Moving house. Apparently this is as stressful as getting divorced – and that's a pretty damn stressful thing! And it’s no wonder when you’re signing a legal contract, parting with big wads of cash and moving somewhere new...
Now add to this the stress of flathunting from another town ahead of a relocation, and you have the potential for one giant headache; after all, it’s easy to get stung. And so we help you to avoid the major pitfalls of a long-distance move.
1. Budget vs safety
This is a mistake that many of us have made and it can make your relocation dream a nightmare. Don’t be swayed by low prices and end up in a dodgy area with high crime rates. You’ll be moving to a place where you may not know anyone, and you have to feel safe and secure.
In a new town and city, you may not know off the top of your head where is a decent place to live and where isn’t, and sometimes the better areas sit side-by-side with no go streets. So how do you get around this? Just do your research. The police service now has a website that allows you to check how safe your area is by postcode.
Check out police.uk for more information.
2. Is it 'you'?
Are you a funky arty type? Maybe you’re looking for a high-flying financial job? Or perhaps you’re a down-to-earth engineer? Make sure that the area that you move to fits your personality. How can you tell? Usually from what can be found in the surrounding area.
Check out the bars, restaurants and shops that can be found where you want to live as these are the best indicators of the types of people that the area attracts. As a young grad you don’t want to end up in the middle of a yummy mummy zone!
3. Visiting time
Once you’ve done some research online and asked around friends who may know the area, it’s time to go and check it out for yourself. It may be an additional expense but this is a necessity. If you’re going to head over for the day or a short weekend then be prepared with a map and list of places you want to check out so you don't waste time getting lost. It's better to find out the pros and cons of your new home now rather than after you move!
4. Organise, organise, organise
This is the most important thing about flathunting from afar. Now you’ve decided on where you want to live, checked out the neighbourhood, visited it and have still decided you like it, you’ll need to book in some appointments to view properties.
As you won’t want to be spending lots of money on travelling back and forth or on staying in hotels, try and cram as much into one or two trips as possible. You can find flats to share or rent through local newspapers (most of which have websites) and well-known resources like Gumtree. Book as many as possible and remember the rental market is fast-paced so places may go. Think on your feet and book in additional appointments when you’re there to make the most of your time.
5. Be aware
The most important thing to remember is to stay safe. If you can, take a friend flathunting with you or, if that’s not possible, make sure someone you can trust has your full itinerary and update them as your plans change. Also, check out the credentials of the agents you’re using and don’t ever hand over large amounts of money without being 100% sure they’re legitimate. Take time to read over your rental contract and keep your wits about you. You don’t want to be stung.
But most of all, look for somewhere that you can make into a real home.
For more information on relocating for a graduate job:
Long distance job interviews
Relocating dos and don'ts
Plan ahead: budgeting for relocation