How to Verify the Variables When Relocating


We are moving to San Francisco. As a bit of a control freak, I like to have all the information in front of me. It’s the best way to make a decision that you won’t regret. Except when you have variables like our house which will soon be available for sale and finding a place to live. The San Francisco Bay area real estate market is unfamiliar and uber competitive. I can’t have all the information and control things like timing, information and resources no matter how hard I try.

When verifying these unforeseen variables we’re doing the following:

  • Setting expectations. I’m not going into this house rental market blind. Although it’s been a while, I’ve been in the rental game before. This time I’m older and wiser but we must act fast. We’ve followed rental prices for the last 8 months so we have an idea of what to expect. We understand the market is competitive, and I’m doing my best going into this with eyes wide open.
  • Getting the Upper Hand. I’m not currently working with a relocation agent so I will resort to nontraditional tactics as necessary. I’m currently using IFFFT and have automatic text alerts set up with an RSS feed from Craigslist when a house meets my specific requirements. I receive a text the moment it’s posted so I can make a decision to contact the owner immediately. 
  • Asking the Locals. I have a great network of friends in the Bay area and all of them have opinions about where to live. Since locals know the market the best, I’m taking it all in. Making notes, researching and modifying my strategy as needed. It’s good to be connected in the area before you move.
  • Targeting Specific Areas. I’d like to think that our requirements for a house and relocation aren’t that unique. Our family is targeting specific areas to look for a home. I’m upfront about our pets and the fact that we are looking for a long term rental as we adjust to the area. Being this upfront could bite me in the short term, but I believe that it lends to a better relationship with our potential landlords in the long term. For our rental search we are targeting Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton areas. For my business, I need to be where the technology action is and since we both work at home, we need a place to spread our wings.

Will we be triumpht in our battle to find the perfect place for our life in the Bay area? I truly hope so, but I’m learning that flexibility is the real key to this hot real estate market and the relocation game. Nimble, quick and lightening fast.

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