Relocating to a new city can be a daunting task. Whether you’re moving for a job, attending grad school, or just in need of a change of scenery, learning the lay of the land can take time. However, with the proper preparation, this leap of faith can lead to a magical new chapter of life. Below we’ve compiled our top tips for relocating to Portland from knowing your neighborhoods to our advice about moving during the pandemic.
KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOODS
Portland is filled with micro burrows all with varying neighborhood vibes. One minute you’re in residential, family-oriented Alameda, and the next thing you know the scenery turns to a bohemian hipster oasis in the Alberta Arts District. Knowing these distinctions will help you pinpoint the neighborhood that’s right for you. Take some time to brainstorm your wants, is walkability important? Do you need to be near public transit to get to work? Is a good school district crucial? Neighborhood crime statistics, property values and taxes, future neighborhood development, and proximity to amenities are additional topics to think about when choosing your neighborhood criteria. Once you’ve pinpointed your must-haves you can begin reading neighborhood profiles and compiling a list of desirable areas. If you’re still unsure, talk through what you’re looking for with your real estate broker, they’ll be able to customize a search that meets your needs and guide you to the perfect neighborhood.
Now that you’ve pinpointed your neighborhoods, it’s time to start touring homes. Prior to the pandemic, most out-of-staters planned weekend trips to their desired city in order to tour a plethora of potential homes at once. Although touring homes in person is ideal, in the current market you may not have the luxury to wait for your next trip to Portland. Thankfully virtual tours have never been more available, between Matterport 3D tours where you can walk through a “dollhouse” version of the home online, pre-recorded video tours, and live Facetimes with your real estate broker there are plenty of ways to experience a home without ever physically stepping inside. If you are unable to tour a home in person we recommend having your broker tour it with you via video. This gives you a more realistic view of the house and allows your broker to give you feedback on the home including potential issues that may have not been visible in the home’s marketing.
TEMPORARY RENTALS & STORAGE
For those in a time crunch to move, short-term rentals may be a good option. Short-term rentals eliminate the pressure to find your perfect home quickly and give you more time to familiarize yourself with the city before making a purchase. Check out our Rental Resources page for our recommended property management companies. They’ll be able to give you guidance on a rental that fits your needs. If you choose to go the short-term rental route, investing in a good storage unit will make the transition to your future home easier. Consider fully furnished rentals, so you can keep the bulk of your belongings packed in storage. This way you only have to repack the essential once you’re ready to move into your permanent home. Shipping containers are a great way to move if you’re planning on a temporary rental because they serve as transportation for your belongings and storage. Our favorite container storage companies are U-Pack and Smartbox.
RELOCATING IN A PANDEMIC
The pandemic has brought many changes to our day-to-day lives including new considerations when moving. In a typical out-of-state move, you plan ahead by transferring your utilities and home services, notifying schools, and preparing paperwork for your new state residency. In addition to those essentials, we recommend going in for all your medical and veterinary appointments before your move. Shortages in these industries have made the wait times for medical services longer than years prior and it may be months before you can get an appointment with a new practitioner. Preparing for this in advance will save you a headache in the early days of your transition.
The pandemic has also impacted the moving industry with many companies not working at their previous capacity due to new covid restrictions. Be sure to contact multiple companies in advance for quotes and clarify what their policies are to better prepare for your moving day. Restrictions and limitations may include limiting the number of people in your home while movers are present, disinfecting highly trafficked surfaces ahead of your movers’ arrival, longer wait and booking times, and inability to move due to local government mandates. For more details on how to plan for your move check out our Moving Tips & Tricks blog.