as I told you in the previous blog post A new adventure lies ahead – Guide for the job application process, I will be moving soon to a new city to start a new job. I’ve been to the Washington, D.C. area once before last year (which you can read in an older blog post) and I fell in love with that city right away. Since I will be working in Virginia, I didn’t exactly know where to move best so I wouldn’t have to drive too long to my work place. But how is someone supposed to know where to move when they don’t know the area??
This is something I would like to talk about in this blog post. I’ve only been to D.C. once and therefore just know typical tourist spots but no insider tips or areas that are best for living.
So the first thing you gotta do…
Do a lot of research on best areas to live, go to websites such as Apartments.com to search for apartments in your price range and look at the reviews. However, I realized that sometimes you can’t rely on reviews from only one website, so I also went to Yelp to see more reviews – and then suddenly reality hit me: Previous tenants have uploaded shocking pictures of the actual condition of apartment complexes which influenced my decision immensely. I looked at my list I had created and deleted about half of them just looking at Yelp.
2. Create an Moving Excel Sheet
I created an Excel spread sheet to make sure I have all the apartment buildings and property groups on it and make sure not to miss my appointments with them. Normally, the property groups prefer for future residents to make an appointment but after a while I realized that being a walk-in wasn’t also the worst thing in the world. Don’t let them tell you that they can’t help you right now because you didn’t make an appointment. Plus it’s a great way to stay organized during moving.
3. Explore the Neighborhood
Moving to a new, strange city can be very scary. Therefore, it is even more important to explore the city and see which areas you like and which districts you would rather avoid. Doing some online research prior doesn’t hurt but it is always better to see the areas yourself. In case you don’t have a car, you can rent one and just drive around for a couple days. Some property groups and apartment complexes might catch your eye on the way.
4. Talk to Locals
People who have been living in the city for a longer time might know some insider tips you can’t find on Google. So, if you grab some lunch at a restaurant during the day, just talk to the employees or other guests and ask if they can give you some advices. That can help you a lot!
These four tips are no guarantees to moving and finding the perfect new apartment, but with a little bit of luck and much research and preparation, it will be alright. Don’t be afraid to go this new path: It might mean to leave friends and family behind, it can end in a catastrophe but it can also be the best thing you have ever done.
I chose to go this step and moved to Washington, D.C. It has been 4 weeks now, every day is a new adventure and I don’t regret it a bit.
Part 2 of the “Strange in a New City”-series will tell you more about my new life in D.C., my new job and new people I met. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.