Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Sweetest Game Plan | Moving to a New Place

No, we're not moving, at least not that I know of. But then again, Tate may throw me for another loop and make a decision to move last minute. But let's hope not. Now, if you haven't read my post yesterday, go read it so you'll know what The Sweetest Game Plan is all about.

A year ago Monday my mom, sister and I packed up my entire house in McAllen and brought me to Odessa. Tate had been gone for about 6 weeks at this point, only coming home every other weekend, and my family did not feel safe with me and B being that far away alone. Fine by me! A few weeks later Tate and I went back, loaded up the u-haul and brought it to a storage unit in Ballinger. A few months later we bought our house and moved everything once again. I've become an expert packer, but that's another story for another day. 

This was my second time to move somewhere knowing not a single person, no job, no day care lined up, no schedule - I was a hot mess of emotions, both times! Each town was very different. McAllen was much bigger than Odessa. I was a stay at home mom and Tate worked 35-40 minutes away depending on traffic. Ballinger is much smaller than Odessa, like way smaller! I finally found a job, have a toddler in day care, and Tate works less than 5 minutes away. Very different, very!

With the anniversary of our move being this week I thought this would be a good game plan to start with. Moving is a game plan with multiple parts - this is just the start!  

Part 1 - Do your research!

Google your new area | Seriously! Look at the data on schools, crime rates and good/bad areas! The city website should be able to navigate you around everything. If you have a realtor, don't be afraid to ask them! They have a ton of resources and will be able to help you out. While doing this you should be able to also figure out what area you want to live in.

Learn your way around | I'm a very hands on person and seriously spent days driving around McAllen. Ballinger was much easier because it was super small, but I did spend a day driving around. I just wanted to see what each place offered. Trust me, if it looked like I probably shouldn't turn down a street, I didn't! Within the first day I was able to know how to get to a park, grocery store, restaurant strips and the mall (haha!) It actually made me proud to have to navigate Tate somewhere.

Locate your emergency services | You need to know where the nearest hospital is. It may also be a good idea to know where the police department and fire stations are. And the phone numbers! Sure, 911, but it's always nice to have a direct line for reference. I'd hate to be stuck in an emergency situation and not have a clue where something is.

Find healthcare providers | Primary care physicians and pediatricians (crucial for us) are good to start with, as well as any particular medical concern you may have. It's nice to have references to ask around! See if there are local blogs or Facebook groups, but beware, some people are very opinionated so learn to take other people's (as in not some one you know personally) personal stories with a grain of salt. Find some one and trust your instincts you'll know if you shouldn't be there. 

Learn the weather in your new area | this one was huge for me! McAllen had a lot of rain and tropical storm type weather. Ballinger gets pretty bad storms and usually has a few tornado warnings (luckily none yet!) You need to be prepared for what you could possibly face and be prepared for it. Flood? Tornado? Extreme heat? Blizzards? Because of the rain in McAllen I told Tate I wanted to invest in a good pair of "weather items" - good rain gear, snow gear, etc. - for each place we lived.

Find home service providers | There's a chance you'll need pest control, a plumber, an electrician, or something of the likes at some point. It's better to go ahead and have a provider's name and number so you aren't searching for one when an event arises and you need one. This would be a good one to ask your realtor about.

So there's part one. What's coming up in the moving game plan? 
-finding a home
-moving in and getting settled
-meeting people and making friends (that's a tough one!)

Have you ever moved somewhere completely new?
Is there anything you would add to my list of things to research on before you move?

Have the best Wednesday!

xx - Leah

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