There will come a time in your life when you yearn for a permanent change of scenery. Maybe you are looking for a better-paying job, a tighter community, or a slower pace of life. Regardless of your reasons, a fresh start could offer you new experiences and opportunities, but it’s not without its challenges. Knowing that you want to move is all well and good, but do you even know where you’re going?
Picking a new place to live is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. The town or city you pick will determine practically every aspect of your life, such as your job, your friends, how you spend your time, and even your health. There’s a common saying in real estate: location is everything. The right location can give you everything you wanted and more. But if you choose poorly, you could end up worse off.
You have to make a big decision, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind when choosing where to move. Take as much time as you need when thinking things over, for there’s no turning back once you pull the trigger.
Real estate market
If you’re thinking of buying instead of renting, you need to check the area’s real estate values. A house is the single largest purchase you will ever make, and you want to make sure that the place you have chosen has a healthy market. That way, if you decide to sell your property or move again in the future, you won’t run into any difficulties. Some of the things you need to research include average home prices, resale value, and listing duration.
It also pays to do online research. Real estate websites can help you gain insight into the local real estate market. For instance, if there’s a real estate bubble, you might want to wait until the market has calmed down before making an offer. Future development plans can also affect long-term value. A zero-down mortgage will help defray some of the costs of moving.
Unless you’re moving somewhere within commuting distance of your current job, you’re going to have to look for a new one. Professional opportunities and earning potential are just two important factors you have to consider when looking for a new place to live in. You want to move somewhere where with lots of jobs and an economy large and stable enough to support small businesses.
Job prospects differ from industry to industry, however. A doctor or a teacher will have an easier time looking for a new job than a banker or a computer engineer. You have two options: you can secure a job before moving, or you need to look for a place with a high concentration of jobs in your chosen field. You also want to make sure that the area’s average income is enough to sustain your lifestyle.
Cost of living
The cost of living refers to how much you can get with your money. You can buy more with a hundred dollars in a small town than in a big city, where the prices are often higher. While the median income can be higher in urban areas, that doesn’t automatically mean that urbanites are in a better financial situation. When you consider rent, utilities, and the cost of goods, you might be better off staying in a small city or mid-sized town.
You also need to take into account the taxes you have to pay. Some states have low sales, property, and income taxes to encourage investment, so it might be a wise idea to consider places with favorable tax rates.
One aspect that few people take into consideration when moving is the climate. The climate of an area will have a great effect on your life. It will influence the clothes you’re going to wear, the car you’re going to drive, your day-to-day activities, and even your well-being. If you enjoy surfing and swimming, moving inland might not be your best option. Meanwhile, people who hate the heat should avoid living near the equator.
The bottom line
If you want to move somewhere but you’re not sure where, these four factors will help you choose your next home. There’s no such thing as a perfect city or town, but you can find the right place for you.