The First 24 Hours in North Carolina

I am happy to report that we thankfully had a rather uneventful drive down from New York to North Carolina. We left Jason’s parents house on Sunday morning at about 3:15am, stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts for Jason, and got underway at 3:30am. I was thinking about making a post about the drive down, but it truly was so uneventful, there is not much to report. The most eventful thing was that we had no traffic in DC and got to drive by the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon, which was pretty cool. 

Anyway, we made it down to North Carolina in one straight shot, arriving at our apartment complex at 11:45am, 15 minutes before the management office was supposed to open. When we got to the office, we hit our first hiccup of the day. Even though we had confirmed in writing that the office would be opening at noon and someone would be there to give us our keys to move in, the office was closed and a sign was up saying they would return at 1:00pm. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but because we had our cat, Salem, in the car and he had been in his carrier for almost 9 hours, I was a bit anxious to get the keys and get him into an air-conditioned apartment. My mind also jumped to the worst-case scenario: What if the office was unexpectedly closed because it was Memorial Day weekend? What if we wouldn’t be able to access the apartment that day, or even the next day?

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Moving Day: The Journey Officially Begins

Well, we had been through it all. We had scoped out the Raleigh areasigned a lease for a new apartmentdecided on movers, said our “I’ll see you later”s (AKA our goodbyes) to everyone except Jason’s family, and (mostly) packed up our whole home

And now, the big day – moving day – had finally arrived. But let me tell you, it started out stressful. 

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Picking Your Schleppers – How We Settled on a Moving Company

Picking a moving company. Oy. I think picking a moving company has been one of the most challenging aspects of our moving process because, contrary to how the phrase normally goes, this was our first rodeo. Sure, Jason and I, both individually and jointly, have been through plenty of moves, but we haven’t been lucky enough ourselves to have the luxury of hired movers. It has always been just us, our own muscles, and those of any of our friends or relatives who we can convince to help us (usually through beer and food bribes).

Being green in this area, we started our search for movers in the same place I think most people do when they don’t know anything about a topic.

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What to Do When Not Everyone is Supportive of Your Big Move

This is a very difficult post to write, but I think it is an important one nonetheless because this is real life and this blog is about the realities of moving to a new state where you know no one, not just the happy and exciting moments. It probably goes without saying, but if you are uprooting your life and moving to somewhere completely new, you’re probably going to upset and/or piss off at least one person in your life. When you share these plans with your friends, family, coworkers, and any other category of people in your life, it’s best to be prepared for the worst. Below are four tips I think can be helpful in tackling the difficult conversations with people who aren’t exactly supportive of your move:

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Apartment Hunting 102 – The In-Person Visits

For our second trip down to the Raleigh area, we kind of procrastinated on booking flights, so when we finally got around to it, everything was expensive, and we ended up having flights at odd hours because they were cheapest. We flew in Thursday night late (I think we got in at 11:00pm) and flew out Sunday morning at 6:00am, not leaving ourselves much time to check out places, but determined to get things done. Raleigh welcomed us with a torrential downpour Thursday night, but our spirits were lifted when we found out what vehicle we would be driving around town in:

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Apartment Hunting 101 – The Research and Online Search

While I was expecting our Raleigh apartment hunt to be much less daunting than a New York City apartment hunt (and trust me, it was) the search was not without its own unique challenges. Our Raleigh hunt came in two stages – first, we did our due diligence and researched the heck out of places online, which I am going to detail in this post. Then, we took our second trip down to the area and visited the apartment complexes in person to make a final decision, which will be in another post coming soon.

But before we even took to the internet to get our search going, there were a few things that Jason and I needed to decide. Continue reading “Apartment Hunting 101 – The Research and Online Search”

Rent or Buy and the NYC Baseline

As I’m sure you can imagine, one of the biggest and most daunting to-dos in an out-of-state move is the process to find a new place to live. The first thing you have to decide is are you going to rent or buy? When Jason and I first started talking about the potential for a move, my mind instantly went to, “Yes! I am finally going to have my own house! I’ll have a backyard and a garden and ooo! Maybe even a fire pit!” It was easy to get sucked into the thought of buying a house initially, especially because the house prices are so much more reasonable in the Raleigh area. But the more I thought about the situation, the more I realized, “I don’t even know this area. What if we buy a house, don’t like the area or don’t fit into the community, and now we’re stuck?” Once overly-excited-me turned into rational-me, I realized that renting an apartment for 6 months to a year would probably be the best move for us. This is not to say that this is the best option for everybody – a family might want to buy to have stability for their kids, or a person moving may have significantly more resources than we do to scout the area – but Jason and I talked and decided this was the right decision for us.

After we decided that renting an apartment was the route we wanted to go, I got the pleasure of introducing Jason to a world of apartment hunting that was completely foreign to him as a New Yorker.

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The Scouting Mission & Three Tips for Future Scouters

Last we left our heroes, talk of a Raleigh move was coming into focus as a more full-formed possibility. Jason and I both knew that when talk of a move got serious, at least one trip down to the area would be necessary to determine if this was a place we could actually see ourselves living. So, we did some research on the area, booked our flights, and dove into the adventure head first. After I got off the flight and began driving around, though, I started thinking to myself, “Oh my God, what are we getting ourselves in to???”  

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Moving to Raleigh – Are We Really Talking About This?

Chatter of a Raleigh move has actually been going on in our house for months. In fact, it’s been a topic that has been floating around for so long that I don’t even remember when it was first mentioned. I do remember, though, that it didn’t begin with, “Here’s an idea, let’s move to Raleigh!” Jason and I have always thought it might be exciting to live somewhere else for at least a few years. These discussions were mostly collective daydreaming – oh, wouldn’t it be cool to live in Europe for a few years and really experience another way of life? But then, talk began to happen that the company Jason consults for is trying to move some of its operations and employees down to Raleigh, NC to save money. An important person at the company who Jason works with took the plunge and moved his family down to Raleigh, and reported back that the area was great and that things were really cheap. “Hmm,” we thought. “Would we ever want to move to Raleigh?” The seed was planted at that point, but nothing more.  Continue reading “Moving to Raleigh – Are We Really Talking About This?”