By Neena Vlamis, President of A and N Mortgage

Getting settled into a new neighborhood can be difficult in normal circumstances but it is extremely challenging to adjust and connect to a new environment during a pandemic. It is possible to make new friends and get yourself acquainted with your new surroundings while maintaining safe, social distancing.

Selecting a Relocation Professional

Feeling comfortable and confident in your new environment is an important part of the relocation process. By hiring a relocation real estate professional, you can be sure you fully understand the unfamiliar real estate market, neighborhoods, and nearby amenities. To find a relocation professional you should begin by getting recommendations from family and friends. You will need an agent that is familiar with real estate sales in the neighborhoods you are comfortable in and within the price range you are able to afford. Conduct a thorough online or phone interview with an agent prior to engaging in a business relationship. Be sure to question the agent about topics including, but not limited to, the number of homes they have sold, the agent’s commission, their references, and their current safety practices during this pandemic.

Deep Clean

Be sure to deep clean and sanitize your new home before you move into it. CDC’s recommendations on how to clean and sanitize your home

EPA’s list of disinfectants that meet the criteria to fight COVID-19. When purchasing any product, check if its EPA registration number is included in this list. The products on this list may be marketed and sold under different brand names, but if they have the same EPA registration number, they are the same product.

Saying Hello By Staying Distant

Once you have made the move it’s time to get to know the area and the community. Meeting your new neighbors can be particularly challenging during a pandemic. But being visible at a distance is still very doable. Why not start with your yard? Getting outdoors to groom your new plants or set up an outdoor seating area is a great way to spruce up your home and can give you a chance to wave and meet neighbors passing by. You can always get gardening advice and find other community organizations or neighborhood social media groups simply by speaking to your neighbors, all while staying six feet apart.

Visiting the neighborhood park is also an option if you don’t have a yard to tend to. Several park districts, community organizations, and local gyms are also offering socially distant outdoor activities.

Once you’ve connected with your new neighbors, it’s the perfect time to discuss how they are socially distancing. If you are comfortable with their boundaries you can arrange an outdoor play date with your children, meet up for morning yoga in the park, or other socially distant activities to get to know each other better.

You may also want to get used to trying things you would not normally do. For instance, bring your dog to a large and open park where other dog owners are, rather than walking your dog on a quiet street or just letting them run in your own backyard. These ideas will help you become more comfortable in your new surroundings and before you know it, you will call your new neighborhood home.

Putting the Social Media in Socially Distancing

Researching your local community message boards is a great way to see what activities are being held virtually in your new town or state. Often libraries, park districts, schools, community theaters, and music venues will host virtual events. There are also organizations in your neighborhood that may be looking for socially distant volunteers. One way to meet new people is to join a volunteer group in the area. Many volunteer groups have revamped their spaces and practices to create safer and more open (often outdoor) venues. Volunteering will introduce you to new people while helping you get familiar with your new town.

Relocating with Children

Relocating to a new area or a new home can be difficult for everyone in your family, but a move can be particularly difficult for children and teenagers. For this reason, it is important to remember to communicate with your children every step of the way. When you do this, your children will know what to expect and, therefore, the move will go more smoothly. It is also important to create routines as soon as possible so that younger children do not become confused and feel unsettled when their normal routines are disrupted. Most importantly, make the move fun for your children by turning it into an adventure.

Remote learning, in addition to being in a new school, will be challenging. Create a time to visit the school, even if it is not open. Seeing the building will make it more real and will ground your child’s online experiences. While you are at it make it a game, a new neighborhood scavenger hunt for example. It’s important for children to have routine and human connection. Balance virtual social time with their old friends and family as you explore your new surroundings.

Additional Read: How To Plan For A Stress-Free Relocation Move

Find Support

Covid-19 has made all our social connections more challenging. Without a pandemic, relocating to a new city or state can be a difficult transition for both you and your family.  A & N Mortgage Services, Inc.’s and our team of professionals can help you find a home and settle in quickly and easily.

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