AU Tips on how to move house smoothly
Property Here - Thursday, April 25, 2013
YOU have found the perfect house, done your sums and know you can afford it . . . then you look at a map. Gulp. Your dream home is across town.
Most of us move to unfamiliar territory at some point in our lives because of the personal and financial gains that can be made. But moving is always a major upheaval, and worse when you know nothing about your new home turf.
Realestate has looked at ways to fast track the adjustment.
"Moving house is one of the most stressful experiences individuals can go through but with a little thoughtful planning the move does not have to be as stressful,'' psychotherapist and family counsellor Tahlia Mandie said.
When a family relocates it is important parents start talking to their children about it weeks in advance.
"They will need time to grasp the idea and come to terms with a change,'' Ms Mandie said.
"If you are moving to a suburb that has friends you already know, maybe get the kids to talk to these friends beforehand or arrange a play date soon after the move. You can also help kids by trying to maintain a sense of routine and find out if it is possible for the kids to visit their new school.''
ON THE MOVE
The psychotherapist also advised those on the move to be realistic about the time it will take them to settle in.
"But by establishing connections and a lifestyle early on, it can make the settling process a lot easier,'' Ms Mandie said.
"Connect with community groups, local sporting clubs or your local gym.''
Ensuring you stay flexible and maintaining regular communication between all family members as you adjust is also necessary.
Brad Straughair moved from Carnegie 80km northwest to Mt Macedon in 2010.
Faced with buying a two-bedroom unit in Melbourne's east or a three-bedroom house on a big block, the Domain Buyer Advocates boss bought in the bush.
He did thorough research on his prospective home town, including eating at local restaurants and trying a peak-hour commute.
Post-move Mr Straughair got involved in his new town by joining the golf club, which abuts his home.
Getting your head in the right place is vital, he advised.
"Sure there are days when my usual commute of 65 minutes is delayed but you must not let that affect your feelings of happiness about your new home,'' he said.
"The fact is many people commute an hour just to get from Fairfield to Elwood for example, and that is only 15km.''
Amanda Bennetts from Rye in Victoria also believes joining groups of residents with similar interests will help people settle quickly.
After six years in Altona Meadows, Ms Bennetts, husband Matthew Tallent and daughter Mary-Clair bought on the Mornington Peninsula in January.
"It was a lifestyle choice. Our daughter is three, we are hoping to have another baby and want to live in an area that feels safe, has lots of activities and a close-knit community,'' Ms Bennetts said.
But travelling between her old and new lives has been a challenge in recent months.
The couple run Bennetts Boots shops in Richmond and Hoppers Crossing and their busiest months are February and March.
"We really miss having my mum only 10 minutes' away when we lived in Altona Meadows as she was fantastic for babysitting or a cooked meal,'' Ms Bennetts said.
"But we plan to make friends and form social groups in Rye and have found great support in the local community centre child care group.''
First-home buyer Vanessa Phillips recently moved from Melbourne's inner-east to its inner-west.
After five years "on and off'' in Windsor she expects to get the keys to her Yarraville townhouse this week.
The move can't come soon enough, despite some sadness at saying goodbye to neighbourhood friends.
"I will miss my friends in the park where I used to walk my dog but I cannot wait to have my own north-facing garden and to be moving to a real village like Yarraville,'' she said.
Tips for making a move smooth:
Pack - and clearly mark - a couple of boxes with emergency items including medicine, toiletries and children's school essentials, suggests Richard Kuipers of removal company Two Men and a Truck. Keep them apart from your main household items.
Seek counsel from council
Check your new local council website for information on rubbish collection, community events, local shopping facilities and transport options.
Pound the pavement
Stroll through surrounding streets, a park or the local shopping strip. ``It is a great way to familiarise yourself with what's around and you'll always find a great coffee or lunch spot. Pets are also a great conversation starter so take them with you,'' said Leo Dardha of Hocking Stuart Yarraville.
Love thy neighbour
Once you are in your new home your neighbours will be curious, so introduce yourself.Being friendly comes with social benefits and knowing each other's faces boosts neighbourhood security.
Welcome junk mail
Local newspapers and advertising flyers can help quickly to familiarise you with local events and services.
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