Have you been planning to hit a hard reset on your life; but unsure of where you want to start anew? True, there are several important angles to consider during the new home research process, but what are your intentions behind moving? Whether you’re running off to the west coast to chase your dreams as an aspiring movie star or simply looking for a quieter change of scenery, this beautiful country offers no shortage of cities that are sure to be perfect for you to move to.
That being said, where should you start? Before you can even begin the planning process for your move, you need to come to a decision on what characteristics are most important for you, in a new home. Retirement, job opportunities, cost of living and families matters make up a long list of reasons that one might choose to relocate to a completely new city or state. Where do these factors rank on your priority list?
Cost of Living
As any self-sustaining adult knows, if you want to live where you want to live, you’ll have to meet the cost of living requirements. This will vary, depending on a slew of different factors. School zone rating, safety, how nice the area is that you’re moving to. These are all things that will play a major role in what you can expect to see when you begin the process of home-shopping. Keep in mind, affordability of a home is just one factor to consider. Carefully research the average pay rate for your job title. Take into account contributing costs, such as gas, average utility costs and other expenses that you are used to paying. Remember that just because you pay a certain amount for something where you’re at now, doesn’t mean that the price tag will be the same at your new home.
Regardless of if you are relocating for an employment opportunity, the fact still remains that there is always chance that you will lose that very job. Do some research into the local job market and examine how frequently positions are open in your field. The last thing that you want to happen is to end up broke, unemployed and stranded in a place where you’ve never lived before! Do what you need to do to prepare yourself, should you need to capitalize on another prospective opportunity.
Family & Friends
There are few things that can influence a person’s decision on where to move, quite like that person’s loved ones. Whether your running across the country to marry your soul mate that you met online, or your traveling to a new state to live with family, there are several reasons that might cause the need for relocation. In the same breath, that same love for your family and friends can have a similar influence in how far you’re willing to move. It’s not uncommon for someone to move, only to move back not long after due to being homesick or missing family. If possible, try and take a couple of extended trips to where you would like to move.
Sales & income tax varies substantially by each state. You can also expect different tiers of property tax credits, or similar homeowner exemptions. It’s not easy to researching and understanding how taxation works throughout the country. Do your research to find a reputable tax resource to compare federal, state, and local taxes throughout potential landing spots.
Weather & Climate
For those that are planning a big move across multiple states, you can most likely anticipate a huge swing in weather. When moving from a southern state to a northern state, it’s important to prepare yourself for a dramatic drop in temperature, as well as conditions such as snow, sleet and frequent overcast. Take your time to increase your knowledge in these areas, as you could put yourself in real danger if not prepared for examples such as this.
If moving from a colder climate in the north or midwest to a southern state such as Florida, you would be best to prepare yourself for heat and humidity. While you may be accustomed to blizzards and snow storms, nothing can prepare you for the dangers of a category 4-5 hurricane! Do your due diligence and ensure that you know what you’re signing up for when making a massive move.
Fun & Recreation
Everything can’t be all business! If you’ll be researching where to move with your family, you’ll want to be sure that you end up in an area that will be enjoyable for your children. It also wouldn’t hurt to have knowledge of when you can let your own hair down and have a night out, when the opportunity presents itself. Major metro areas, such as Orlando, Tampa and Miami offer plenty of attractions and fun, family activities that will make for easier planning of weekend getaways.
Schools & Education
Once again, this will be a major topic of importance for those with families. You can’t put a price on a good education, and you will find that they saying rings true during your research process. Expect to pay top dollar for neighborhoods nestled i a highly-rated school zone. Even still, most parents would agree that the ratings of surrounding schools will serve as a deal-maker or a deal-breaker. You want your children to be safe, all while receiving a good education. Utilize sites such as School Digger, as well as Great Schools to find highly rated schools in your prospective areas.
Crime Rate & Safety
Crime rate can and should always play a major role in any moving-related decision. The last thing that want is to end up settled in your new home, only to find out that you’ve moved your family into an unsafe neighborhood. Take a deep dive into the criminal statistics in potential neighborhoods that you would consider moving to. Major metro areas can offer housing for all demographics, but try your luck with quieter suburban neighborhoods. You always stand a chance of dealing with less criminal activity when moving to quieter, more newly developed neighborhoods.
What Are Other’s Thoughts On Where To Move?
After you’ve engaged in all of the necessary research and fact-checking, take to the message boards to hear what others have to say about your potential new homes. Forums such as Nextdoor and Facebook can offer great firsthand insight into other’s experience with living where you want to live. Think of it as reading reviews; but for cities! Now keep in mind that no community or city comes without it’s shortcomings, so take some of what you read with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, you can do as much research as you want, but you’ll eventually have to take the plunge and make the call to your moving company of choice to start preparing for the next chapter!