Starting over in a new community can be stressful.  It requires effort to make new friends, find the best places to eat, and to learn your way around. But, if you are to willing venture out and explore, integrating into your new city doesn’t have to be daunting.  Here are a few tips to help you with the process:

  • The Essentials

Depending on your age and interests, what you consider essential will vary, but virtually everyone should know where to shop for groceries, pick up a prescription or get a good meal.  Beyond the essentials, what is important will certainly differ and finding these places is not really all that challenging.  We live in the internet age where a wealth of information on just about everything, including your new city, should be right at your fingertips.  So, initially, let your fingers do the walking.

  • Using the Internet

Start by checking out Google Maps. If you enter your address, a map of your area will pop up.  Type an asterisk (*) into the search field to find everything of interest in the area. For a more specific search, enter the information you are seeking, such as “Thai Restaurant”, “Pharmacy” or “Furniture Store”.  Matching results will display on the map and sidebar. The side bar will also show a star rating and contain a link to written reviews and the business’s website.  In addition, you can easily map a route from your home to any of these locations and to your place of business.

  • Ask for Advice

While the internet is great, it cannot replace the actual recommendations of people you trust. So if you know anyone in your new town or city, consider checking with those folks for information that the Internet cannot provide.  Also consider a social media shout out for local input on Facebook and/or Twitter asking for recommendations and advice about your new city. This will combine the power of the Internet with important native insights from those in the community.

  • Meet New People

While you can certainly discover great restaurants, entertainment venues, local parks and night spots in the city, nothing can replace having friends to share good times, increase your fun, and help to ease your adjustment to a new home and location.  So, make that concerted effort to personally connect with locals in your new city or town. 

  • Use Your Hobbies

Many friendships are rooted in shared interests. So, if you have a hobby, sports you enjoy, or other activity that drives your pleasure and time, use it to meet new friends. Whether it’s your golf game, children’s activities, or your love of music or painting, undoubtedly there are others in your new city with similar tastes and affections.  An easy way to connect with people in your area whose interests mirror your own is through local Facebook groups and the site So try to find a group of people who share your interests and consider trying a meet up.

  • Help Out in the Community

Community service is an excellent way to meet some great, civic-minded people. When you take initiative and do some good within your community, it becomes more than just the place you live and work. So consider volunteering time to municipal activities for another path to a quickly acclimate.

If you try these ideas, you’ll inevitably meet new people with common interests, learn about your new town and neighborhood, find things to do with people you enjoy, and feel a sense of real comfort in your new surroundings. 

When you are ready to make that move, feel free to contact me today for a consultation.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about Chicago’s North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs real estate. Alternately, if you are leaving the area and need a reference to a skilled real estate professional in that new location, I can provide a reference for you at no cost.  Don’t hesitate to ask – I would be glad to help you identify the right person in your new area.



Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Palo Dobrik Photography