Same Area Moves

Is a move within the same town technically a move?

Sure it is!

And it can be nearly as frustrating as a cross-state move. You still have to pack, load, drive, unload, and unpack—or hire big hairy guys to do it for you. The main difference is that you won’t get as many Frequent Mover Miles.

If you’re moving from one neighborhood to another in the same town, or to a nearby or adjoining town, you already know some things about your new town. You’ve probably heard all the rumors about inbreeding there. But you may want to know more specifically what to expect in the new neighborhood—whether it’s just around the corner, across town, or to a nearby town.

Because you are near your new location, you can easily learn more about it. Drive around to get a feel for the area. If the area is relatively safe, get out of the car and walk, especially the few blocks surrounding your new neighborhood. (If it’s not safe, better rethink your move!) Introduce yourself to the local natives—especially those picking up tornado debris in the front yard. Ask them questions:

  • Is there an annual block party?
  • Where do the kids play?
  • Do most residents work away from home, leaving the neighborhood quiet during the day?
  • Where is the nearest emergency clinic, bowling alley, or tofu snack shop?
  • Is there a Neighborhood Watch program—or at least a benevolent busybody?

Most cities are a family of towns—and they probably get along about as well. If you want to learn more about the other side of your town, talk with local officials. Call city hall and find out who represents the new neighborhood at the city council. Call your city council representative and ask about issues that concern the neighborhood. Is a plan in place to improve street lighting soon (at homeowner expense)? Is anyone trying to rezone the neighborhood for a paintball range? Ten minutes on the phone can keep you from making a frustrating mistake.

Larger cities have neighborhood newspapers. If you have enough advance time, subscribe to one for your new neighborhood. If not, review back issues at the neighborhood library or newspaper office. Read the ads as well as the stories. The ads tell you what the people in the area are like.

  • Do they shop the finest stores or the dollar stores?
  • Are they more interested in tennis courts or sports bars?
  • Does nearly everyone in town have the same last name?

Moving to a new town—even if it’s just 20 miles away—can be an adventure. Think about all the new things you can see and do. And all the old neighbors you can now avoid. By learning about the city or town beforehand, you can be ready to settle in quickly and become involved in your new home town. You may not even have to change telephone numbers!

Besides a drive there, you can learn about your new town through maps, booklets, books, tourist brochures, and other resources. Dust off your nearly-expired library card and check out the library’s resources first. Then try the newsstands and bookstores. If you’re “wired,” log onto the Internet and find out what you can find out.

Moving Tips

If you are moving for a new or relocated job—even if it’s just to the next town—ask your employer for help finding information about the town. Many large employers offer help to relocating employees. Or they may be able to direct you to a helpful employee who lives in the area.

Make the new city your own. Start to know it now. Following are some practical tips for same-area moves:

  • Try tuning into your new town’s radio station to hear the local news, sports, and ads for area businesses.
  • Ask your friends whether they know people who live in the neighborhood or nearby town to which you’re moving.
  • Remember to pack for a short move as thoroughly as for a long one. Most items damaged in moving happen with short moves.
  • Short moves can become new beginnings.New Area Moves