Did you know that more than 10% of Americans — nearly 30 million people — move each year? Are you hoping to join them?
If so, you have a very important decision to make. Knowing where to move involves more than just picking a city you like. To ensure your move is successful, you’ll need to do some research and moving prep ahead of time.
Here are four factors to consider to help you choose the best place to live.
Cost of Living
Affordability is the single biggest decision in where to move. Ideally, you want to choose a location where you can afford decent housing and be able to save for the future.
An area’s cost of living includes more than housing prices. You need to factor in the cost of utilities, groceries, healthcare, and transportation. If you plan to settle in your new home, you’ll also want to consider factors like taxes and real estate values.
As an example, are you interested in moving to Chicago? You can learn more about current real estate prices and see what’s in your price range.
Depending on your line of work, this may or may not be a critical factor. If you can work from home (as many of us do after the pandemic), you may be free to choose where you want to live.
Otherwise, you need to spend some time researching employment opportunities in the area.
If you have a high-demand job, such as a teacher or a nurse, you’ll be able to find work almost anywhere. Of course, you’ll need to factor in the salary too and make sure it’s a liveable wage for the area.
Crime Rates and Safety
There’s no place that’s 100% free from crime, but you do want to feel safe in your new house. Before you put down a deposit or take out a mortgage, research crime rates in the local neighborhood.
There are plenty of free sites you can find online to study trends in the area. Try the city’s police department, the county’s government page, or other municipal resources.
Local Climate and Culture
A final deciding factor in where to move should be your personal preferences.
If you’re a beach bum, you probably aren’t going to thrive in Anchorage, Alaska. If you love to ski or snowboard, you’ll soon resent the warm winters in south Florida.
What about accessibility to restaurants, shopping, museums, and entertainment? If you enjoy going out every weekend, you’ll quickly get bored in a small town in Nebraska. On the other hand, if you value peace and quiet, an apartment in downtown Manhattan is probably not your best choice.
Still Wondering Where to Move?
Deciding where to move is a major decision, especially if you’re bringing your family with you.
Before you make your final choice, revisit the factors listed above. With enough research, you’ll soon find the best place to live and call home.
This moving guide isn’t the only topic on the table. Keep browsing our site for great advice on real estate, business, and much more.