Central Coast Realty Group

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How to Make Settling Into a New Neighborhood Easier

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Moving is never easy, especially when it involves relocating to a new city or state. Settling in and finding your place within in a new community can be more difficult than many other aspects of a move, but we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Meeting new people and making friends, although intimidating, is the most surefire way to make a new place feel more like a new home.

Here are a few tips to make settling into a new neighborhood a little easier:

Don’t Be Shy

It may be daunting, but one of the best ways to get to know people in your neighborhood is simply to be the first to approach them. When a good moment strikes (when neighbors don’t look rushed or pre-occupied), say a quick hello and introduce yourself. Sometimes that’s all it takes to open up the door to a great conversation.

Do as the Locals Do

Explore your neighborhood and find a place that suits your tastes, whether that’s a local market, restaurant or dog park. The more your frequent that locale, the more people there will get to know you. Think like ‘Cheers’. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to a place where everybody (or at least a few people) knows your name?

Actively Participate

Get involved in your new neighborhood! It’s a great way to meet like-minded people. Join groups or clubs that focus around a sport or hobby that interests you or do some charity work at a local organization. If you have school-aged children, consider dedicating some time to volunteer at your child’s school. There are plenty of ways to participate in the neighborhood around you!

Open Yourself Up to Conversation

If you’ve already met your neighbors, great job! But don’t stop there. Make yourself approachable so as to encourage people to strike up a conversation with you. It’s easy. When at home, lounge on your front porch or take a stroll through the neighborhood. When you’re out on the town, take a seat at the bar instead of a corner table (and don’t glue yourself to your cell phone the whole time!) or take your pup or kids to a local park.

Do you have any tips for getting settled into a new neighborhood? Share them with us in the comments!

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Turning ‘New Town’ into ‘Hometown’

Doesn’t it feel great to have all of those boxes unpacked? Everything has found a place and your new house is finally starting to feel like home. It’s a great start, but that’s not where getting settled ends. Take a few tips from our guide on how to start transforming ‘new town’ into ‘hometown’.

1.)    Pretend You’re on Vacation

Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Acting like a tourist is a great way to get to know your town. Pick up a city map to learn streets and the best routes to common destinations, like your child’s school or the local dog park. Pop into the visitor’s center or a local bookstore to pick up information on restaurants, stores and the like, or just get crunching in front of your computer. There are plenty of websites which will offer valuable information about your town.

2.)    Find Like-Minds

One of the easiest ways to meet people in your new town? Do things that you like to do. Don’t force yourself to go to whiskey bars or yoga in the park in an attempt to meet people if that’s not what you enjoy. Rather, opt for an activity or volunteer program that incorporates something that you like. It’s more probable that you’ll find like-minds with a common ground to build on.

3.)    Stretch Your Legs

Think of neighborhood walks as both a personal and social opportunity. You’ll feel more comfortable once you’ve explored your new town. It gives you the chance to discover off-the-beaten path destinations that your guidebooks may not have mentioned, like a teeny local café or a great place to take morning runs. You’ll also open yourself up to more opportunities to chat with neighbors and locals.

4.)    Get the Kids Out and About

With all of the chaos a move can bring, sometimes it’s easier to forget the impact that a big move can have on kids. Once you’ve gotten a lay of the land, set up play dates for younger children either with classmates or neighborhood kids. It’s fun for them and could be great for you, too. Who knows? Maybe your toddler’s favorite playmate will also have great parents that become your new best friends.

Moving is supposed to be fun, so think of getting to know your new town as a chance to embark on an adventure. You never know what you’ll find or who you’ll meet, but it’s all part of the ride. So, enjoy it! Make the most out of your move and soon the word ‘new’ will have disappeared when you reflect on your town; it’ll just be home


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You’ve Bought your Dream Home, Now Get There

A lot of time, effort and emotions can go into finding, and purchasing, the perfect home. Having a good realtor can help make the process easier, but even after the deed is signed, there’s a laundry list of things that need to be done before you can get settled. The largest item on that list? Moving. Use this guide to help make the transition into your new home as seamless as possible.

1.)    Use What You Have

Rather than spending exorbitant amounts of money on bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts, use what you already own. For instance, give your wine glasses an added layer of protection by slipping them into a clean sock. The material will help protect delicate stems.  You could also use t-shirts and clothing to wrap around fragile plates and casserole dishes. Bonus: Now you have fewer clothes to pack in those suitcases.

2.)    Keep Weather in Mind

Boxing up all of your ice scrapers, snow shovels, and winter clothes seems like a great idea, until the truck breaks down on the side of the highway. In case you run in to bad weather on your trek, you’ll want to have those items close at hand, so you don’t have to dig through piles of boxes if you need them.

3.)    Put on Cap on It

This is a good idea for everybody, but especially if you’re moving into a higher altitude. Nobody wants to open up a box or their bags and realize that all of the liquids, i.e. shampoo, soaps, etc., have exploded leaving a horrible sticky mess over the surrounding items. The solution? Take the caps off of the items, wrap plastic wrap around the openings, and then screw the caps back on. Voila! Spills avoided.

4.)    Put Those Wheeled Suitcases to Good Use

Save yourself a backache by packing heavy items into wheeled suitcases. Rather than lifting and lugging hundreds of pounds of books, you’ll be able to easily wheel them away. Alternatively, spread the load out, packing a few heavy items in boxes with lighter things. That way, you don’t end up with crates of books no one can lift.

5.)    Snap a Picture

Since we aren’t all electricians and computer technicians, this is helpful for anything involving wires. Take a photo of how the device is wired before you start unplugging cords. It’ll make it a snap to get your computer and television back in working order once you’re in your new home.

6.)    Don’t You Dare Put That Box in The Garage

Resist the temptation to just ‘get the boxes out of the way’ because more than likely that means shoving them into a little used room, the garage, or the basement. Trust us, they’ll stay there forever. Out of sight, out of mind. If you can see them, you’ll do something about them.

7.)    Prepare for Night One in Your New Home

The movers have hauled everything into the house. You’re exhausted, the kids are hungry, and the thought of digging around in the boxes is unbearable. Save yourself some hassle and pack an overnight bag. Keep all of the essentials that you’ll need for the first night in your new home so that you can crash and pick up on the unpacking in the morning feeling refreshed.

Remember, this is the hardest part of getting settled in to a new home. Once you’ve got a clear idea of how to attack the unpack, a new house will become a new home before you know it.


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Feng Shui Tips to Beautify Your New Home

Feng Shui – it’s a term you hear tossed around all the time casually referring to a well-put together interior design, but how much do you really know about feng shui? The idea behind the Chinese tradition is to position furniture within a home in a particular way based on direction and lucky shapes like the octagon. Supporters say this will bring happiness and health into a home. Spiritualism aside, designers and home owners can at least agree that many feng shui principals can quickly beautify your new home.

1.)    Clear the Clutter

A tidy, organized space is one of the key principles of feng shui. You can’t achieve neat and orderly when you’re toting boxes full of knick-knacks from 1985 from house to house. Before you move, de-clutter. If you don’t take it with you there’s no need to decide where it should go in your new house.

2.)    Beautify the Path Into Your Home

Inside and out, add uplifting elements of nature, color, and light. The entry to your homeshould have plenty of good lighting – either natural or artificial – and an eye-catching piece such as a colorful piece of artwork or a fish tank. Outside your home, place evergreens or lush plants along the walkway or just outside the entryway to the front door. Live plants are also encouraged throughout the interior of your space.

3.)    Give it a View

No matter where you are in your home, try to position furniture in a way that you can still see the entry to the room from where you are. This is essential to feng shui in every room, but it is crucial in the bedroom, often considered the most important room of a house. Position your bed into the “Commanding Position”, which means the place in the room furthest from the door, but where you’re still able to see the doorway. It is believed that this position will allow for more strength and calmness.

4.)    Mirrors are Your Friend

You can use mirrors to visually add space to a room by placing them at the end of a hall. Mirrors also give you a way to meet feng shui requirements for open doorways. If you’re faced with a stove that puts your back to the entry way, try placing a mirror against the back splash or near the stove. According to the Feng Shui experts, as long as you can see the door’s reflection, that’s just as good as seeing the real thing, and your cooking experience should be calmer.

5.)    Color is Key

With or without feng shui, most designers agree that colors affect your mood and energy in different ways. Pay attention to what colors you feel drawn to and allow yourself to incorporate them throughout your new home where you can. If you need a feng shui cheat sheet to start out, 2014 is the Year of the Wooden Horse so these are the recommended colors for the rooms in your home:

 –Living Room: orange, purple, red

-Kitchen: green, gray

-Bedroom: off-whites and soft pastels or white with gold, silver, beige or brown

-Bathroom: blue, white, black, wood, natural fibers, and stone

-Dining Room: terra cotta, burnt sienna, gold, and yellow

You need not be committed to feng shui styling to create a warm atmosphere in your new home. These tips are bound to help create a beautiful space, no matter the goal.


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Tips for Settling Into Your New Home

MovingThe deeds are signed, the boxes are packed. Now all there is to do is wait for the moving van and get from A to B, right? Wrong. There is a lot more that goes into really getting settled into your new home. Save yourself the stress and scramble by printing out this post-purchase checklist to help make the move easier.

1.)    Make Sure You’re Not Unpacking in the Dark

In the rush to get everything packed and ready to go, make sure you haven’t neglected other essentials – namely electricity and water. Most companies have progressed to online service requests, but be sure to contact the service provider with plenty of time so you can keep your transition into the new house as seamless as possible.

2.)    File Important Documents

You want to be sure to keep all of the important documents associated with your new home filed away safely. This includes any contracts, sales receipts, appliance warranties, and owner’s manuals. Having everything stowed away in one place will make your life easier in the event of an emergency.

3.)    Make it Postal Official

If you haven’t already filled out a change of address form for yourself and your family, be sure to do so as soon as possible. You can submit the request by filling out a form at your local post office or by visiting the U.S. Postal Service website. You’ll also want to do the same at the DMV to get your driver’s license and vehicle information switched over.

4.)    Change the Locks

You never know who the former resident dealed keys out to. You can never be too cautious when it comes to safety, so call a lock smith and get the locks changed as soon as you can.

5.)     Explore Your Community

Take a drive. While you enjoy the scenery of your new neighborhood, take note of the locations of the nearest necessities – a hospital, the grocery store, a gas station, etc. If you have kids, take this time to map out the best route to their school and the community buildings they may need to visit such as the local library.

It’s important to manage stress levels during a move in order to keep things running smoothly. By checking each of these tasks off of your list you’re bound to alleviate a handful of those stressors. So, remember, it may take a bit of time to complete them, but your efforts will be rewarded tenfold in the end.