The average American moves about eleven times in their lifetime. This begs the question: Do people move until they find a place to settle down where they truly feel happy, or do our wants and needs change over time, prompting us to eventually leave a town we once called home for a new area that will bring us satisfaction?
Or, do we too often move to a new area without knowing exactly what we’re getting into, forcing us to turn tail and run at the first sign of discomfort?
To minimize the chances of this happening, we should always do proper research when planning our next move in life. Consider the following factors when picking a new place to live so you don’t end up wasting your valuable time and money making a move you’ll end up regretting.
Weather and climate
Obviously, if you’re not a winter person, you’re not going to want to move to Minnesota. This goes without saying.
But no matter where you go, there will be certain quirks in the weather than you might not have anticipated at first glance. For example, though you may have chosen a fairly temperate area, the way in which your new home is situated may make it a prime target for flooding–and you might not recognize this possibility until it’s too late.
Though you likely won’t let the slight possibility of dangerous weather deter you from moving into your new home, you also don’t want to overlook the potential cost to your home if such a catastrophe were to occur.
Safety should definitely be a top concern when moving to a new area. If you don’t feel safe in your own home, you’re not going to be able to enjoy living there.
Before you make the big move, take a look at the crime statistics for your area and the surrounding areas. Find your potential new city’s municipal website and read about any initiatives that have recently been put into place. This will give you insight into some of the issues that have been plaguing the area, as well as what actions are being taken to curb this behavior.
Most areas across the country aren’t completely crime-free. Check out Facebook pages and other websites created by the city’s populace to inform yourself about areas to avoid and other precautions to take. As long as you know how to avoid dangerous situations, you’ll most likely keep yourself free from danger.
Quality of schools
Of course you want to provide your children with incredible opportunities when it comes to their education. But even if you don’t have children of your own, the quality of your new city’s schools can tell you a lot about the surrounding area. Cities that focus on education are generally more progressive. These cities demand equality for all citizens, as they understand how important it is to cultivate a community of acceptance and growth in all of its members.
Cities that focus on education want to see their residents succeed in all areas of life. If you’re moving in order to discover a “new you,” these are the types of cities that will benefit you the most.
When moving to a new city, you absolutely need to make sure your skills are in high demand around the area. Your dream may be to move to a beach town and live comfortably for the rest of your days, but if you can’t find a well-paying job, you won’t last very long.
In addition to being absolutely sure that you’ll be a great addition to the workforce in your new city, you should also pay attention to the area’s economic trends. Is there a high turnaround when it comes to others in your industry? Are businesses packing up shop and moving to a more affordable area? Will governmental budget cuts affect your chances of getting–and keeping–a well-paying job?
Perhaps an even worse fate to suffer than not being able to find a job in a new area is finding your dream job in your dream locale…only to be laid off once it finally starts to feel like home.
True cost of living
No matter where you go, the cost of living is expensive.
However, your dollar does go further depending on what state you live in. The median salary for all workers varies, as well as the amount you’ll make in a specific position. You might make less money on paper in a specific area, but the cost of living may be much less–meaning you’ll be able to stretch your lower wages much further.
Research the cost of transportation, insurance, groceries, taxes, and all other aspects of life that might not come to mind right away, but ultimately determine how much money you have left at the end of each month. You want to be sure you can live comfortably without worrying about being able to pay the bills.
As long as you know what you can afford, you’ll be in good shape whenever you make a new move.
Featured photo credit: Matthew W. Jackson via farm3.staticflickr.com