Relocating is never easy. You’re forced to uproot house and home, pack (or sell) every one of your belongings, leave your friends and family, and learn all the ins and outs of a completely new place – all in one fell swoop. It’s no fun for anyone.

But one thing that can make relocating even worse? That’s doing it from far away.

And we don’t just mean moving from far away. We mean finding a new home, arranging movers, setting up utilities – the whole shebang – all from hundreds or maybe even thousands of miles away.

This is a common occurrence in today’s world. Corporate executives are transferred across state lines, and military members are issued permanent changes of stations all the time, leave them – and their family members – to secure a new home and pack up their old one in only a matter of weeks. It’s enough to leave anyone stressed, anxious and all-in-all frustrated.

Are you going through a relocation? Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t fret. We’ve seen hundreds of families find great homes and make seamless moves from all over the world, and though it might not be the easiest task you’ll undertake in this lifetime, there are ways to make it most affordable, more effective and less stressful on all those involved.

Here’s what we’d recommend:

  1. Use every resource you can. If you’re making a PCS, your military base likely has a relocation office. Stop by and get their assistance however you can. They may have recommendations for moving or packing help on your end, and they will probably be able to help secure transportation for you – and maybe even your things – at a discounted price. If you’re relocating for your job, talk to HR. They may offer relocation assistance as well.
  2. Have an advocate for yourself. Since you can’t be on the ground looking at homes and scouting out neighborhoods, appoint someone to be your eyes and ears. Enlist the help of a trusted, knowledgeable local real estate agent, and get candid about what you do and don’t want in both a home and a community. They’ll act on your behalf to find potential properties, tour homes and represent you in negotiations.
  3. Start researching early. As soon as you’re aware of your relocation, start digging in. Research the city online, check out NeighborhoodScout.com and City-Data.com to get a feel for the communities, and use GreatSchools.org to learn about local schools (if you have kiddos.)
  4. Sign up for alerts. Once you have a real estate agent, they’ll be able to find potential properties on your behalf. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little ground work yourself. Put in your preferences and price range into Redfin, Trulia, Zillow and other real estate sites, and set up email alerts for them. You’ll get a message every time a new home is listed and meets your requirements. In an inventory-strapped market like we have right now, moving fast is crucial if you want to get that dream home.
  5. Ask around. Know other families on base who have been transferred to your new city? Find out their recommendations for neighborhoods and subdivisions. Moving for a job? Contact your new boss, colleagues or HR rep, and ask about the area. They’re most likely to know what areas are a good fit for your commute as well as your income level.
  6. Rent first. If you’re not comfortable purchasing a home without seeing it – or the neighborhood first – then consider renting first. Or, at the very least, opt to stay in a hotel or a friend’s house for a few weeks until you have time to search yourself. It might be a little bit of a headache, but this will allow you to get the best possible home for your needs and preferences, without requiring a risk on your part.

Obviously, the best way to ensure you move to a neighborhood you truly love is to check it out for yourself. But if that’s just not possible because of time or money restraints, hiring a real estate agent is the next best option. They’ll act as your stand-in during the entire homebuying process, finding the right community, touring properties and finally negotiating a deal on the home of your dreams.

Do you need help relocating? Are you relocating to San Antonio and need help finding the right spot? Contact The Claus Team today. Our agents are experts in relocation, and they’re here to help you every step of the way.