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Carlsbad Relocation A to Z

The Psychological Impact of Relocation

Dec. 13, 2010
Categorized in: Psychology Stuff

Relocation will have an impact no matter who you are, although it does affect people differently, both emotionally and physically. It is a major change in your life and a major adjustment, for you, your spouse or partner, and for any children. You may not always be aware of how it is affecting you, but the important thing is to realize that these feelings are very normal.

It's normal to experience a range of feelings after the decision has been made (or perhaps made for you) - sorrow and maybe depression, fear, anxiety, and excitement, to name a few. While any move will cause a range of emotions and lots of tension and stress , a major move is likely to cause more.

Packing for your relocationIt's certainly common to feel overwhelmed with all that has to be accomplished - selling a home, finding a new one, house hunting, dealing with financial matters, saying good-by, packing, talking with movers, keeping the house in order to show to buyers, paperwork to review and sign, on top of the normal everyday stuff like kids, chores at home and full time jobs.

Fatigue will likely set in, and some people may have problems sleeping. Other common physical issues are loss of appetite, or the opposite...stress eating, increased smoking and/or drinking, headaches, stomach aches, a feeling of burning in the chest, and more.

But you will likely feel some excitement about your move. Keeping a positive attitude about what is happening and the future will help keep it all in perspective.

Trying to maintain as much normality as possible in your schedule and daily life, keeping a positive attitude, and being organized around all that has to be done will go a long way toward minimizing the tensions of your relocation.

But recognizing that this is all normal and will pass with time is important too!

Good luck and have fun!

Should I Buy or Rent Before I Buy

Dec. 7, 2010
Categorized in: Financial Stuff

New Home in Carlsbad CAIt is not uncommon in a RELOCATION that you find yourself needing to sell your current home first.

But the issue often becomes - "should I rent first and then look for a new home?"

Timing can be tricky but many choose to do this, or have no real choice.

With diligent efforts using the Internet and working with a competent REALTOR in your new city, plus a househunting trip or two, this can generally be accomplished fairly readily. Lots of people don't want to move more than once, so they prefer to go from the old home to a new one right away.

Depending on your reasons for moving and other timing issues (selling a home, getting kids into school, starting a new job), renting a place while you look for a home to buy may be the best solution.  And if you cannot sell your current home right away, your budget may not allow the purchase of you new home  right away.

Finding the right home is important, and if you are renting you have the luxury of time, so you can look more effectively, without a time crunch, and then will be ready to buy when the right thing comes along. Another advantage is not having to coordinate the sale of your old home with the purchase of a new one, unless you can buy without needing to sell...a luxury many do not have.

The downside, of course, is needing to move a second time, and finding a short term rental, unless you are willing to rent for a year, can be tough.

Having relocated 4 major times, I think renting first can make a alot of sense for some homeowners, especailly if they have no familiarity with their new home.  When making a personal choice to move here, being sure that this is what you want and finding the right community are so important. Taking the time you need to do so can make a huge difference to your peace of mind.

Either way, if I can help any way in your home search or answer any questions about relocation or the North San Diego County area, please don't hesitate to ask.

How to Relocate Speciality Items

Feb. 10, 2008
Categorized in: The Move Itself
catamaranSome folks have specialty items they need to move when they are relocating.

This can include a wide range of items - boats, tractors, snowmobiles, canoes, kayaks, motorcycles, dirt bikes, large kids playground equipment, golf carts and so forth.

Transporting these recreational items in a relocation can be a challenge. If you are used to moving you equipment around anyhow, such as a boat or snowmobile, then you are all set provide you are willing and able to DRIVE to your new location. And that may be the most economical thing to do.

When investigating movers, you will want to also check on their policies and costs for moving specialty items.

  • Some movers may not be willing to move these things or not be able to accommodate them, so you may need to arrange your own transportation.
  • There may be premiums you will have to pay for these things, and the mover's insurance may have restrictions (or additional costs).
Moving companies these days are pretty sophisticated so this may not be an issue, although small movers may simply not have the ability to be accommodating. Just be sure to take stock of all you have to move (make a list of these items) and be sure to ask questions so there are no surprises.


If I can provide more information about the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360
or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information
First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

Relocating Your Car

Feb. 8, 2008
Categorized in: The Move Itself
Most folks have at least one car, and when you are relocating you will need to deal with moving your vehicle as well as all the household stuff.

So what are your choices?

Car on the roadFirst, and perhaps most obvious, you can drive your car to your new destination
, depending on you willingness to do so (you might not want to drive all the way across the country, but on the other hand it can be a fun way to see the US). Make an adventure out of it if you have time (remember the moving truck will take a while to get there too), plan some touristy things to do along the way, and take plenty of photos to commemorate the trip. Do keep in mind the potential for weather issues - driving across the northern plains in January may NOT be prudent.

The second choice is to ship the car. There are several options here.

  • The moving company can load the car on a trailer and tow it behind the truck. We did this on our trip from Boston to Carlsbad.
  • The moving company may load the car right into the moving van itself if it is a big truck. This was how we moved one vehicle from Minneapolis to Boston.
  • You can arrange your own shipping through a car transportation company or move it by train.
  • If you are moving overseas the vehicle will likely go by ship with the household goods containers. It could be more cost effective to sell your car stateside and simply buy a new one in your new home
It may be less expensive to have the moving company move the car as part of the overall package, but look into the alternatives. What you do may also depend on your time availability. You may prefer to ship the car and fly rather than drive. Perhaps it is not worth moving the vehicle - sell it an buy a new one

Check also your relocation package if you have one since there may be restrictions or limits on what you can and cannot do.

Whatever you decide, I would strongly suggest you check into the Department of Motor Vehicles and insurance requirements in your new state beforehand so you are prepared. There may be more restrictive emissions requirements. And find out what you need to do about registering you r car in your new home - how much time you have, costs, etc.

You will also want to talk with your insurance company when moving your car to make sure you are covered with regard to damage. The moving company may provide some coverage if the car is towed or shipped in the van.


If I can provide more information about the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360
or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information
First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

Getting Organized - The Move Itself:Organizing Your Move

Feb. 4, 2008
Categorized in: The Move Itself
We have been talking about getting organized as part of your RELOCATION.

In the first 3 posts we talked about getting organized as part of preparing your house to sell. If you missed this series here are the 1st 3 posts:

Part 1 - Get Organized: Preparing Your House for Sale (Getting Started/Space Clearing 101)
Part 2 - Get Organized: Preparing Your House for Sale (Donate and Recycle/Trash)
Part 3 - Getting Organized: Preparing Your House for Sale (Reload your closets, and Help)

In this next section Kathi Burns talks to us about THE MOVE ITSELF and how to get organized before and during the actual move, including packing. Some great tips here. Enjoy!!

And please let me know how you are enjoying this series.


Organizing For Your Move

Get Organized for the Move1. Once you know your new address, send change-of-address forms to magazines, utilities and friends and family once you know your new address.

    1. You can get pre-made forms and moving tips sheet at the Post Office
2.  Arrange for utilities to be turned off several days after your move and turned on several days in advance of the arrival your new home and avoid potential frustration with late connections.

3. Make or get a floor plan of your new home

    1. Mark the electrical, cable and phone outlets

                                                              i.      Arrange for utility companies to rewire if needed

    1. Make a ‘Purpose Chart’ for each area/room

                                                              i.      For example: Spare BR=  guests/crafts/ games

                                                            ii.      Create zones within each room for each type of activity

                                                          iii.      List the furniture to move into that area

4. Empty the refrigerator the day before the move

    1. Store what you will use during the move in a large cooler
    2. Give remaining items to a neighbor or take to local soup kitchen
    3. Unplug fridge and leave door open so you can clean it out the next day
Kathi Burns, Founder
addSpace to Your Life!

If I can provide more information about the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360
or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information
First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

Don't Let Disorganization Ruin YOUR Relocation

Jan. 21, 2008
Categorized in: Selling Your House
Tagged with: moving, organization, relocation

The NEW YEAR is here, and it’s time to get organized.

Sound like another new year’s resolution? Well, perhaps.

For Sale signsBut if you are planning to sell your home and move into a new one, your success, and happiness, depends on being organized. Most of us probably aren’t as organized as we would like. And as my friend Linda Scanlan asked so poignantly in her recent, and popular, article, is your life organized? I had to say no. Perhaps you do too.

Selling your home, moving, and getting settled in a new one can be a Herculean task, enough to challenge the most organized obsessive. And, admittedly, no matter how organized you might think you are, things will just not go the way they should, or clutter and confusion will take over. Life is just that way sometimes. I know, I’ve been there.

So, making the assumption that you might be in need of some assistance, if you are planning a move, here are some tips to help you on your way. And if you are sticking around the homestead but really need to apply a bit of organization to your home and life, this may benefit you as well.

While I have my own ideas on the subject, I thought I would ask Encinitas business owner, and Founder of addSpace to Your Life!,Kathi Burns, to help us out. Kathi’s expertise, and business, is all about organization. You can tell the minute you talk to her or visit her website. Not the kind of organization that makes your eyes roll, but simple, straightforward, easy-to-apply strategies for improving the disorganization in your life, getting rid of clutter, and overcoming chaos.

Kathi has written many articles, and made multiple public appearances including radio and TV, plus she is a Board Certified Professional Organizer (BCPO). So she knows what she is talking about.

For those of you who are relocating, to make it easy we’ll talk about three stages of the process:

  • preparing your home to sell
  • the move itself
  • getting settled in your new home.

All must tie together or you will have a mess on your hands, and a mountain of frustration and teeth gnashing. And much of what Kathi has to share will help YOU get organized even if you aren’t moving.

Are YOU ready to get organized?

So let’s started…stay tuned for the first article later this week.

And if you can’t wait, why not give Kathi a call at (760) 840-9997 to set up a time to meet with her to get started. Or visit her website to learn more about how to addSpace to Your Life.


Start your CARLSBAD HOMES SEARCH here (and other San Diego communities)


Visit CARLSBAD COMMUNITY REPORTS for profiles on communities, subdivisions and neighborhoods (including other areas)

Are you a first time home buyer. Check out FIRST TIME BUYER CENTRAL.

A Summary of Relocation Tips (Post #3)

Jan. 9, 2008
Categorized in: The Move Itself
Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California on New Year's DayHere's my next summary article on relocation tips, Relocation is NOT for Dummies.

1. Relocation to another state or across the country is a challenge, and there is so much to coordinate. Making a list is a smart idea to keep things on track and not miss anything. There is packing to do, movers to hire, possibly kids and/or pets to worry about, and so much more.
Get the lowdown on these issues here.

2. Some of you who are relocating may have a RELOCATION PACKAGE from your current or new employer. I would suggest reading this summary of the things you should consider.

In case you missed the earlier summary articles:

Summary of Relocation Tips (Post #1) - Emotional and psychological stuff

Summary of Relocation Tips (Post #2) -  Selling your home and house hunting

If I can help in any way with YOUR relocation, please don't hesitate to
give me a call or TEXT ME at (760) 840-1360
or email me.


Start your CARLSBAD HOMES SEARCH here (and other San Diego communities)


Visit CARLSBAD COMMUNITY REPORTS for profiles on communities, subdivisions and neighborhoods (including other areas)

Are you a first time home buyer. Check out FIRST TIME BUYER CENTRAL.

A Summary of Relocation Tips (Post #2)

Jan. 3, 2008
Categorized in: House Hunting
Here's the next summary post in my Relocation is NOT for Dummies Series, where I focus on house hunting.

Finding a new home is tough, and even tougher when doing a search from a distance, and when you don't know the area. You need to find a good REALTOR, and utilize the resources available to you to learn more about communities, housing costs, and more. And a house hunting trip is likely to be part of your game plan - here's how to make the most of it.

Using the Internet is, of course, essential in gathering the information you need. But once you have decided on a REALTOR to help you, phone conversations are important, too. You can have a more effective dialog, get quick answers to questions, and work on the relationship with your agent, which can be tough from a distance.

You may be a big tech junkie, but don't rule out the good old fashioned telephone. It's also a good way to check out how responsive your agent is...something you need to be concerned about when making a big move where timing is critical.

If you missed Part 1 in this series on Relocation tips, you can read it here.


Start your CARLSBAD HOMES SEARCH here (and other San Diego communities)


Visit CARLSBAD COMMUNITY REPORTS for profiles on communities, subdivisions and neighborhoods (including other areas)

Are you a first time home buyer. Check out FIRST TIME BUYER CENTRAL.

Glass Half Full or Glass Half Empty - Your Relocation Attitude

Jul. 6, 2007
Categorized in: The Move Itself

Are you a "glass half full" or "glass half empty" kind of person? Do you know what your attitude about things is in general?

What does this have to do with your relocation to Carlsbad, or anywhere?

Are you taking the perspective that your relocation will be a great learning experience? A way to research, explore new areas, see new places, have new experiences, and challenge your ability to adapt quickly? Is it an opportunity to learn about yourself, and for family members to do the same? And for everyone to enjoy the excitement of a new beginning?

Or are you seeing it purely from the perspective of an overwhelming list of tasks to accomplish - a home to sell, stuff to pack, finding a new home, learning your way around, and so on.

There is no doubt relocation is a huge challenge - mentally, physically, and emotionally. There are endless things that need to happen in order to accomplish a move from one part of the country to another. Things will not always go the way you want or expect - that's a given - so don't be unrealistic. Murphy's Law will rear its ugly head on more than one occasion. So what?!

Your attitude about your move will become an increasingly important aspect of success in your relocation. And it can play a huge role in helping your children, if you have them, to cope with the huge changes. Instead of regretting what you are giving up, celebrate the new beginning! A new home, new people to meet, new things to do, different weather, new schools, new services, a different lifestyle, and so on. Have fun reading and researching about your new home before you get there. Get excited about all the neat things you and your family will have to experience.

Are you going to angst about all the things that you have to do, and complain about what a nuisance it all is?

Or will you see this as a series of new experiences to enjoy, to learn from, and to conquer? Isn't it just another part of living?

Your choice. Is the glass half full? Or half empty?

Start YOUR CARLSBAD HOMES SEARCH HERE (and other San Diego communities too)

Tune into Your Feelings

Apr. 18, 2007
Categorized in: Psychology Stuff

I am going to veer off the path just a bit and talk about feelings as they relate to house hunting. Why? Well, I think it's important to be in tune in to your feelings whether you are buying or selling, or both.

Your feelings play an important role in your decision making, for example. I do not recommend buying solely on the basis of your emotions, but let's face it, for most folks it IS an emotional process, and you have reactions to different houses based on your feelings (it feels good, it doesn't), as well as logic and intellect (the room sizes are smaller than we need, there is only 1 bath). And don't you sometimes experience certain feelings when you approach a particular house, or upon entering it? Maybe it just makes you feel good, or it reminds you of the home you grew up in. Some people are more in tune with their feelings with regard to buying a home, and others are more intellectual, or analytical. Whatever the case for you, I believe it is important to recognize the role that our emotions play in our purchasing. Be careful to not let them interfere with the rational side of the purchase and make the wrong decision because your emotions get in the way.

Emotions tend to become even more apparent once the decision is made and you enter the actual transaction phase. Problems arise, tempers flare, things go wrong, anxiety sets in about getting the loan approved, and so on. You need to expect this, unless you are one of the rare folks who really does not get flustered by anything at anytime. It's normal and to be expected. Just don't let your emotions get out of control.

If you are selling your home you can expect a range of feelings, as a result of leaving a place you have loved for many years, or being excited about a new home. Relocation tends to be particularly emotional. Or there may be family circumstances that are necessitating your move which are not pleasant - a death or divorce, for example. The emotions can erupt when you don't get any offers and frustration sets in, or when you get an offer that is low ball and you start feeling angry and insulted. I kindly suggest, again, that being aware of these feelings is important and that you should recognize they are normal. Being aware will help you keep from making decisions based only on the feelings you are experiencing at that moment. Taking some time to calm down or to think about the situation a bit more can also help prevent a rash decision or reaction. It is too important a process.

Musings on Life in Boxes

Mar. 22, 2007
Categorized in: The Move Itself

If you are moving (and I assume you are, or will be, or you probably wouldn't be reading this blog), be prepared for your life in boxes.

I suppose this sounds a bit strange, but it's true. A friend of mine down the street who is packing to move emailed about purchasing some of the large boxes I have for paintings from moving, and it reminded me of some of my past moves.

Moving yourself is one thing. We have all done it in college, or moving from apartment to apartment before we could afford a house. My first move using a moving company was pretty disconcerting. Not that they didn't do a great job - their efficiency  was amazing! If only we could be so efficient when we packed ourselves.

But I recall, quite clearly, really being struck at the sight of EVERYTHING in a given room going into boxes...quickly. What was a comfortable, well-lived in home filled with treasures, memories, acquisitions over the years, and just lots of stuff became, in a relatively short time, rooms filled with boxes and nothing else.  My life was in boxes. A very strange feeling.

Making a move down the street or to a nearby town is one thing (been there, done that), but moving across the country was yet another experience (now 4 times). I also remember thinking about our entire house being loaded, box by box, into a large truck (and in 2 moves, along with one of our cars) and knowing that we would not see our possessions again for about 10 days, and feeling very disconnected. While we were excited about going to our new home, the thought of our entire house in boxes in a large truck traveling the highways across the country was an odd experience. I didn't dwell on it, of course, but in retrospect I know it had an impact on me. As I'm sure it did our children.

Maybe it won't strike you in the same way. And it's only temporary. But if you have never made a big move, I guess I would be prepared to experience some of these feelings...and know that it is quite normal and to be expected. It's part of the fun of moving.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Feb. 19, 2007
Categorized in: Psychology Stuff

So you have decided to move. What are you afraid of? Nothing? Anything?

My bet is that although you have made a decision to move (or your company did), you have some fears about your pending move. That's perfectly normal. But it's important to consider them and determine what is real and what is not? Here are some things you may be fearful of:

  • Not selling your home quickly enough or for top dollar (pricing, condition, marketing and exposure are key)
  • Not finding a home you love in your new city (there is lots of inventory in most areas, so plenty to choose from)
  • Not knowing where to shop, dine, where to go for medical/dental care (the Internet is probably the best soure of information you can find, and it's cheap and available 24/7)
  • Not knowing anyone in my new city (you will get to know your agent right away, and pretty well, and new neighbors will welcome you...and they love sharing shopping and dining recommendations; friends, family and neighbors may already know folks there you can connect with)
  • Leaving friends, neighbors and possibly family behind (yep, that's tough, but they will visit, you will visit, there is the phone, and email is cheap - trust me, this all helps)

There are probably other things that concern you, but these seem to be the biggies for most people who are moving.  Your best ammunition is information, and the Internet is one of the best sources. So start right away - the more you know the better you will feel. Look toward the move with the thrill and excitement of new discovery. And consider when you first moved to your current location - that was probably a new experience for you, too.

And if you have kids and they are old enough, get them involved in gathering information on the Web...or work on this as a family project. Tonight you can look into schools, then tomorrow shopping, then restaurants, then things to do. The more you know ahead of time, the better. I've been through it 4 times now, and believe it all helps. You can also take some time if you go on a houe hunting trip to do your exploring.

Good luck! And have fun. It's a new adventure.

Thinking About Moving to Southern California?

Feb. 5, 2007
Categorized in: House Hunting

Are you thinking about moving to Southern California?

Here's a marketing piece on Carlsbad (where I live) to help you learn more about the area's housing, restaurants, shppoing, beaches and more. I hope you will enjoy it. Just click on the surfboard and surf away.

And if you have some feedback, I would love to hear it.

BTW - If you are interested in other areas of  San Diego, let me know and I will share more information about them and even provide some pics.


Feeling Good About the Move...or Perhaps Not?

Jan. 25, 2007
Categorized in: Psychology Stuff

I'm working with several people who plan to relocate tot his area, and also have a couple of friends who just went through significant relocation. So it made me think - are YOU feeling good about the move? Perhaps not.

I wrote about the psychological and emotional impact before , and having been through it (and yes, experiencing some pretty dramatic emotional stuff while doing so) I wanted to talk more about this. Most of the time we hear about all stuff you have to do:

  • sell your your current home
  • find an agent in your new locale
  • search for a new home
  • arrange for movers
  • pack and get rid of stuff you don't want or need
  • move

and all the while keeping your house clean, managing the kids and your personal and work life, and so on. How can you possibly do all this and keep your sanity? Well, it's ain't easy. But often we don't talk about the emotional end of this process.

Know this - you are going to feel more anxious, maybe occasional depression, excitement, general tension, and more. You will feel overwhelmed, possibly. It can affect your sleep, your eating habits, how you feel physically. It's normal...after all you are making a MAJOR change in your life and that of your family, and it's stressful. And if the move is NOT something you are choosing (say, a job transfer) then those feelings may be more negative. Feeling angry? Resentful? It's to be expected.

Give yourself permission for these feelings. Recognize why you are feeling as you do, even if there isn't a specific incident that is causing you to feel this way (generalized anxiety they call it). Take the time to relax when you can - by yourself and/or with your partner, spouse and kids. Go to dinner. Have a fun day at the zoo. Visit the spa. Whatever you can do to find some special time to enjoy your life and forget about all you have to do. And keep your focus on what is really important in your life - friends, family and your own personal well-being.

Utilities in Your New Home

Oct. 7, 2006
Categorized in: Your New Home

If you have bought a home in your new city and will be moving right in after driving (or flying) across the country, you will need to do some planning for your utilities. We drove cross country and went right to our new home - the furniture was arriving the next day, but with some advance planning we were in good shape to spend the night.

1. Find out who the utility providers are in the new area (you can find this on-line or ask your agent) for gas, electric, or oil (if you have an oil-fired furnace) several weeks in advance.

2. Contact each utility company to make sure they provide service in your area (there may be two different gas providers, for example), then set up a new account in your name.

3. Schedule the service to be turned on as of the date of closing (the sellers will take care of turning off their account). That way you can avoid an interruption of service and it will be less expensive, or perhaps no charge for a new account. Even if you don't move in right away, the cost of running the utilities will probably less than having to pay for turning on new service (this can cost $25 -$50 or more if the service has been interrupted).

4. Call the telephone company in advance as well, as it can sometimes take 2 weeks for service to be set up. You will also need to change your cell phone provider service so you have a local number. You might not want this to be done until you actually arrive to keep the costs down.

5. Call the cable company (again, check on line to see who the provider is - here in Southern California where I live we now have Time Warner - it was Adelphia - but other areas have SBCGlobal) to schedule time to come by your house and set up the service. You probably cannot do this before you move in but that may depend on the provider.

6. Contact the water department to change over the billing on your water and sewer.

7. Check on trash service (your agent can get you the number) and arrange for any changes that they require. Ask about pick up days, the local dump, and how they handle recycling. The previous owners may have trash barrels they are leaving, or the recycling containers.

Carlsbad Relocation A to Z

Blog by Jeff Dowler
Carlsbad, California

An informational source for people who are relocating, with a particular focus on moving to the Carlsbad area of North County San Diego (and nearby coastal communities), with advice, guidance and true stories to help you on your way and make it a great journey, from a REALTOR´┐Ż with plenty of personal (4 major moves, most recently from Boston to Carlsbad, California) and professional relocation experience. Are you running into problems selling your home? Need to find a new one quickly? Never moved before and haven't a clue? You'll find some great tips on how to solve your relocation issues here. Or ask me a question any time and I'll share some solutions or tell you where to get more information. CA BRE Lic. #01490977


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