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Movers and Shakers

How the Web made the big move easier for these three people.

Who

Victoria Davies (victoria@ipass.com), 28, Customer Marketing Manager, iPass Inc., Mountain View, California

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The Move

From Sydney, Australia to Atherton, California

Victoria Davies was working for an Internet-service provider in Australia when she got the chance she’d been waiting for. One of her vendors asked whether she wanted to move to the United States. She jumped at the chance.

“I wanted to be able to focus on work as soon as I got there,” she says. That meant finding an apartment and a car – preferably, before she stepped foot in the Bay Area. Davies used a Web site called allapartments (www.allapartments.com) to educate herself about the rental market. She used another site, AutoWeb (www.autoweb.com), to help her avoid sticker shock. Once she arrived, she bought a convertible. “I embraced the California dream,” she jokes. Davies also used the U.S. State Department’s Web site to get smart about a potential nightmare – immigration rules.

Net Effect

If you think moving to a new city is stressful, try a new country. “The Web eliminated a lot of the fear,” Davies says.

Who

Ron Lee, (ronl@themeco.com), 32, Systems Administrator, Theme Co-op Promotions, San Francisco

The Move

From San Francisco to Portland, Oregon

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Ron Lee didn’t move to follow his job. He moved to follow his kids. After Lee and his wife divorced, she decided to start over in Portland. Lee decided to move north as well.

First, he had to find a safe place to live. He found a Web site with crime maps of Portland (www.worldstar.com/~carltown/crmemap.htm). “The maps are simplistic. But they gave me a sense that the farther out from the city you go, the dicier it gets.”

Lee also wanted to learn more about schools, so he visited the Web site for the Portland Public Schools (www.pps.k12.or.us). “They have individual school profiles,” Lee says. “I also checked on after-school programs.”

Net Effect

Lee didn’t find much on the Web that he couldn’t have found elsewhere. But he did get the information faster, cheaper, and easier: “Sure, I could have written away for information on the Portland schools. And I could have called the Portland police department for crime data. But what are the odds that I’d actually do that?”

Who

Barbara Nicholson (bnicholson@bcse.nec.com), 49, Training Coordinator, NEC Business Communications Systems (East) Inc., East Syracuse, New York

The Move

From Beverly, Massachusetts to Syracuse, New York

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It was time to go back to the future. Barbara Nicholson was widowed and her kids were grown, so she decided to move back to her hometown. She asked her family to spread the word that she was looking for a house. But she also visited Realtor.com (www.realtor.com).

“It showed pictures of the houses, and it covered the entire Syracuse area,” Nicholson says. “I was able to narrow my search down to the size and age of the house, the number of bedrooms, and extras – like a garage.”

There was another benefit – the ads: “I followed links from various real-estate sites and got quotes from moving companies. By the time I moved, I’d even used the Web for job-hunting. I got a job within a week of getting to Syracuse.”

Net Effect

Newspapers are nice. But when it comes to house-hunting, the Web works: “I had an idea of what I was going to see before I got to the house,” says Nicholson.