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The Browser: Relocation Edition

Grad Design Guide: Web Sites to Help With the Stress of Moving to a New Town

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By Kathleen Hom
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moving to a new city and starting fresh can be both frightening and exhilarating. There's the stress of packing and moving, coupled with the thrill of discovering a neighborhood and meeting friends. We've compiled some Web sites that can ease the transition.

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MOVING ASSISTANCE

Relocation Essentials (http://www.relocationessentials.com) helps you figure out where to move, with information on cost of living, tax rates, crime and school quality. You can compare towns, plug in your salary to figure out how far it will go and find a neighborhood based on such factors as predominant age group, home values and neighbors' academic backgrounds.

For help with the logistics of

packing and choosing a mover, try Moving411.com. The site includes free quotes from movers and car shippers, tips on choosing a mover, a list of your rights and responsibilities, plus a calculator to figure how much in weight you're moving, which affects costs. You can also determine what size moving truck and how many boxes you'll need, and find real estate information if you're selling or buying.

Relocation.com provides details on what to think about when settling into a home. Get quotes on mortgages and insurance, search for an apartment through the site's partner, Apartments.com, and read tips about setting up utilities and tackling home improvement projects. The user-friendly site includes a blog and a subscription-only newsletter, too.

GETTING TO KNOW THE TOWN

Local media outlets can be some of the best avenues for finding out what's going on in a new town. With NewsVoyager (http://www.newsvoyager.com), a service from the Newspaper Association of America, you can search the Web sites of local, international and college newspapers. Click on a pull-down menu or a map of the United States, and you'll be directed to a list of newspaper Web sites.

Outside.in tracks news stories from local media outlets, such newspapers, TV stations, blogs and message boards. The site grabs information by city, listing more than 60, and can narrow to news about neighborhoods. You can also filter data by categories ("arts and culture," "sports and leisure" etc.) to, for example, discover what new galleries are open Friday nights or what a neighborhood is famous for.

EveryBlock (http://www.everyblock.com) also provides a feed of news stories related to a particular city, though only 15 cities are listed so far. But it goes a step further by relating entries to addresses and posting them on a map so you can see what's relevant to your neighborhood. In addition, the site gathers local images posted on Flickr and lists what it calls "civic information," public data on reported crimes and road-construction projects.


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