I’ve been reluctant to post lately as my life has been dominated by work, commuting, and cramming in family time on the abbreviated weekends. Ultimately, I am willing to admit that the scope of this move is beyond what I anticipated. Selling your home is a big and annoying event, more of a hassle than I imagined when we decided to make the move. The commuting back and forth is easy, I don’t mind the actual drive and have found ways to make it pass in a breeze, but the elimination of vast amounts of family time is tough. I’ve learned a couple things along the way, here’s what I know now, but didn’t know when I made the decision to relocate:
1. Expecting to sell your home in January or February is not a realistic expectation in the bitter cold North East part of America. The yard, trees, and outdoor areas of the home are all battered and barren, kids are in the middle of the school year, and very few people were looking to move. Try to time your move in the Spring/Summer.
2. Realtors can be frustrating partners. I know there’s nothing that I can do to make the realtor as passionate about moving as I am, but I do not think my realtor is in the same universe when it comes to urgency. One reason may be because our home is not super pricey, maybe another reason is that our realtor is just patient and feels like activity does not translate to results. Ultimately, I wish we made our realtor map out a more specific marketing plan of the home before we proceeded in our agreement to move forward. As this drags out, I wish I could have asked more questions up front about this exact type of scenario and get the realtor’s plan of action to deal with it. To my realtor’s credit, they have done multiple open houses and very few homes competing with us have sold.
3. An up front discussion with your hiring manager on flexible hours in the corporate offices would be beneficial. My boss would probably have no issue with me leaving a day early or coming home a day late (in fact, I’ve been able to do this a couple times already), but it would be better to have more of this framed up before you started to minimize surprises or uncomfortable situations. It is tough to not see your family for 5 days every week for months at a time, anything to lessen this burden would be helpful.
4. It has been a big transition making meals for myself. The idea of buying ingredients, dirtying dishes, and whipping up a meal just for yourself is a lot of work for a piece of chicken and some mixed vegetables (it’s seems more worthwhile when you’re doing it for your significant other or family). If you’re going to relocate, I suggest plotting out your meals, things you feel comfortable making, and how ingredients might be amortized in other dishes (for example, chicken on Monday, chicken stir fry on Tuesday). Then grocery shopping with a plan in mind.
5. Map out reconnaissance missions. Create a checklist of neighborhoods to check out, fishing holes to explore, museums, towns, shopping malls, etc. so you can be a good tour guide for your family when they arrive. This also gives you a life outside work and makes everyone more enthusiastic about the transition.
With all the challenges, I still feel like this was a great decision for me and the family. I am also a hard worker and have probably errored on the side of working too hard to show value and make a big difference. People are always asking, “How’s Pittsburgh?”, this is a huge ordeal, but the city is amazing, works going well, and I think we’re past the hardest part of the transition.