The Psychology of Moving to San Antonio

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesPrepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Moving is tough—notwithstanding the situation, any time you are packing up all your treasured belongings (read--old college papers, things you've been meaning to fix, kids’ popcicle stick snowflakes) and move them to a new residence is staggering for even the most organized and positive among us. When you have obtained your dream job—three states away--and your spouse will have to vacate their career, when life has thrown you a large surprise and you're more or less forced to move, when living alone is no longer an option---you have to manage a lot of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the anxiety of the physical move to San Antonio.

A big stressor in moving is understanding the whims of the real estate business. You are a grown person, valued in your community, and your life is completely at the mercy of some people you've never met--what if your house doesn't sell? Suppose the people buying your house change their minds? What if they ask you to leave the washer & dryer and the kids' playset? What if the appraiser takes note of the rift in the foundation that's kind of unseen behind the shrubs? Suppose the inspector finds your new residence has a wornout roof or there's a new bowling alley and travel plaza planned for across the road from your new subdivision? Here is the truth. You have no say over any of these items. The best plan of attack is to make sure that the realtor helping with your residence and the realtor helping you buy the new house are capable and do their jobs--and work with both to have a contingency plan should something get askew.

Real estate transactions are like a giant run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening as scheduled. One blunder several steps up the line can impact your buyers timetable, and a similar thing goes for the house you are moving to—unexpected snag might mean you cannot close on the day that you thought you could, and you're up all night wondering how it's going to feel to be homeless for a a couple days, or if you might be able to move into one of the moving company’s moving trucks and set up camp.

Take a deep breath. One of the perks of the recession is that real estate standards have changed and there aren't nearly as many eleventh hour changes with your closings. You should learn of any possible issues well ahead of your closing date, and in case that something does fluctuate, moving companies are very used to working with changing time frames. If an issue does slow things down, you could have the choice of moving in a few days prior to when you actually close--again, a good realtor thinks about contingencies, so you don't have to worry about them.

Communicate with your realtors and lender once a week prior to your closing date to make sure all the inspections and repairs and whatnot are on schedule; being on top of it provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a hiccup you are not blindsided.

If something unexpected does happen, like if you are building and an out-of-stock supply has delayed inspections and you don't have the occupancy certificate three days ahead of closing because the plumbing isn't finished, AND you've got fixed closing date on your old home and the movers are lined up, don't lose it. Most moving companies can provide temporary or long-term storage until you can move into your new house, and your realtor may be able to help you find short-term housing until your home is accessible. Problems like these are not likely, but when they do occur your stress levels skyrocket--so rely on your team to help you figure it out.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you're moving to San Antonio--and it may be an exciting time, it might be a challenge. You may be going three blocks or three hundred miles away. Everyone’s circumstances are diverse, but people are very much similar--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from home to house. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated cars to ride in, and others resemble a gravity-defying, nausea-producing Loch Ness monster. The trick is to change that roller coaster into a peaceful ride with cheerful little people singing "It's A Small World" as you sail through your closets.

Some researchers and psychologists have likened moving--in any situation--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. That is, you feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

When you've constructed a life in one place, it is very natural to have mixed emotions about leaving the house where you were carried (or carried) over the threshold, where you brought your kids home, where you observed all those birthdays and anniversaries. If your move is not choice but a requirement, it is alright to get mad at the state of affairs that have deposited you at the location where you're leaving your home because there are no other choices. Be furious, wail and scream at the walls and lean on your family and friends for support. Spend some time attempting to figure out how to not have to relocate—maybe your spouse could commute, or get a room in the new town; if you need assistance keeping up with your house, you might consider getting live in help. Thinking through your alternatives, as far out as they may be, helps you think through the reality of moving so that it's a bit easier to accept it.

Then, you can spend a few days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your relatives ask if they should come over and help you sort through your things, and you fib a tad and say you're nearly finished, when in reality you have pitched two dried up ink pens and one pair of those disposable pedicure flip flops and do not own a single box, yet. If you're really having a hard time with the specifics of purging and packing, allow your friends to assist. Or, ask your moving company to box things up for you—most full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you going or do the whole job for you.

At some point, you'll acknowledge the transition and change. It might not be the day the moving vans arrive, it may take a couple months. But the human spirit is a resilient thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new abode in San Antonio. That's not to pretend it will be simple, but being agreeable to create a new life and attempting new activities can ease the nostalgia for your old residence and your old life.

The members of your family will all experience the same feelings, although with different degrees of ferocity--teenagers’ reactions will most likely a bit more bold than that of a younger child. If you are vacating your family house for senior living because one spouse is not doing well, then the more active spouse may feel more anger and denial. The important thing is to remember that the emotional ups and downs are normal and it would be strange if you didn't feel sad or mad or a little upset during the move.

Keeping your move in perspective is critical to arriving to the new house safe and sound. Your life isn't contained in the walls of your old residence, your life is in the memories you've made there. Don’t forget that you won't lose old friends, and that you'll meet new ones. And one day soon, you will open the front door and say to yourself, "I'm home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

People have habitual behavior ingrained in them--even babies pick their favorite stuffed animal and woe to you if it is in the washing machine at nap time. So, when you move, you are lots of times changing up all your habits in place and even when you're excited about the new residence, the new life you've got to build around it is demanding to even the most adventurous. When you are moving and concerned about creating a new life for you and your family in San Antonio, here are some tips to help with the transition.

Get your family enthusiastic about the relocation to San Antonio. If this deciphers to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint her favorite rock band’s newest album on her wall, put a smile on your face and go purchase the paint. It could mean you finally have a big enough backyard for a dog—think about what type of dog would fit best with your family, and as soon as the last box is unpacked, go to the local shelter and get a new furry family member. While you are at it, adopt two dogs, as everybody needs a pal. Let your kids put up tents and camp out in that big backyard. Of course, it's bribery of a sort, but it's all for the best and the delight of new activities and besides, puppies are a surefire way to put a smile on everyone’s face. And, if you are the one having a tough time with it, seeing your family happy goes a long way to helping your mood.

When you're moving, the world-wide web (if you are older that terminology makes sense to you) makes the trip a lot smoother. You possibly utilized real estate websites to search for your new house and research schools and neighborhoods, so you have a decent idea already of your new area. Use social media to connect with people--towns big and small have mom groups that suggest all types of things from dermatologist reviews to the best piano lessons--and do not forget that your new neighbors can be very helpful. A lot of neighborhoods have websites and online directories that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and mow grass.

If you have kiddos, transitioning activities is much more important to them than that dentist. Being able to jump right back into basketball or karate or ballet keeps them on a schedule and helps them feel a part of their new community-the last thing you need is to have sulking children around the home whining that they hate you and don't have any friends. And here is a fun bit of information—studies show that moving in the middle of the school year is less stressful for kids than moving over the summer break. When you begin a new school at the beginning of the year it is easier to get looked over in the turmoil of the new year , but when you start when school's in session, it is more probable your kids will meet friends more quickly and get more interested in school.

The loss of a feeling of security can be the hardest part of a relocation for the adults. When you're in the habit of swinging into a neighbor's abode just because you know that she’s home, being in a new place where you don't know a soul is hard. Remember that your new neighbors are probably interested in getting to know you, because they have probably said adios to their drive-by buddies and are looking forward to getting to know the new neighbors (aka – you!). Taking the dog for a walk is a sure-fire way to run into the neighbors--their eagerness to learn about you is high, and this gives you an easy way to get to know everybody.

The majority of churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that you and your family can be a part of, and help you to figure out how you fit within that community. Many schools would love to have more volunteers, so think about getting involved. And, if you are part of a national club like Rotary or Junior League your membership can be easily transferred.

Life changes are tough, but by granting yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a bit sad about the past will help everyone accept the future.

If you are contemplating a move, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group to get started on your free in-home estimate. We promise to do our part to make your move to San Antonio as seamless as possible.