How to Decide Where to Move
Deciding where to move can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. Whether you are hunting better job prospects, relocating your family, or you want to try something new, choosing a city takes time. These are just a few factors you should consider to help find the perfect city for you.
A city isn’t just a place to live, it’s a place to be. The culture of the city will directly affect your day-to-day life. Each city offers a unique experience that draws people of different personalities, values and backgrounds. Take into account your own interests and values to decide what’s right for you.
If you like to be where it’s happening, larger cities are for you. Larger cities have more action—things happening, things to see and things to do. Some cities are known for their theater district like New York, Cincinnati and San Diego. Nashville is known for it’s country and rock music, while Chicago and Atlanta are known for hip hop. Foodies flock to large cities for the cuisine; cities with large immigrant populations have a wide variety of exotic dishes while also attracting some of the best chef’s in the world.
If you fancy yourself the outdoorsy type, check out cities with a close proximity to nature. Popular cities like Denver, Boulder, Seattle, and numerous cities in California are known to have some of the nation’s most beautiful wilderness. Many of these cities, like Denver, are experiencing a population boom of young millennials who seek an affordable balance of the outdoorsy and metropolitan lifestyle.
Not everyone is a fan of the big city. If you don’t like anonymity and seek a closely knit community, seek medium-sized cities and smaller towns.
It’s true: Los Angeles has a terrible reputation for commute time. Talking about traffic there is like talking about the weather. If you can’t stand getting up an hour or two early just to sit in traffic for an hour or more before work and again back home, you should seriously reconsider places where this is the norm. Some cities like New York and Chicago have efficient public transportation that eases the strain, and numerous cities spanning from Seattle to San Diego and more are becoming more bike friendly. Remember, more commute time means less time around your family and less time doing the things you love. If you’re planning a move to a high-traffic city, find a place close to work or public transportation.
There’s a reason it’s hard to leave southern California once you visit—the climate is hard to beat. Southern California cities aren’t the only ones with sunshine; Denver is known to have at least three hundred days of sunshine a year. However if you’ve always wanted to live in a place with four seasons, the upper Midwest and Northeast are where you need to be. It will only take one blizzard in Chicago for you to figure out whether it’s the right place for you. Other places have a tradeoff; Miami and Orlando are popular, but living in muggy weather is up to you.
Cost of Living
Sure, some cities have higher wages, but is the cost of living higher? Look up your city to determine how far you can stretch your dollar. Search average rent and home prices, the cost of groceries, and other expenses like transportation. If you have an idea of how you want to live you have to be realistic about what you can afford. If you can barely pay your bills you won’t enjoy your lifestyle. You also have to factor in the competitiveness of the market. If you’re planning to rent, make sure you have clean credit and background reports so you’re more likely to land the unit you want without getting stuck in an apartment that’s out of your budget.
Consider your future. Does this city have a thriving market in your field? Some careers are more in demand than others and some industries are exclusive to certain areas. If you want to break into biotech for example, you will need to move to San Diego, San Francisco or Boston. If you want to work in the mecca of finance, head to New York, Chicago or even Richmond, Virginia. Computer engineers and entrepreneurs flock to Silicon Valley for venture capital, tech development, and startup potential.
Other industries aren’t as exclusive. Teachers, lawyers, medical professionals, engineers and more are usually in demand anywhere you turn. If you have career flexibility, your moving options are broader.
Choosing a new city to move to can be a challenge, but it should also be an exciting experience. Start a new beginning by considering these factors.