Moving to a new city opens up a wealth of exciting possibilities, but the thrill of new horizons can sometimes seem more daunting than liberating. Feeling truly at home in a different city takes time, but there are steps you can take to ease the process and quickly establish yourself as a knowledgeable local.
After the dust has settled in your brand new home, spend an evening on general administration, completing any unfinished business from your move. Confirm that your bank, insurance firm and utility providers are aware of your new contact details, then send group emails alerting personal and business contacts to your new address. Check that all incorrectly addressed postal mail will be forwarded swiftly from your old home for the next few months at least. You may also need to re-register your vehicle and your right to vote.
Locate hidden gems
Whether you're a bibliophile looking for a good antiquarian bookshop or a wine connoisseur hoping to sample the best vintage in the region, finding places that cater to your specific interests will keep your weekends busy and potentially even introduce you to your new best friends. Browsing reputable guidebooks is an excellent place to start, but to truly escape the beaten track, search for local bloggers who've written in-depth, personal reviews of their favourite hideaways. Once you've put together a list of promising places, spend a day walking from venue to venue so that if you spot anything on the way that catches your interest, you're free to stroll over and explore.
Meet the neighbours
An informal gathering with wine and nibbles is an easy way to break the ice with others in your building or on your street. Write out invitations and deliver them in person so that you'll recognise your guests on the day, sliding them through the letterbox if no-one answers the door. Before the event, think through some suitable topics of conversation and take the opportunity to ask any burning questions you have about the area and its facilities. Whether the housewarming heralds the start of lifelong friendships or simply notifies you of an excellent jogging route or restaurant, a small party like this always yields positive results.
Get your bearings
Spend some time driving, walking or cycling around the area, getting to know the best shortcuts and alternative routes to everyday destinations like your office or the gym. Explore different transport options to avoid rush hours and traffic hotspots, test how long it takes to travel to your nearest airport or station, and establish the most convenient way into the city centre.
Set up the essentials
Developing a home is, in part, about creating a network of essential contacts. This should include your dentist and doctor as a matter of priority, extending to mechanic, handyman, hairdresser, cleaner, gardener and any other professionals whose services you require. Time spent researching the most reputable and high-quality services in the local area, either online or with new acquaintances, will be time well spent.
Whichever new city you're thinking of relocating to, Engel & Völkers' real estate experts are on hand to assist. With hundreds of shops worldwide, we're perfectly placed to help you find the ideal property in a friendly and fascinating neighbourhood.