5 Ways to Get Settled in Your New Neighborhood, Faster

While it can feel intimidating and overwhelming, meeting people is the most direct route to make a new community feel like your home.

Moving to a new home is tough, but it gets even harder when the move includes relocating to a new city or neighborhood. Logistical considerations — like figuring out the best way to get to work — are stressful and time-consuming but require only a bit of trial and error.

Finding your sense of place within a community is not as straightforward. While it can feel intimidating and overwhelming, meeting people is the most direct route to make a new community feel like your home.

Here are five tips to make the transition go more smoothly, whether you’re moving across town or across the country.

1. Make the first move

Sure, it can feel daunting to approach a new next-door neighbor and introduce yourself, but they may be equally hesitant to disturb your family, particularly if you seem busy settling in. So take the initiative and look for an opportunity when they don’t look rushed or preoccupied either. A simple wave or hello can open the door without being intrusive.

2. Make yourself approachable

Likewise, create chances for others to welcome you. Sit on the front porch. Take leisurely walks. Or perhaps just focus on being approachable — avoid the usual mad dash to your car every morning and ditch the grumpy expression upon returning from work.

The same rule applies when you’re out and about in the community. Pick a bar seat over a corner table to enjoy a coffee or beer; there’s something about communal seating that encourages conversation. Take the kids to a playground or park — and don’t keep your face submerged in your iPhone. Make eye contact, smile, and say hello.

3. Become a local

Do as the locals do and frequent a local restaurant, farmers market, or shop. Got a dog? Even better. Dog parks practically beg to help you and your pet make new friends. Soon enough, a nearby destination will be one of those places where at least a few people know your name.

4. Get involved

There’s no better way to meet like-minded people than by participating in activities that are meaningful to you. Finding the right fit may just require a little digging. Check with local schools and universities, park districts, recreation commissions, sports organizations, and — perhaps the greatest reference of all — neighbors and fellow parents.

Large cities often house bars that cater to locals who cheer for out-of-town professional teams — say a “Steelers bar” in San Francisco. Just search on Google, try a handy app, or check out message boards on the team’s website.

Parents have additional outlets for making new friends, like volunteering at school activities, getting involved in car pools, or hosting play dates. Donate your time to community organizations to get to know the neighborhood and improve it by cleaning up trash, helping other residents, or clearing park trails.

5. Use your existing network

Take advantage of organized programs that can help you meet others in your new community. If you were active in a church or other place of worship in your previous location, ask for a referral to a similar establishment. Many employers offer programs that connect newly relocated workers with one another as well as longtime residents.

Most colleges and universities also have local alumni chapters. And don’t forget to mine your online networks. Ask Facebook friends if they know anyone in your new town, or search sites like Meetup.com to find others with similar interests. With a little time, you’ll find “community” is wherever you make it.

Trulia’s Blog

5 Ways to Get Settled in Your New Neighborhood, Faster was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

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Sell Your Flip Faster With These Expert Tips

If you’ve been flipping for a while, you know that selling a flipped house takes patience, and that some houses sell faster than others. While many factors affect how quickly a house sells, Success Path has three tips to help you sell your flipped houses faster.

Make a good first impression

Like a job interview, your house needs to make a good first impression. Regardless of how great it is on the inside, the outside appearance matters, and it can be the deciding factor for whether or not the potential buyer bothers to inquire further about the house.

Photo from Zillow listing

There are many ways to give your house a quick facelift:

  • Start with the house itself – add new paint to the shutters, trim, and front door for a quick and inexpensive fix.
  • If possible and necessary, replace windows and the front door, or add trim and shutters.
  • Make sure the roof, porch, and yard are clean and tidy.
  • Use an eye-catching and sophisticated mailbox that matches the style of the house.
  • Repair the driveway if necessary, filling in cracks and removing any weeds.
  • Add edging to create clean landscaping lines.
  • Keep the grass tidy and mowed, filling in any bare spots and removing weeds.
  • If you have a garden, consider adding an arbor as a focal point. If you don’t have a garden, place flower pots strategically on the edge of the driveway or the porch.

Use the reach of social media

Social media is no longer just a place to keep in touch with distant friends and family. It’s a powerful marketing tool for companies and a platform for connecting with customers – both current and potential.

Most social media platforms have special tools for connecting with specific target markets, narrowing the demographics to match your product or service. Use these tools to your advantage! People spend a fair amount of time on social media, so why not put your house right in front of the people looking for a house?

Start by posting on local real estate pages, or even create your own house-flipping page where you can create ads to show specifically to the demographic of your choice. Don’t wait for the right buyers to find your ad – let your ad find the right buyers.

Don’t skimp on major improvements

The ultimate goal may be making a profit, but you’ll quickly learn the hard way that cutting corners or trying to skip major improvements altogether will cost you more in the long run – and may ultimately put you in the red.

If you’re flipping a house that needs a new roof, but you don’t have roofing experience, don’t ignore the roof or attempt to do it yourself. These things take time and money, and doing it yourself will likely result in costly mistakes. Buyers will look at the bones of the house, so if they see a shoddy roof job, poor plumbing, or major renovations done haphazardly, they’ll be turned off.

Before you even buy a house to flip, budget for hiring out major renovations or projects. Even if the house you want to flip seems manageable for your skill set, always assume that you’ll discover hidden costs and jobs that require a professional.

Don’t give your potential buyers any red flags. Be upfront about the renovations, particularly the ones done by a professional. Squashing their concerns will leave a good impression and ease their minds as they explore the rest of the house.

Top photo from Zillow listing

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Tips & Advice – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

Sell Your Flip Faster With These Expert Tips was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home