With summer just around the corner, it’s high season for family relocations. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy in Boston, families “on the move” are wise to think ahead. Summer is an ideal time to choose your new location and get settled before kids go back-to-school in September.
But if Boston is where your family’s moving truck is bound this summer, there are a few things to consider. Moving is almost always stressful, regardless of the circumstances. Family relocations can be especially challenging, so it’s important to seek support when you need it. Partnering with a corporate housing expert on the front end to help guide your decision-making process can save many headaches on the back end. As you start your moving preparations, here are three tips to consider, along with some resources to help facilitate the process:
Don’t “Go It Alone”
It can be tempting to want to take the lead when deciding where your family’s residence will ultimately be located. Yet unless you’re already very familiar with Greater Boston, you’re unlikely to fully appreciate the important distinctions between Boston’s many neighborhoods. Each section of Boston proper has it’s own unique personality, and different parts of the city might appeal to you for different reasons.
Back Bay, for example, is a target destination for many who move to Boston. As famous for its Victorian brownstone homes as for its world-class shopping and proximity to cultural institutions such as Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, the neighborhood is considered one of the top sites of 19th-century urban design in the nation.
The Boston Seaport District on the city’s waterfront is another popular neighborhood for newcomers. The Seaport was dubbed “the hottest neighborhood in town” by Boston magazine, as it continues to attract a wide range of residents to an area that’s bursting at the seams with new development. The prime location near downtown, coupled with its explosive growth, make the Seaport a great choice for families who want to avoid a commute from the suburbs.
These are just 2 of more than 20 neighborhoods in the City of Boston—not to mention additional choices in Greater Boston, including Cambridge and Brookline. This is where corporate housing experts can help you more effectively choose a neighborhood that will best match the needs of your family.
Know What to Look For
A corporate housing expert can also help you think through your family’s specific needs and preferences to help hone in on an ideal location. Take the time up front to make sure that a corporate housing expert understands your job location, school needs, and your family’s lifestyle.
Your temporary housing provider may ask you “lifestyle” questions like these to help narrow your search for housing:
- Where is your company’s office located?
- Would you prefer to live in a city or suburban setting?
- What do you and your family like to do in your free time?
- Do you enjoy outdoor activities?
- Are there particular types of restaurants that you prefer?
- How old are your kids and what grades are they in now?
- Do your children play sports?
- Do your children have any special school needs?
- Does your family participate in specific religious activities?
Take a “Test Drive”
Want to really get to know a locale and find out if it suits your family before making a permanent move? The best way to do so is to try out one or more temporary housing solutions before putting down roots. If you’re relocating with an employer, your human resources department may be able to work directly with a corporate housing provider to place your family in a few different locations. Then your whole family can “test drive” various neighborhoods before committing to permanent housing.
During these trial runs, you’ll be able to compare different neighborhoods in Boston to see what it’s like to live in them. Some furnished apartment providers even offer deals and discounts on local services, allowing guests to really experience each neighborhood as local residents experience it.
If appropriate prior to your relocation, ask your HR manager if the company’s corporate housing provider could tour you through multiple corporate apartment examples during any of your business trips to the area. This will allow you to explore what types of temporary housing might make your family most comfortable long before the moving truck arrives.
Check out the following resources to help you prepare before, during, and after your family’s relocation:
- City of Boston, provides extensive information by neighborhood about communities and services, searchable by address.
- Visitors’ Information, City of Boston, provides detailed information on transportation, things to do, culture, recreation, and weather in the Boston Metro area.
- Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, provides a Boston Travel Guide listing hotels, restaurants, and activities in the Greater Boston area.
- Furnished Quarters, corporate housing provider with Boston neighborhood information and corporate apartment listings.