MOVING house is exciting but it can also be stressful, especially if you are relocating to another city or town, far from friends and family and all the amenities you are used to.Two important factors can make the move a big success: you should have a good idea of what you are looking for in a new home, and you need to involve the whole family in the decision-making process.The first step is to draw up a list of your requirements, which could include:• Price range: calculate what you can afford without overextending your budget. If you need a home loan, it’s a good idea to get pre-approval through a bond originator or financial institution so that you know exactly what your price range is.• Neighbourhood: do you want to live in the suburbs or the inner city, or do you prefer rural or semi-rural areas?• Type of property: do you want an apartment or a townhouse in a complex or a freestanding house?• The number of bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen size and indoor and outdoor leisure areas.• Do you need a double garage or can you make do with a single garage, or even a carport or a parking bay?• Amenities: how close are shopping areas, schools, public transport, medical, sports and recreation facilities.• Security: do you want perimeter walls, electric fencing, an alarm system, security guards and access control?• Do you need a pet-friendly home, or would you prefer a complex that doesn’t allow pets?• Do you want a home with a view?Next, you need to decide which of the items on your list are essential and which are merely nice to have.For example, parents with school-going children would probably prefer bigger homes close to schools whereas empty nesters may opt for a compact apartment with shopping and entertainment facilities nearby.For some people, a nearby gym or sports complex are essentials, while others need plenty of space, away from neighbours.Once you have selected a few suitable homes in your target neighbourhoods it’s time to get in touch with the agents marketing the properties. For agents to have the best likelihood of helping you, they need to know the number of people in the family and their ages, along with details of pets, hobbies and favourite activities like sport and shopping.Some questions to ask agents include:• Are any future developments planned for the area? This might mean ongoing construction which could be disruptive.• Are there trouble spots nearby?• Is there heavy traffic or noise or any other problems that could hinder your enjoyment of the property?In some cases, it may be helpful to first rent a home before buying in a new town or city. This will enable you to make sure the home you eventually buy is in the right area.The disadvantage of renting before buying is that you will have to move more than once. Apart from the inconvenience, it adds to the expense of moving.On the plus side, however, you will be able to view properties for sale by visiting them and getting a feel for what it would be like to live their. Once you have relocated, expect to take six months to a year to find your way around your new neighbourhood and make new friends. — Property24.