Relocating to the Mountains – A Practical Guide

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If you have ever visited the mountains, you have probably, like many others, considered moving there. One visit is all it takes for many people to start considering relocating to the mountains. After all, it’s beautiful, filled with nature, fresh, air, and plenty of outdoor activities to boot. But before you throw a for sale sign on your house, you should take the time to do a little pre-planning. Not only will you ensure this is the right move for you, but you will help your relocation to the mountains go smoothly!

Doing the Legwork
There is more that goes into relocating to the mountains than there is any other urban area of the country. Mountain living is different, and people need to know that prior to packing their bags. The air is thinner, there is a difference in temperatures, and you may be miles away from your closest conveniences. Those things aside, it can be a paradise if you are someone who is a nature lover, want to get away from it all, and like the more simple lifestyle that mountain living can offer.

Here’s a practical guide of tips for relocating to the mountains:

•    Have a plan. If you want to relocate to the mountains, start out by having a practical plan of when you would like to make it happen. Chances are you have obligations you would need to tie up where you currently live before you could move on and start establishing roots in your new mountain town. You may want to plan for a summer move, as many mountains have snow during the winter, which would make your move a little more challenging. Relocating to the mountains during the summer will also give you a chance to acclimate to your new digs before the snow hits and mobility may be a little more restricted.
•    Do your homework. If you have an area in mind, you will want to do more than simply check out the ski slopes that it has to offer. Do some research on the area to learn about even the little details that may seem small now, but bigger once you are living in the area. Learn as much about the town as you possibly can, so you go into the relocation with your eyes open.
•    Talk to others. Ideally it would be great if you can chat with others who live in the town in order to get a good picture of what it’s like to live in the town. If you can visit the area to talk with people, great, but if it’s more practical to do it from home that will work as well. The Internet has made it simple to locate people who live just about anywhere. Log online and find some Yahoo groups, Meetup groups, and other resources that can put you in touch with people who live in the area. Send them a friendly email explaining that you are considering relocating to the mountains and would like their honest feedback about the area, as well as any helpful information they can provide.
•    Consider everything. There is more to an area than the ski slopes, which are a nice draw. You will want to consider things like the healthcare in the area, educational opportunities if you have children, as well as routine conveniences. Another thing to consider is employment, if you will need to make sure your resume is in order and find a mountain job. If you are one of the millions who work from home today, or can become one, then you will not have to worry about this.
•    Embrace the snow. Relocating to the mountains for most people means they will come in contact with a lot of snow and colder air. Be honest with yourself in assessing if you are ready for such a lifestyle. Spending a week or two skiing in the snow is much different than living there and being in it for months on end.
•    Start slowly. There is nothing that says to relocate to the mountains you need to do it all at once. Start out by trying it part time to see if you like it enough to move there. Try renting a place for a month or several months so you can see what it’s like to be there longer than a week’s vacation. If the mountain you are considering relocating to is a place you have spent less than a week at, and on a vacation, then it’s time to dig in and try staying a little longer. There is a big difference between living somewhere and being a tourist, and you want to discover those differences before you invest in relocating.

Start Packing
Depending on your health status, you may want to consider chatting with your doctor about relocating to the mountains. If you are healthy, this may not be necessary, but if you have any type of health conditions that can be impacted by the higher elevations, it is best to know up front. Those who suffer mental health problems, asthma, altitude sickness, and physical weaknesses may need to take extra precautions with the thinner mountainous air.

After you have considered the above points, if you are still ready to take on all that the mountains have to offer, it may be time to start planning and packing. If you own a residence that will need to be sold, contact a real estate agent to get the process started. Also, when you first relocate to the mountains, you may want to rent for the first six months, rather than buy a home right away. This will give you ample time to decide which area of town you really prefer, and if mountain living is right for you after all. There is no reason to rush in purchasing a residence. It is better to take your time so that you find the location that will be better for your long term goals.

If all of this fits your goals, be ready to fall in love with nature’s beauty. Mountain living can provide a whole new perspective on life!

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