The Season of Relocation

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Summers typically see quite a lot of moving activity – college-bound students are looking for apartments near campus, families are relocating before school begins – but this summer seems unusually active. It became quite clear over the weekend, when we attended a going-away party for neighbors who are moving to the Los Angeles area due to a job transfer. My brother was in town over the weekend – his family lives here, but he recently took a job near Alexandria, Virginia and will soon be moving his family there. And one of my co-workers is moving to the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

After doing some reading, it appears that my brother has the right idea – the Washington, DC area was ranked the number one location (to raise a family and for its strong job market) by both and

If you are considering a summer move, be sure to do some research on the area – including neighborhoods, schools, and recreation. is a great resource to get information on everything from average temperature to cost of living. Another great resource is the city’s web site. Once you’ve chosen your area, be sure to research jobs and begin sending resumes – you don’t want to make a major move without something lined up.

My brother is planning to rent until they acclimate to the area and choose a neighborhood. He is moving his wife, his mother-in-law, three kids, and their dog. It gets a little more complicated when moving a large family. Two of his children don’t want to move and are resistant to the idea. If you anticipate the same issue, take a trip to the area beforehand and show the kids around. It may not end all of the resistance, but seeing the local landmarks, parks, and schools may help them adjust.

My neighbors have a Great Dane and a Papillion to take to California with them. Unfortunately, they are flying and will be putting the dogs on a plane. If you ever decide to put your pet on a plane, be sure to read up on air travel and safety for your pet. It’s a bad idea to put a short-nosed dog (such as a Pug or a Bulldog) on a plane – it is too difficult for them to breathe. Small dogs may be allowed to ride in your lap (in a carrier, of course), but large dogs (such as my neighbors’ Great Dane) will have to ride in the cargo area – be sure to see the vet before the trip and discuss your options to make the trip as stress-free and as comfortable for them as possible. Also, call around to different airlines and ask about their pet policies.

Once you’ve settled on a location, found your dream job, and decided how you’re going to get there (plane, train, automobile), find your perfect apartment. Read up on neighborhoods and rent in an area you may eventually wish to buy in – especially if you have school-age kids. They’ve switched schools once, so keep the routine as normal as possible after the move. (That goes for the dog, too. Help him settle in by keeping basically the same routine – from the times you go for a walk to his feeding schedule.)

Whether it is just you or your entire family planning a relocation this summer, a little research and planning can go a long way. Make a checklist and stay organized to make your move as easy and stress-free as possible.