The global Covid-19 pandemic continues to send shock waves through almost every part of our lives – from our jobs, to our social arrangements, through to our long-term economic prospects. And so it’s little wonder that all the seismic changes, paired with continuing uncertainty about the future, have left many of us re-evaluating our lives and thinking more deeply about what would truly make us happy. Statistics from the Pew Research Center show that roughly one in five Americans have either relocated as a direct result of the pandemic, or know someone that has. And this trend of exodus from the city is only accelerating as time goes by. People living in populous urban centers such as New York City are beginning to look at locations such as New Jersey, Bergen County and Essex County as the most desirable destinations to move to and begin a new life. So if you’re looking to move as a result of the pandemic, what should you do before relocation?
Narrow Down Your New Location
If your main motivations for moving are escaping the spread of Coronavirus and trying to achieve a less hectic pace of life, or perhaps gain more property for your money, raise a family in a less dangerous environment or be nearer to family, you need to make a plan for relocation. With many workers now being able to do their jobs from home, there is lots more freedom when it comes to choosing a new neighbourhood. Relocation is a big deal, so you need to be sure of your destination. Doing your research is absolutely vital. Consult some online Neighborhood databases to learn about locations you have in mind, understand what the commuting situation will be like if you’re going to have to do that again at some point, and look into the crime rate and the local schools if you have a family or are thinking of starting one in the future. If you’re considering purchasing a house, it’s a good idea to rent a property in the same area for a few months. Not only will this allow you to confirm that you’re making the right decision before you commit, but it also allows you to refine your knowledge of the neighborhood and understand exactly which streets you’d like to purchase a home on. You need to consider factors such as:
- Employment Opportunities (particularly if you work in a specialist role)
- Real estate prices and value
- Affordability and cost of living
- How close you are to friends and family
All of these things will help you to be certain that you’re making the right move.
Begin Your House Hunt
Once you’re sure of a location and you understand what budget you have to spend, you can get to the more interesting part – house hunting. Get friendly with the local real estate agents and use CheckMark Plus to ensure your property is properly inspected before purchase. Key things to ensure are that the building is structurally sound, and there isn’t any cracking in the walls or foundations, or any signs of damp being present. It’s also wise to consider the orientation of the house – this might seem small, but it can actually make all the difference between a house that is sunny and full of light and one that is dark, with a garden that refuses to grow plants properly. Look at the space available – is it enough for your needs, especially if you are working from home for an extended time? Or if not, is there space to develop and expand the property in the future? You should also evaluate the amount of storage that the property offers. This is an asset which often gets overlooked but that can make all the difference when you’re looking for somewhere to store your vacuum cleaner, spare bed linen or out of season clothing. Check out the state of repair the roof is in and the plumbing and electrics as well, because these things can be time consuming and expensive to fix if they are defective.
Enjoy Your New Life
Although a move can be complicated to pull off, if you’re moving for the right reasons ultimately it will always be rewarding. Making sure you do the proper research will prevent any costly mistakes and ensure that your relocation proceeds as smoothly as possible. Covid-19 can be the catalyst for a whole new lifestyle and allow you to make the move you need for safety and a much better quality of life.