You know those midlife twists and turns that seem to pop up as we work our way through life? We don’t necessarily plan for them, they just seem to happen. Well, I’m at one of those turning points in my life at the moment – a long distance relocation is on the horizon. Yep.
I’m going to say goodbye to sunny Southwest Florida and move back to Michigan, my home state.
Florida has been my home for over 12 years, and I thought I was set here for a long time to come, probably for the rest of my life. But I realized about 10 days ago (actually I woke up, literally, with this thought in my head) that it was time for me to move back to MI and restart my life there. What?!?
My Midlife Twists & Turns
The past twelve years have certainly been life changing…from our move to Florida in 2006, financial ups and downs, my husband’s illness and passing in 2016, the success of my home staging business…so much has happened in my life. I’ve always tried to look forward, not back, keep my focus and see the positive in every situation.
Pondering the events since the beginning of this year, I am realizing how the decisions I made have led me here.
My goal has been to continue working as a business owner to my full retirement age, and beyond if possible, knowing that I would have to make some adjustments to the work itself.
In January, I decided to start focusing on an online business to allow me to be destination based instead of location based. An online business is a long, hard road, and I am very glad I made the start this year.
Several months ago I made the decision to stop taking on new home staging projects, knowing that there would be a time element, at least 6 months or even up to a year, to see the existing projects through. I had 26 jobs on the books when I made this decision.
This would eventually eliminate the need for the storage of inventory locally, and it would also be less taxing on me physically. I’m in good shape for my age but time marches on, if you know what I mean.
I wasn’t sure how everything would work out, but my faith and commitment kept my feet moving forward.
We’ve had some changes in the family dynamics this year, our dad passed away, and I am the only family member who does not live in SE Michigan. The support system is in place for us, but my contribution has been long distance or hopping on a plane. I’ve done that a lot this year!
The Long Distance Relocation Plan
So, when this thought, epiphany, decision, revelation…call it what you will…came to me, I knew it was the right decision to make. It is time to move back to my home state. My plan, now that the decision has been made, is to make the move in the near future, probably within a few months.
So what do you do when you realize a long distance relocation is on the horizon, and the horizon is quickly approaching? I’ve had quite a bit of experience moving in my life, including a long distance move, so it is not totally foreign to me. I’m also a planner and an organizer, so by nature I tackle every project with gusto and a pad/pen in hand.
I know that there are some key decisions and early planning that must take place with any move, a relocation in particular, so I want to share them with you. Hopefully my tips and advice will be helpful to anyone who is preparing to move.
Long Distance Relocation Tips
There are two top priorities to address if you are a homeowner.
The first is to prepare your existing home for sale.
- maintenance and repair, inside and out!
- decide what is going to make that long move with you, and what is not!
All this should happen before you call in the realtor to do a walk through of your home.
The second is to begin your search for a home in the new location. Distance is not your friend when it comes to finding your new home, but the internet is. For example, if your new destination is northeast Florida, use the power of the internet to search for Homes for Sale in Jacksonville FL. You’ll be presented with many options that offer online listings, including local realtors who are anxious to assist!
Your approach can be the same whether you are searching for a rental or to purchase a home. Use the internet to its fullest, to search out, save, inquire and make contacts. If you can reach out to one local realtor, establish a relationship, get comfortable with them and their style, they will be able to accomplish a tremendous amount for you whether you are in your current location or the new destination.
After you get working on those two priorities, keep in mind these additional tasks that can help make your long distance move much smoother:
- start planning now for movers. There are a number of online sources available to estimate your moving costs. Even so, you’ll want to start contacting moving companies, get estimates, discuss time frames and dates. Do not wait until 2 weeks before you need to be out of your current home. It won’t be pretty.
- get to work on financing for your new home, if needed. Your lender may or may not be someone you’ve worked with in the past. Keep in mind there are lenders that can help you no matter where you are locating. A preliminary conversation is always wise.
I find it so helpful to use a checklist, and for a project like a long distance move, this can prove to be priceless! Here are a few options for you:
- RealSimple.com moving checklist
- BedBathandBeyond.com moving checklist
- Martha Stewart’s moving checklists for every step of the way
Well, I’d better stop talking and get to work, because my long distance move will be here before I know it!
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