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Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Old May 9th 2017, 4:47 pm
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Default Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Hello.

I'm planning our familiarisation visit to Phildelphia for the end of June.
So far; we're planning 7 days and I'm in the process of making appointments for school visits.
I'd be really pleased for some tips for things that we should do while we're there. I'm thinking; find a supermarket, get a feel for the size of the place.
I have yet to organise accomommodation, I'm thinking we will probably do this through Booking.com.

Also, should is it worth hanging around for July 4th? We won't know anyone.
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Old May 9th 2017, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

when are you due to move?
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Old May 9th 2017, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Looks like the end of July.

That said, we'll be leaving here at the end of July but not getting to Philly til end of August. Since we're on holiday in California in August it doesn't make sense to come back for a week/10 days.

Last edited by RollingStones; May 9th 2017 at 5:10 pm.
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Old May 9th 2017, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Might be worth looking for a rental house in that case? At the very least, looking at quite a few in the area you think you'd want to live in. What's rental availability like?

Get Bank accounts set up? You could probably use your work address, take along anything that shows you have visas for living here.
On my familiarisation visit I had the services of a relocation consultant. Here's what we did in 3 days in this order:
Bank account set up and money transferred in.
Rental house found and signed for. Deposit paid
School registration documents taken
Vaccination requirements checked
Utilities signed up for when the house lease started

We were moving 4 weeks later - I had already identified the schools the kids were going to attend. I'd been looking at rental houses online and found my own realtor to help me look at 4 of them.
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Old May 9th 2017, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Brilliant!!! That's really helpful. Thank you.
We will have a relocation consultant and I've already been scoping schools.
Need to think more seriously about housing.
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Old May 9th 2017, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Drive round and look at areas and houses.

When we did this 2 years back we were asking everyone we met - if you were working here where would you live?
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Old May 9th 2017, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Schools were the main criteria when we visited (had already identified 4) and their catchment areas. Then the housing in those areas. Found a rental realtor on the second day and by the time we left 6 days later we had the school sorted and a coupe of houses in mind (but this was 2008 and rentals were really easy to find and plentiful).
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Old May 9th 2017, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

Originally Posted by RollingStones View Post
I'm thinking; find a supermarket
Giant and Acme are the local ones around here that are pretty good. But then there's Wegman's. I loooooooove Wegman's. And I hate supermarkets!
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Old May 10th 2017, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Familiarisation visit. Any tips please?

When we came over we went to a great airbnb - not only was it cheaper than a hotel, the people who owned the house were a wealth of knowledge and support. They didn't have to be - we never expected them to, but they offered so much help and now in fact we have a bunch of their old furniture in our apartment that they kept because it is nice furniture but was just sitting around in the basement. I cannot recommend airbnb highly enough.

Look through reviews and find a place that has a lot of good ones mentioning the hosts being helpful, even if only to get them to tell you what it is like to live in that area, etc...
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