Relocating to a new community is a stressful event for anyone taking on the endeavor whether it is voluntary or prompted by a job transfer. To leave behind trusted friends and family, neighborhoods, doctors, familiar schools, favorite shops and move into a world of unknowns is a journey packed with potential perils and nightmares. While choosing the right home in a strange place is one of the most important steps, it is very important to choose the right Realtor who is qualified and ready to give assistance in every way. Mary Campbell is a Certified Relocation Specialist as well as a Realtor for Teles Properties and is dedicated to making relocation seem like a vacation for everyone. She’s lived in the Newport area for more than 25 years and has raised a family here. Her experience and knowledge about Newport homes and communities is invaluable to someone deciding to call Newport Beach their home. On her way to a meeting she graciously gave me an insight into the challenging world of moving to a new city.
Q: Why use a relocation specialist?
A: There is so much involved in relocating to a new city, state (or country!) than just buying a house so preparing your move with a certified relocation specialist (CRP) is good advice. A realtor that is certified as a CRP provides you with expert help and knowledge when it comes to uprooting your family into a new area. Having undergone and passed the exam, a CRP is knowledgeable with family relocation issues, relocation tax and legal issues, corporate relocation policies, appraisal methods for relocation and relocation real estate marketing. Most of the major US corporations require nothing less than a CRP to administer the needs of their transferees.
Q: What are the little things a CRP can do that makes a big difference to someone relocating?
A: Showing the small details of living day to day in the city. I’m currently working with a family from Texas. The husband is opening two businesses in Newport Beach and bringing his family halfway across the country to a whole new area is a bit daunting for all of them. Think about it, it is pretty scary coming to a new area you know nothing about, especially when adding the extra challenge of children involved. It’s hard to tell right off the bat what are the good neighborhoods, the ones that are family friendly, stuff like that. Someone moving into town needs a type of guide to show them how things work locally.
Q: So you fill them in on school issues, or where the local stores as well as the activities going on?
A: Yes, exactly. So while they were here checking things out and squaring away the business aspect of their move, I took them over to Newport dunes to show them where the kids can go camping and then had them join in all the fun of a neighborhood 4th of July parade. It gave them the feel of the lifestyle and they were actually stunned, in a good way, how different things really are here. The whole venture actually turned out into a mini vacation for them with all the fun things happening around town. I showed them the schools and I even took them to 17th street and let them in on what shops all the teenage boys like to get their clothes from. The husband was so diligent, writing everything down. I told him about the junior lifeguard programs and also about the underground tunnel on the Bayshore side that gets kids safely to the beach without going through car traffic. It’s those little things that introduce the way of life here which brings a sense of peace and clarity of what to expect in the move.
Q: What about if someone is relocating that is single?
A: Single men and women might have different set of lifestyle choices and using a CRP once again gives anyone relocating the advantage of using an expert to show them the right areas of most interest to them. For single guys and gals, I usually show them Newport coast where the young enjoy the newness of the community, an upscale gym and country club. As a CRP I really spend a lot of time coordinating things, researching, sending emails back and forth and speaking via phone with my customers. It’s a step by step process that builds while I learn their needs and desired lifestyle.
Q: What are some challenges faced when relocating to a new city?
A: Well people don’t realize what a million dollars buys you here. So the biggest challenge is the price range available. For example I had a guy relocating from Canada that for a million wanted a 3,000 square foot house with an ocean view and a 10,000 square foot lot. I told him for a million he could maybe get a condo here. People are shocked at the high cost of our real estate and how little land we get with that price. Many inquiring about our real estate are a bit put out on how close the houses are to each other.
Q: If someone is transferring away, what are some good things to know before moving?
A: First and foremost spend time in the area. Also visit the area on different times of the year to get a real good idea of the weather. I had another customer who lived here and relocated to Idaho at the peak of the housing market. He had been vacationing there for 17 years, one week in the summer and one week in the winter, but never had to “live” through the cold and wintry weather. The family relocated back after 6 years. I remember him stating the day he moved there he knew he had made a mistake. It took him three hard years of commuting back and forth to build his business back up here so he could return. So it is very important if you make the opportunity to rent in the vicinity you want to live for at least 6 months, even if you think you know the area. It makes all the difference to check out the lifestyle and weather to see if it lives up to your expectations or not. Relocating is a big step that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Q: What are some of the popular local communities seeing the greatest influx of newcomers?
A: There really isn’t one. Newport is so eclectic and has a lot to offer. It just seems overall that newcomers like the new. They don’t understand the 50 or 60 year old homes which get the term “shacks” after their eyes have set sights on the “McMansions” at Newport Coast or One Ford Road with its new and perfect look. Also a lot of people find the Port Streets very appealing with its quaint neighborhood.
Q: How long an adjustment period does it take for most people to know whether they made the right decision with their move?
A: It usually takes about one year in an area that has drastic weather changes. In that time you can experience every season and what the area has to offer.
Q: What parts of your job do you like best?
A: I love showing people around and watching them light up as I present to them different places I know they’d be interested. Letting them in on the little nuances that only locals understand, such as where teenagers like to shop and buy clothes. Things like that. That’s why I wanted to be a specialist, getting to know my customers on a deeper level and finding the right options for them. For me it’s not just selling a home. I put myself in their situation and realize I would want to know everything possible about a place that I’m going to move. One of the things I stress to people moving to this area is you can bet on Newport Beach real estate. It’s safe to know that the real estate here is always going to come back first and go down last. That’s good real estate to invest in.