Welcome to the Neighborhood!

One of the most challenging parts of moving and establishing yourself in a new community is making connections with doctors, insurance agencies, realtors, dentists, auto repair, and everyone you need to know to make your new neighborhood feel like home.

Of course, word of mouth is helpful in some situations, but what if the recommended people aren’t accepting new clients? What if your insurance doesn’t cover the care you need? What if you haven’t had time to connect with enough people to collect word of mouth recommendations in your new community? Thankfully, there are more and more websites set up to help you narrow down or expand your search results and gather online recommendations to help you make informed decisions.

I’m highlighting several resources you can access as you move to different communities and settle your family into their new neighborhood. Whether you need medical care, child care, or hair cut I’ve gathered reliable resources to help you sort through the spam on the internet and find the needles in the haystack so you can finally feel like you are home.

Neighborhood Medical Care

Here’s a great article from WebMD on how to use medical doctor rating and review sites. They recommend 3 sites as trustworthy and I’ve included a 4th:


At Healthgrades, better health gets a head start. We help millions of consumers each month find and schedule appointments with their provider of choice.

With our scheduling solutions and advanced analytics applications, we help our health system clients representing over 1,500 hospitals across the country to cultivate new patient relationships, improve patient access, and build customer loyalty.


RateMDs provides information, reviews, and ratings on everything from the cleanliness of hospital and care center facilities, to physician knowledge, as well as giving patients the ability to share their own personal experiences.

The rating platform and doctor search allow you to locate specialists in your area and get informed through other patients’ experiences and testimonials. Whether you’re looking for a new Family Doctor, General Practitioner or you’re seeking a specialist like a Dentist or a Neurologist, we’ve got you covered.


Vitals obtains information and data from a wide variety of sources both public and private. These include medical boards from all 50 states, federal websites, hospitals, doctors, surveys, business alliances, and third party affiliates.

We do not edit any of the comments or rating selections of doctors or practices. Vitals does reserve the right to remove from public posting any comments which may be deemed offensive, malicious, inappropriate, sexually explicit in nature, or not made in good faith.


CareDash launched in 2016 after our CEO and Founder, Ted Chan, noticed two troubling trends: healthcare provider review sites tended to cater to and attract patients of a higher socioeconomic status, and many existing sites accepted financial compensation in exchange for the removal of negative reviews.

Reilable Childcare

Reliable childcare is one of the biggest stressors for two-income families. Do you need before and aftercare, all-day care, or part-time in-home care? It’s challenging to know until you find a job after your move. Then you may need something right away. Some areas have waiting lists and extremely expensive options or restrictive hours.

Some websites to search include:

Other options to consider are:

  • Call local churches and see if they have mom’s day out programs or can recommend someone
  • Contact local colleges and see if you can post a job
  • Contact home school groups and see if any high school-aged students can flex their schedules
  • See if someone is looking to do a sitter share option
  • See if you have a remote work facility with daycare
  • Call the park district and YMCA (especially for summer and before and after school care)

Drycleaners, Plumbers, and Haircare

When it comes to finding reliable care these days the best thing you can do is check customer reviews. A word of caution. If you only see glowing reviews I’d question if negative reviews are being removed somehow. It’s impossible to always satisfy every customer. At the same time, when you see a one-star review take the time to dig a little deeper.

Working in digital marketing I’ve seen time and again where a customer is angry that they didn’t get their way on a bill or they expect they should have received something for free and they retaliate by leaving a less than truthful Google Review. Hopefully, the business owner is doing their due diligence and has responded with the full truth.

Here’s a list of places to consider when looking for reviews on businesses:

  • Google My Business Page
  • Facebook Business Page
  • Yelp
  • BBB
  • Angie’s List
  • A local website that features businesses such as a macaronikid.com local site.

Neighborhood Church

Finding a church may be the most challenging part of a move. It takes a lot of intentionality to find a community to invest in, which is a post for another time. Right now I’m focusing on resources to point you in the right direction.

Find a Church Near You is a Church Directory and app that pulls up all the churches in an area by location.

Church Finder boasts they are the largest database. This site requires that you set up a local account and also allows you to leave reviews.

Another way to find a church is to review the Friday Night Wives Community Resources Page.

Neighborhood Apps

Have you heard of Nextdoor? This app is great for connecting with neighbors and alerting them quickly to things such as “hey we’re having a garage sale!” or “there is a random bike in my driveway” 🙂 It’s also helpful to know who lives around you when you forget that neighbor’s name again.

Need to purge or fill a house? Check out Freecycle not only is this trendy, but it will save you money and save the environment!

Kiwi allows instant online background checks.

The sooner you establish these things the quicker you will learn about your community and begin to feel your way around. You never know, you may be able to flip the script and tell someone something about a doctor or dentist yourself!

Make your next move the smoothest one yet with my two books designed specifically for people who move frequently. (Print and Kindle Versions available)

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in September 2019, and has been updated in September 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.

Leave a Comment