Side Street Style: Tips for moving abroad & finding a new home

Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog

20/04/2017

Tips for moving abroad & finding a new home






Now some of you may already know I am originally from South Africa and lived in Cape Town for almost 20 years although moved over to the Europe/UK permanently in 2006 and have been lucky enough to live in more than one city since. I spent some time living in Edinburgh (for around 18 months) as well as Falmouth, Amsterdam and the South of France but have now settled in Wales. Moving home let alone another country can be stressful and finding a place to call home in a new city can be daunting. I really loved my flat I shared with a friend near Leith in Edinburgh as well as the fun shared house in Falmouth and tiny studio in Amsterdam, learning about new places, navigating your way, building friendships, I wouldn't of changed my nomadic ways at all, in fact I still feel like there could be another big move but this time as a family.

Having rented many places, opening new bank accounts, had things shipped, posted and moved a variety of times I thought I would share a few time son finding a new home in the city you choose to take your new adventures in. Even though any kind of relocation, no matter how close or far it can be stressful but it does not have to be an overwhelming one if you make a checklist of what you need to do and tackle each entry on that list one at a time.

These tips can also be applied to whether you are moving or are simply searching for your first apartment or home, following each of these steps in order will make your efforts much easier:


1. Determine Your Budget

First and foremost, you need to determine how much money you are willing to spend on a new apartment or house. This is because setting a budget will allow you to immediately narrow your options when you begin the apartment hunting process, while also ensuring that you don’t spend money you don’t have. It may seem like an obvious step although you will be surprised how many people don't have a clear idea of their finances and what things really cost, so checking local costs of things like groceries, transport, council tax etc will give you a clearer idea.


Also bare in mind not only does your budget need to take into account the base rent, it also needs to include expenses such as internet and cable, storage and parking fees, utilities, and a down payment or deposit you may have to make when you first sign off with your new landlord.

2. What Amenities Do You Want or Need?

Next, you need to decide which amenities or luxuries you need or want although you do need to be flexible on this one as no single property will fit your needs entirely. Examples of amenities for you to take into consideration include whether the apartment or house is pet friendly, if it has a gym room or fitness center, a swimming pool, a laundry room, enough parking space, security, and any shops or stores that are within easy walking distance. Do you have kids and are their good schools close by as well as public areas such as parks and museums.   



I loved living in Amsterdam even though my studio flat was tiny.



3. How Far is if  From Work?

The next thing for you to consider is the distance between your apartment and wherever it is you work. If you freelance from home this won’t be an issue, but if you work in a separate physical location it is definitely one of the biggest factors you will need to keep in mind. The distance between your apartment and your place of work not only determines how long it’s going to take you to get to work, but how much money you’re going to be spending on gas or public transport each month as well.

4. Book mark any properties you see online as reference points

Both John and I love the idea of moving to Toronto one day (or anywhere in Canada for that fact) so every now and then I have little search to see what things cost and what we could get for our money and book mark them for future reference and as a guide. All you need to do is research local estate agents or online property websites so for example when I search by looking at Toronto apartments online and making a list from there. You’ll want to start with a fairly large list and then narrow it down to three to five based on the last three steps. 






5. Once your in the city take your time to view potential properties

Once you’ve narrowed your selection based on your research online, it’s time to pay those apartment and houses in your favourites list a visit. The best thing is to act quickly once you are in the position to move forward so do make sure you have time allocated for viewing properties, ask plenty of questions and take notes throughout the touring process. Be sure to arrive on time and be presentable as first impressions always count.

These 5 steps should really help get you on your way to settling into your new place. I also recently wrote a post about 5 tips on helping children adjust when you move - this may be particularly helpful if your making a move with your family in tow. Life is an adventure so don't regret not taking the chance on somewhere new if the time is right!

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9 comments:

  1. I moved countries myself a few years ago and love the tips, wish I would have known some of them myself back then :) xx

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    1. I know thats how I felt, I did things blindly the first times round so thought I'd share what I had learnt

      Laura x

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  2. Some brilliant points in this post! I haven't moved abroad but I have just relocated from London where I lived for 27 years to the seaside and that was a big adjustment!

    Becca

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    Replies
    1. Oh wow thats amazing, hope you have settled in well into your new home and life by the seaside

      Laura x

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  3. These are great tips. Moving abroad is stressful enough

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be so stressful - in fact any move can

      Laura x

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  4. Great tips, I can't even think about moving again for that would mean we would have to sort out nine peoples stuff that we have collected over the last 20 years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be a huge move with 9 people!!

      Laura x

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  5. Wow, I never knew you were from South Africa. It is a place I would love to visit and I hanker after settling in Scotland after a visit - it is beautiful

    ReplyDelete

Lovely comments

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