plates, car registration. Be sure to bring everything they need for proof of ID/living in Florida before you go.
DOG WALKS/PARKS. Make sure you follow the leash rules at parks and beaches.
NEXTDOOR App. Download the Nextdoor app to get advice from locals on your new area, yard sales, services for just about anything.
GYMS. If keeping fit is part of your routine, you’ll want to find the best gyms for you. Visit a few and look at what they offer. Ask for sign up specials!
BUILD A LOCAL NETWORK OF FRIENDS. Meet up groups, joining local tennis, golf club, or volunteer. It is important to learn as much as you can about the area from the locals. Make a big effort in your first year living here and you will make a great network of friends!
Enjoy getting to know your new city!