Considering a big move? Don’t know where you should live next? Deciding where to begin the next chapter of your life can be daunting. If you have no idea where you want to go next, you’re not alone! From understanding the importance of affordability and educational systems to crime rates and statistics, the endless variables to consider can feel like a burden to think about. However, a little bit of research can go a whole way when choosing the perfect place to call home. Here are a few factors that will help you find a city that suits you well that you might not have thought to consider!
Of course, maybe the most important factor in any move is affordability. No matter what your annual income is like as a single person or part of a family, living comfortably should always be at the forefront of your mind. Consider all of your expenses, not just housing costs. If there’s a city, state or community have your heart set on, what will your monthly living costs look like as a whole? What’s the price of groceries, utility services, taxes, and even gasoline? Obviously, costs will differ greatly from city to city, so be sure to take into account how much money you currently spend versus how much you may be spending elsewhere.
Thankfully, I took into account every single tiny expense I might encounter during a bigger move. Going from a small town to a larger city meant significant increases in the prices of even the most mundane items. Keeping the same job and similar income meant feeling for a time like I’d taken a pay cut. Of course, this would have been a disaster if I had moved without planning for an entirely new budget.
It’s likely not at the top of everyone’s list, but it may become a huge factor the moment you set foot in a new city: transportation. Mostly, how easy is it for you to get to and from important locations within the cities on your shortlist? Of course, taking into account commute times between work, school, or amenities might look different for every family. You might work from home, or may not even own a vehicle, to begin with. But keep this in mind if you’re planning on commuting longer distances.
Personally, moving from a rural area, where a car was an absolute necessity, to a larger city with adequate public transit changed the way I got to and from work and school. Grocery stores and marketplaces were suddenly within walking distance (which incidentally made getting in my daily steps far more convenient and habitual).
Culture & Community
For many individuals, a near-perfect community is the most important thing to consider when moving. If you’re someone that gets easily bored by routine or is often seeking a new experience, looking for a city that provides constant social stimulation is key. Look at a city’s offerings. What can you take advantage of within the seen?
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a community that is as enriching as it is down to other, you might look away from highly populated or bustling cities. Of course, this doesn’t mean you won’t be without anything to do, but a great, quiet community can be built by more than just the amount of sports arenas and concert halls that are within its limits. This is particularly important if you’re looking for a culture and community that you’d like to settle down in.
Personally, finding the perfect balance between recreational activities, diverse culture, social engagement, and peace and quiet was a tricky thing to navigate. My advice is to make a list of the amenities and community aspects of living that you just can’t live without. Once you have a good grasp of what you need on a daily basis, it’s much easier to find the ideal place to make more memories within.
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