- Fox Business Network – November 9
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- Bloomberg International – November 24
Moving into your new home isn’t just about finding the right way to display your cookie jar collection, it’s also about joining a new community. Getting to know your neighbors can provide many benefits such as receiving warm greetings at the beginning of the days, receiving assistance during hurricane season or even having someone to watch over your home when you go out of town.
To do this, though, you have to get to meet those who live near you.
Here are some tips to get you started.
- Start with a smile. Sometimes that is enough to make you approachable and a neighbor may feel comfortable to pop over and say “hi.”
- Take a walk. Weekends and early evenings are great times to get some exercise and come upon people coming home from work or walking the dog. Take the initiative and wave or nod with a smile. If it is reciprocated, walk over and introduce yourself.
- Bake. It may seem old fashioned, but making a batch of browning and taking some over to your neighbor can be a great ice-breaker. If you don’t bake, think of something you might want to share like flowers or fruit from your yard.
- Attend a meeting. If your home is part of a homeowner’s association, find out when the next meeting is and make sure to attend. It’s a great way to meet people and learn about what is going on in the neighborhood.
- Join in. Find local neighborhood groups, especially the parents’ groups at your kids’ school. You are bound to meet other parents that live nearby.
- Be positive. Don’t complain or criticize. Compliment your neighbor’s lawn, or house color, for example.
- Connect. Give a brief explanation about where you are from or how you came to join the neighborhood, then ask questions and LISTEN.
- Stay away from TMI. Don’t offer your entire life’s story upon your first meeting. Keep it light and upbeat.
- Ask questions. Ask for recommendations for restaurants or shopping. You can ask about your neighbor’s story but be careful not to seem nosy or ask questions that are too personal.
- Common interests. Look for signs of common interests, such as golf clubs, bumper stickers with sports affiliations, children of the same age, pets, work, etc. and start a conversation about it.
- Make an invitation. Ask neighbors that you think you may connect with over for coffee or dinner.
- Determine what the ordinances and regulations are for your new area, including leash laws, tags and licensing. Contact the local humane organizations and the City Clerk’s office for information.
- Make sure you have copies of all of your pet’s records and vet’s contact information. You also should have the contact information and hours of operation for the local animal hospital in case of emergency during the move.
- On moving day, secure a safe, quiet place for your pet to relax until the transition to the new location. All of the movement and changes in environment can be very stressful. Check on your pet regularly and try to maintain his or her normal potty and feeding schedule as much as possible. When moving in, do the same thing, keep your pet secured in a quiet, safe place until everything is settled, then allow your pet to move around and become familiar with the new surroundings.
- Make sure you have your pet’s bowls, toys, medications, food and other necessary items accessible on moving day.
- If your pet is normally anxious or nervous, speak with your vet about medication or other natural options to help keep your pet calm.
- Make sure the new location is set up to be pet friendly. Have favorite toys or blankets available. Keep an eye on your pet and don’t leave him or her unsupervised until you feel confident that your pet is settled in. Keep your pet leashed until he or she becomes familiar with the new surroundings. Even if your pet responds well to your commands, the stress can easily cause your pet to become confused and run off.
- During transport to the new location, it is recommended to use a crate or carrier to keep your pet secure and safe.
- Ensure your pet’s tags are updated and you have a recent photo, in the unfortunate event your pet runs off.
- If you need to find a new vet, do your research ahead of time. Inquire about emergency services, boarding, reputation, hours and maintenance services and pay attention to how the staff treats you while you are performing your research. Staff should be friendly, attentive, knowledgeable, helpful and caring.
Finding the Right Neighborhood for You
Congratulations! You are ready to buy a home. You’ve saved enough for a down payment, researched investment potential and pre-qualified. It has lots of closet space, an open floor plan, big yard, pool and it’s just the right size. But, wait! Before signing on the dotted line, consider this, is your perfect home in the right place for you?
Here’s a list that we at Florida Moving Systems, have found to be the top things to consider beyond the floor plan:
1) Consider your lifestyle today and tomorrow. Life is unpredictable and no one plans for a divorce or job loss but you can take realistic stock of your life’s wants and needs. You may, for example be single and enjoying nightlife while looking forward to marriage and children. Does the neighborhood you are interested in provide the entertainment options you want today while providing a family friendly environment down the road?
Be honest with yourself, if you don’t enjoy yard work and aren’t interested in cleaning gutter, repairs and maintenance, maybe you prefer a townhouse or condominium where for a monthly fee, those things are managed for you.
Also consider your proximity to loved ones. If you enjoy throwing regular dinner parties, for example, will your friends drive forty five minutes each way to visit you? If a family member regularly watches your children, are either of you willing to drive the distance to pick/drop off the kids?
2) Location, location, location. Take stock of places you frequent and potential drive times; particularly consider your morning and evening commute for work. Don’t just imagine it. It may be worth your while to take a day and drive the commute during rush hours. After you have unpacked the boxes is not the time to find out that you cannot endure the hour-long commute that includes various busy school zones, train crossings and bumper-to-bumper traffic!
3) Are you and your neighborhood a fit? Ask yourself these questions:
What if you enjoy sleeping in on Sunday mornings and you have a neighbor who religiously mows his lawn at 6am or the house is located near the airport or railroad tracks?
What if you enjoy your quiet and the neighborhood is filled with the sound of playing children every weekday afternoon and on Saturday mornings?
What if you are young and laid back and your neighbors are all retired seniors that watch every neighborhood movement?
What if you are moving into a deed restricted neighborhood and you have a camper, boat or regular visitors that violate the parking rules?
What if you have children and there are no other children in the neighborhood or the street is very busy so that children can’t venture outside to ride bikes or play ball?
Have you researched whether there are any public road works planned that will affect your quality of life or property values?
Will the streets flood during heavy storms and what is the drainage?
Have you checked the local demographics?
Do the neighboring homes look like they are kept and maintained as you would like?
Do your neighbors have unruly pets?
Here are some suggestions to help you with your research
- Drive around the neighborhood. Look for any neighbors that might be out and about and take the opportunity to introduce yourself; ask what it’s like to live there.
- Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and the week. Observe what your senses pick up; watch the flow of movement for people and cars, listen for local traffic, the neighbors, wildlife and nearby public transportation, does the neighborhood match your overall aesthetic and does it feel like it could be home for a long time?
- Ask your realtor about the neighborhood, as well as nearby neighborhoods. You want to gather as much as information as you can about the surrounding areas as well.
For more tips or to discuss moving and storage needs call Florida Moving Systems, Melbourne today at (800) 283-6683 or visit www.flmove.com.
Types of Communities
- Active Adult Communities are designed to offer older adults the chance to enjoy independent, active lifestyles, while providing easy access to a range of social, recreational, and educational pursuits. Often, such communities offer designated dining areas and clubhouses Generally, daily living and medical needs are not covered. Many active adult communities are age-restricted.
- Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) are designed to provide “assistance” to people who require help with activities of daily living (ADLs). An ADL may consist of medication reminding, bathing & ambulation. Accommodations within an ALF are typically studio “suites” with limited kitchen facilities. Some ALFs obtain an Extended Congregate Care (ECC) license which allows them to provide additional care services. ALFs are handled on a rental basis with additional fees for higher levels of care.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer independent living with a combination of a private residence, services, amenities and care in return for a monthly fee and an entrance fee. Many compare living at a CCRC like being on a cruise ship since the services and amenities are plentiful. The maintenance-free lifestyle includes dining, social activities, housekeeping, transportation and maintenance services. Should care be needed, most CCRCs offer assisted living, Alzheimer’s memory support care and skilled nursing care on the same campus so that residents may continue to stay within the same community, close to their spouse, friends and neighbors, even as their care needs change.
- Rental Retirement Communities are usually designed for independent living; however it is common that independent living and assisted living are combined. On-site services and amenities are common including dining, housekeeping and transportation. The lease agreement at a rental community typically does not include the provision of a continuum of care. This means that a resident who requires care must make separate arrangements for care services and pay for this care at market rates on a fee-for-service basis. If these services are not available within the community, the resident will be required to move from the community. Some rental retirement communities offer short term leases arrangements for seasonal people.
Research: Make a list of the living options available in your hometown and what they offer.
Plan Ahead: It’s usually best to plan ahead and make decisions while your loved ones are able to physically and mentally able to assist in the decision making. Making the decision to move to a senior community while still active is usually the healthier choice because the senior can be more involved in the move and better equipped to adjust to the changes and thrive in the new environment.
Visit Various Communities: Schedule an appointment to tour the community. Pay Attention.
- How do the grounds look?
- Is the staff friendly?
- Is the community clean and well-maintained?
- Are the apartments nicely appointed?
- Could you visualize yourself living at this community?
What Amenities are Most Important to you?: Make a list. Remember, that you are not just thinking about today, but more importantly, you are planning for tomorrow.
Evaluate Finances: There are a variety of financial arrangements available in senior communities. This includes rentals and entrance fee options. Learn the pros/cons of each. Understand what is included and what is “extra.” Ask about increases in fees and “what if” scenario if you outlive your assets.
Plan for Future Health Needs:
- What levels of care are available?
- Does the staff seem caring and professional?
- Are current residents well cared for?
- Are there activities for the residents who are receiving care?
- What is the community licensed to provide and what are the costs.
- Does it look like they are happy and engaged?
- Do you feel at home in the community?
- How is the atmosphere in the dining room?
- Is there a dress code for dinner?
- Does the menu offer good variety?
- Is the service attentive?
- Can the chef accommodate specific dietary requirements?
- Are there a variety of educational, social, cultural and fitness programs available?
- Bridge groups?
- Theme parties?
- Can residents volunteer within the community?
- Are special travel opportunities available to residents?
- Ask if you can attend any activities.
Reputation: Talk with your friends, physician, attorney, clergy, trust officer or anyone else you can think of to learn about the community’s reputation.
Take your Time: Don’t feel rushed, but don’t procrastinate, either. Determine the kind of lifestyle you want for yourself and make the decision to enjoy it! Don’t be one of those people who end up saying, “I wish I hadn’t waited so long!”
For more tips or to discuss moving, storage or Logistics needs call Florida Moving Systems, Melbourne today at (800) 283-6683 or visit www.flmove.com.