Many people are tempted to pack up and move in hopes of having a better life, finding their dream job, or even finding love. While the prospect of moving wherever you want when you want can be thrilling, it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. You should never impulsively move; instead, consider the following.
1. Cost of Living
Before you decide to move, you should know how much it’s going to cost you to live in a new place. The cost of living varies from state to state, so you must do your research to determine what things like rent, groceries, gas, auto insurance, or public transportation will cost you.
If you don’t figure out the cost of living in a new place, then you might be shocked when rent prices are three times higher than what you’re used to. For example, the midwest is typically one of the cheapest places to live in the U.S. Someone from the midwest can expect to pay at least double the rent in a city on the east coast.
2. City vs. Town
It’s best to decide whether you prefer to live in a town or a big city before you move. While living in a city can sound exciting, it can also be loud and bright, which can make falling asleep or getting quiet time difficult. However, some people hate the idea of living out in the country where the nearest grocery store is 50 plus miles away which tends to result in ordering a lot of subscription delivery services so you do not have to go out of your way to buy something, such as diapers, groceries, or medication.
Before you can move, you’ll need a place to hang your hat at the end of every day. Housing is one of the most important factors when deciding whether or not you should move somewhere. It is also one of the most significant components that impact the cost of living in an area. Before you plan to move, you should determine whether or not you want to lease or buy and then start looking at neighborhoods.
When you research neighborhoods, note important conveniences like:
- School district
- Access to public transportation
- Grocery stores
- Doctors offices and hospitals
Renting is a great option, especially if you’ve never been to the area before and don’t know which areas are best for you. You may be able to decide between a three, six, or 12-month lease, which can give you some wiggle room if you feel like you might want to move.
Traffic can be the main reason you want to leave your current city. Nobody enjoys sitting in traffic for long stretches, whether they’re the driver or the passenger. If getting to work will take you over an hour, moving to a new place might not be the best option for you. While a long commute might seem like a good compromise for a nicer area, it also means you’ll have less time to spend with friends and family.
If you have children, you should research the schools in the area where you want to move so you can ensure your kids are getting the best public school education and experience. Even if you don’t have kids, you might want to consider the school districts just in case you plan on having kids in the future.
Whether you’re single or moving with your family, you should know whether or not the area you’re moving to is relatively safe. If you know you’re moving to a lesser safe area, you can take the proper precautions, including changing the locks when you move and adding an alarm system to the home.
To determine whether an area is safe, you should do your research. Many online resources can help you understand crime in the area and the most common types of crime.
7. Job Opportunities
If you’re moving to a new place without a job lined up, you need to know how easy it will be for you to find a job. No matter your skill, experience, or education, you should do your research to find if there are jobs available for someone like you in a new city. Your job will ultimately decide whether or not you can afford to live or stay in an area, so it’s typically best to have a job lined up before you move.
8. The Housing Market
Before you decide to pack up and move, you should know whether now is the right time to buy a home. The housing market typically varies depending on the state, but you can easily determine whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market by looking at home prices with current home listings. If you see a house that was sold a few years ago for significantly less money, then it’s likely a seller’s market, which means if you move now, you could be spending more than you have to own a home.
Some people prefer mild weather while others prefer hot or cold weather. While the weather can be unpredictable no matter where you live, you should understand the different types of weather that occur in different states. For example, if you enjoy getting a white Christmas, you may not want to live in a place that hardly gets snow, like Texas. However, if you enjoy warm weather, you might enjoy living in the south.
It’s also important to note the weather will have a significant impact on your utility bill. For example, if you can’t stand the cold, then you can expect a high electric bill in Alaska. On the flip side, if you don’t like being warm, you can expect to have your air conditioning running all year long in Florida.
Believe it or not, taxes vary substantially from place to place and state to state. If you want to take home more on your paycheck, then you can decide to live somewhere with lower tax rates or zero income tax like New Hampshire. If you currently live in a place with no income tax, make sure you understand the tax rates in the state where you’re planning to move so you don’t get a big surprise on payday.
If you enjoy going out and having fun, you may not enjoy living in a small town. Entertainment should be a priority on your list, depending on the types of things you like to do. If you’re someone who can’t stand spending Friday nights at home, then you will probably be happiest in a vibrant city.
You can find out what people do for fun in any city with a quick online search for restaurants, events, museums, or music venues.
Moving to a new place should never be an impulsive decision. If you truly want to be happy living in a new place, you should learn about the place you want to move to before you finally take the plunge. By doing research and gathering information, you can make the right decision for yourself and your family.
About the Author:
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.