by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
Moving is difficult—no matter the situation, any time you are packing up all your worldly belongings (read--old magazines, items you have been meaning to repair, kids’ art projects) and move them to a new home is overwhelming for even the most lively and positive among us. When you've secured your dream job—four states away--and your spouse will have to vacate their career, when life has thrown you a big curveball and you're essentially forced to move, when living independently is no longer an option---you must deal with a lot of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the anxiety of the actual move to Wichita Falls.
One aggravation in moving is coping with the whims of the real estate business. You are a successful adult, respected in your community, and your life is totally in the balance of some people you've never met--what if your house does not sell when you want it to? Suppose the buyers buying your house find a different house that they like better? What if they ask you to leave the refrigerator and the kids' sandbox? Suppose the appraiser sees the rift in the foundation that is sort of covered behind the shrubbery? What if the inspector discovers your new residence has a bad roof or there's a mall and travel plaza projected for across the street from your new subdivision? Here is the reality. You have little control over any of these items. The best plan of attack is to ensure that the realtor helping with your home and the realtor helping you with the new home are knowledgeable and do their jobs--and work with both to have a back-up plan should something go off course.
Think about real estate transactions as a giant run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening on time. One hiccup six steps down the timeline can impact your buyers timetable, and a similar thing goes for the house you are purchasing—unexpected mishap might mean you can't close at the time that you thought you could, and you're up at night pondering how you will handle being homeless for a a couple days, or if you might just move into one of the moving company’s moving vans and set up camp.
Take a deep breath. One of the advantages of the recession is that real estate regulations have changed and there are not nearly as many down-to-the-wire updates with your closings. You should learn of any possible issues far ahead of your closing date, and in the event something does change, moving companies are super used to working with changing timetables. If something does slow your move down, you could have the choice of moving in a few days prior to when you actually close--again, a good realtor thinks about contingencies, so you do not have to fret about these things.
Touch base with your realtors and lender once a week leading up to your scheduled closing to make sure all the inspections and repairs and specifics are on schedule; staying in the know provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a hiccup you're not caught unaware.
If something unexpected does take place, like if you are building and an out-of-stock supply has delayed inspections and you do not have the occupancy certificate a few days before you close because the plumbing is not done, AND you have a rock solid close on your old home and the movers are slammed, do not panic. Most moving companies can provide temporary or long-term storage until you can move into your new house, and your realtor should be able to assist you in finding short-term housing until your house is available. Issues like these are unlikely, but when they do arise your stress levels skyrocket--so rely on your team to help you deal with it.
The Emotional Stages of Moving
So, you're moving to Wichita Falls--and it may be welcome, it may be a challenge. You might be relocating five blocks or five hundred miles away. Everyone’s circumstances are distinct, but people are mostly alike--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from home to home. Some are kiddie sized, with happy Disney characters to ride in, and others resemble a death-defying, nausea-producing Loch Ness monster. The trick is to change that roller coaster into a peaceful ride with chipper little people humming "It's A Small World" as you sail through your closets.
Some researchers and psychologists have equated moving--in any circumstance--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. Meaning, you experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance.
When you have created a life in one place, it is very normal to have mixed feelings about leaving the house where you were carried (or carried) over the threshold, where you brought your kiddos home, where you observed all those birthdays and other special occasions. If your move is not an option but necessity, it is fine to be angry with the state of affairs that have deposited you at the place where you are leaving your house because there are no other choices. Get furious, yell and whoop at the walls and ask your family and friends for assistance. Take some time attempting to figure out how to not have to relocate—perhaps your significant other could commute, or rent a crash pad in the new locale; if you require help taking care of your house, you could get live in help. Going through your choices, as insane as they might be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it is a little less painful to accept it.
Then, you may spend a couple days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they should stop over and help you sort through your belongings, and you fudge a tad and say you're almost completed, when in reality you have pitched two dried up ink pens and an empty bottle of hand soap and haven’t picked up the first box for packing. If you are really wrestling with the specifics of purging and packing, let your friends help. Or, ask your moving company to pack things up for you—the majority of full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you started or do the entire job for you.
At some point, you'll accept the transition and change. It may not be the moment the moving vans pull up, it might take several months. But the human spirit is a resilient thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new locale in Wichita Falls. That's not to say it will be without angst, but being open to start a new life and doing new activities can ease the nostalgia for your old home and your old life.
The members of your family might all experience congruent feelings, although with different degrees of passion--teenagers’ reactions are going to be a bit more forceful than that of a child. If you're vacating your family house for senior living because one spouse's health has declined more rapidly, then the more active spouse may feel more anger and denial. The important thing is to keep in mind that the emotional ups and downs are normal and it would be strange if you didn't get sad or mad or a little crazy during the process.
Keeping your move in perspective is key to arriving to the new home in one piece. Your life isn't contained in the brick and mortar of your old residence, your life is in the memories you have formed there. Don’t forget that you won't lose old friends, and that you'll meet new ones. And someday, you will open the front door and say to yourself, "I'm home."
Easing the Transition
Most people are intrenched in habits--even toddlers select their cuddly stuffed animal and you’ll be in trouble if it's nowhere to be found at nap time. Likewise, when you move, you are lots of times shaking up most of your habits in place and even when you're excited about the new home, the new life you have got to construct around it is demanding to even the most courageous. When you're moving and anxious about establishing a new life for you and your family in Wichita Falls, here are some suggestions to ease the transition.
Get your family excited about the move to Wichita Falls. If this deciphers to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint her favorite rock band’s newest album on her wall, put a smile on your face and get the paint. It may mean that finally you have enough space for a dog—figure out what kind of dog would fit best with your family, and as soon as you are settled into your new home, drive to the local shelter and pick one out. Plan to bring home two, as the only thing better than saving one life, is saving two. Let your kids pitch tents and camp out in that new yard. Yes, it's bribery of a sort, but it's all for the best and the thrill of new activities and besides, puppies help everybody buy into the new house and town. And, if you are the one having a tough time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to improving your state of mind.
When you are moving, the world-wide web (if you're older that phrase means something to you) makes the move a lot simplier. You probably used real estate websites to look for your new residence and analyze schools and neighborhoods, so you have a adequate idea already of your new locale. Use social media to link up with people--towns of every size have mom groups that suggest everything from dermatologist reviews to the best piano lessons--and don’t forget that your new neighbors are great resources. Lots of neighborhoods have social media pages and online listings that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and rake leaves.
If you have kids, getting them into new activities is much more vital to them than that pediatrician. Being able to get right back into basketball or karate or gymnastics keeps them active and helps them feel a part of their new community-the last thing you want is to have sulking children around the home whining that they hate you and do not have anyone to hang out with. And here's an interesting fact—findings show that moving during the school year can be less stressful for kids than moving over the summer break. When you commence a new school at the beginning of the year it's easier to get looked over in the craziness of the new year , but when you arrive when school's in session, it is more likely your kids will meet friends faster and be more interested in school.
The loss of a feeling of community can be a tough part of a relocation for the grown-ups. When you're in the habit of swinging into a neighbor's abode just because you see her car in the driveway, going to a new locality where you do not know a soul is rough. Bear in mind that your new neighbors are most likely interested in meeting you, because they have likely said bye to their drive-by buddies and are looking forward to getting to know the new neighbors (aka – you!). Playing with the dog outside is a good way to run into the neighbors--their eagerness to learn about you is high, and this provides you an easy way to get to know everybody.
The majority of churches and synagogues have newcomers’ groups that that you can join, and help you to work out how you fit within that community. Most schools love volunteers, so think about getting involved. And, if you're a member of a national club such as Rotary or Junior League your membership can be easily transferred.
Life changes are difficult, but by granting yourself and your family the okay to be a bit sad about the past will assist everyone embrace the future.
If you are getting ready for a move, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group to begin on your free in-home estimate. We promise to do our part to make your move to Wichita Falls as stress-free as possible.