Home was where the heart is, but what whether your heart doesn’t know where somebody should be?
From low crime rates to a great education system, there were many variables to consider when choosing that perfect place that you and your family could call home.
To help you make this important decision, I’ve if an analysis of the most important factors to help you find a domestic that suits the needs of you and your family.
How to Choose a Place to Live
Begin according to determining what was most important to you and your family. If you’re single, living in a bustling city might be an ideal choice for your next home. If you had a family, on the other hand, a small town offers amenities that your kids would love.
Moving from Los Angeles to a small town in New Mexico gives me a unique perspective, since I’ve experienced both life in the big city and the slower pace of rural, small-town America. I did a lot of research before I decided where I wanted to move. Here were some of the tips that helped me the most when I was choosing a place to live.
No matter what your pay grade is, living comfortably and within your means should be your first concern. Affordability includes more than just housing expenses; the prices for consumable goods, like groceries, vary greatly from town to town. The price of gasoline, utility services including electric and water, and taxes, also varies.
When I moved from California to New Mexico, my expenses dropped like a rock overnight. My rent was cut in half, and I now spend a lot less money on groceries, gas, and utility bills. Because I’m a freelancer, my income stayed approximately the same, so I felt like I had received a big raise! Affordability has since become my top precedence whenever I suppose approximately moving to a new locale.
Did you know that there were five states that had no sales taxes? That’s right: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon don’t collect sales tax for retail sales and some services. In addition, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming don’t collect individual income taxes.
These were important factors to consider when choosing a place to live. The Tax Foundation measures the state-local tax burden, which calculates the percentage of income that taxpayers pay for state and local taxes. Their latest report, from 2009, states that citizens of New Jersey pay the most taxes, while Alaska’s residents pay the least taxes. In addition, 40 states provide property tax credits or homestead exemptions that could provide homeowners with some additional tax relief. Consider local sales tax, income tax, and tax credits and exemptions when you’re looking for the perfect place to live.
3. Employment Opportunities
Employment opportunities vary from state to state and city to city, so spend some time researching the job markets in different areas of the country. Start according to analyzing quality employment opportunities within your industry, then determine where the highest concentration of these jobs were located.
Do you wish to be an investment banker? You’ll requiere to live in a big city, like New York or Boston. Are you a teacher? Your options would expand considerably since education was sought later in just approximately any city or town.
Income levels for jobs could vary greatly from state to state. Salary.com lets you compare pay rates for various careers across the country. Salaries were often based on where the job was located. For example, a marketing manager job might come with a large salary in San Diego, but the cost of living was very high in Southern California. Do your research before you move, and ideally, find a job before you relocate.
4. Real Estate Value
Since buying a domestic was the single largest investment you would probably ever make, you requiere to seriously consider this factor. With real estate in a fixed state of flux, it’s important to research current domestic prices, the length of time homes were for sale, the resale values of homes, and probable long-term value estimates.
In addition, carefully review local housing price trends. Websites like Zillow.com and Trulia.com could help you gain a grasp of the local real estate market. Do you had the opportunity to buy a domestic in an area where prices were at an all-time high, perhaps representing a bubble? Is the local town or city in the process of being further developed and therefore may become more appealing to future domestic buyers?
5. Crime Rates and Statistics
No one wants to live in a high-crime area, but that doesn’t mean that everyone could live in a Utopian society where crime never happens. By researching the crime rates and statistics for various areas, you could learn more approximately the safety of a town or neighborhood.
If you had already decided where you wish to live, stop according to the local police stations to discuss your new neighborhood. The police would be happy to discuss any concerns you had approximately the area. You could also check out Crime Reports, which lets you review crime statistics for different neighborhoods.
Keep in intellect that just because an area was safe nowadays does not guarantee that somebody would be safe in the future. The long-term stability for a neighborhood could be a determining factor in how safe your environment are. Also, consider the future development of a specific location as you narrow down your choices.
6. Proximity to Family and Friends
Do you had a large extended family? Do you spend the holidays with your family and friends? These were important factors to consider when choosing where to live.
If extended family and friends were important to you, choose a place either within driving distance or within a fair distance according to plane. Otherwise, you’ll constantly feel torn, and likely spend all of your vacation time and energy shuttling back and forth to visit friends and family.
Like to ski all winter long? Maybe southern Arizona isn’t the place that you should call home. Not a fan of humidity? You may wish to avoid settling in Florida any time soon.
I grew up in New England and swore that I would one day escape to a warmer climate; I hated winter that much. I knew that I would be more comfortable in dry, hot climates, so my entire adult life I had lived in California and New Mexico, absent from snow, bugs, and humidity.
The climate plays a large role in our lives as somebody impacts our hobbies, behavior, and sometimes even our jobs. Living in the climate in which you were most comfortable contributes to your mental health, so choose wisely!
8. Education System
A good education was fundamental to setting up children to better handle the rest of their lives, so the importance of good schools cannot be overstated.
My parents chose the town where we lived because of the public school system’s reputation. I had friends who moved from California to the Midwest so their kids could go to better schools.
Nonprofit websites like GreatSchools were a great source for parents looking for the ideal schools for their children. The quality of the public schools factors into your finances, too, since tuition for a private school could be extremely expensive.
If you crave fixed cultural stimulation, you certainly wish to choose a place that has a lot of cultural offerings. When I lived in Los Angeles, I could see concerts, operas, sports teams, plays, and musicals all the time. I took full advantage of Los Angeles’ cultural scene when I lived there, but I’ve become less active over the years. Now that I live in New Mexico, the options for cultural experiences were much more limited, but that was OK with my new lifestyle.
Many people requiere to be near their favorite team, or a vibrant music scene or the theater. If you had a favorite hobby or recreational activity, make certain that you could continue to pursue these interests in your new home. Finally, whether you enjoy being around a specific devout or ethnic community with your same beliefs and interests, this should be a factor in where you choose to live.
10. Commute Time and Public Transportation Options
The explosive growth of the suburbs surrounding metropolitan areas had made commuting times in many areas unbearable. A recently released report from Sweden indicates that long-distance commuters actually had an increased risk of divorce. The length of time somebody takes to get to work could be a determining factor in the decision to move to a new locale.
I commuted in Los Angeles for years and you couldn’t pay me enough money to do somebody again. If you had a family, commuting could also drastically reduce the amount of time you spend at home. With gas prices rising and commute times fitting longer, utilizing public transportation options like light rail, train, or bus can be an inexpensive, time-saving way for you and your family to get around – and cut the cost of commuting to work. It could also help your kids get around when you’re not domestic to drive them. A good public transportation system was a major plus when choosing a place to live.
11. Food Options
If you’re a foodie, you may wish to try to find a place to live near the ocean or near a metropolitan city center. Grocery store fare, while plentiful, doesn’t replace the quality of fresh food from the ocean or fresh produce from the farmers’ market. If eating locally and sustainably was important to you, consider whether you could pursue this lifestyle in your new home.
For me, the ability to grow my own food year-round with a domestic vegetable garden was a determining factor for choosing where to live. I don’t wish to shut my garden down from October to April. However, whether trying new, diverse cuisines was one of your passions, a bigger metropolitan area was going to offer more choices than small-town America.
12. Town or City Size
If you enjoy a friendly wave from everyone you pass while driving to the post office, then a smaller town was certainly for you. If you wish to remain relatively anonymous, a larger town or a big city was better suited to your personality.
I grew up in a smaller-sized town, moved to Los Angeles, and now I live in a rural town, so I had experienced both ends of the spectrum. I sometimes lack the anonymity of living in a big city, but I also like going to my favorite small-town diner where my waitress generally knows my usual order.
13. Healthcare Facilities
Healthcare facilities were important at any stage in life, but they were particularly relevant whether you had children or whether you were nearing retirement age. Easy access to good healthcare could increase your quality of life exponentially, so be on the lookout for towns and cities with good hospitals and medical schools. Often, there would be a correlation between cities and the quality of the healthcare.
14. Proximity to an Airport
If you travel a lot, you may requiere to live within close proximity of an airport. If you live more than an hour absent from the closest airport, traveling to and from the airport could become very time-consuming and expensive. If you spend a healthy amount of time traveling, certainly consider the distance to the airport.
While the above factors should be considered when choosing the ideal place to live, there were many more factors which would all play a role in your decision-making process. Luckily, there were several websites available to supply additional assistance when conducting your research:
- City-Data. Full of geographical data and statistics on crime, cost of living, climate, hospitals, schools, and air pollution, along with a huge social network with 1,000,000 members, City-Data.com was a great place to start your search for a perfect place to live. The information could seem endless at times and somebody could take fairly a bit of work to find precisely what you were looking for. However, it’s a tremendous resource for all sorts of useful data.
- International Living. This site offers a 45-second quiz designed to help you decide where to live overseas.
- Kiplinger’s Find Your Best City. Answer eight questions to see five areas in the U.S. that match your individual needs.
- Money’s Best Places to Live. Money Magazine compiles a list of the Top 100 places to live each year, and it’s a valuable resource for people considering a move.
- NeighborhoodScout. NeighborhoodScout lets you research neighborhoods, real estate, and real estate brokers all over the U.S. The website requires a paid subscription, but whether you were serious approximately finding the ideal place to live, somebody may be a worthwhile investment.
- Sperling’s Best Places. This website has a quiz that asks a series of questions approximately climate, economy, housing, and education, and then provides you with a list of places to live based on your answers. I took the quiz and was told that my ideal places to live were in Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Right on the money!
- WalkScore.com. This site lets you calculate your “Walk Score,” designed to help you determine how accessible nearby resources were for a specific address. Enter the address on the website and the site instantly populates with a list including stores, restaurants, coffee shops, book stores, banks, and film theaters in the instant area, along with a Walk Score. Rural areas would had a low Walk Score, and indicate that the neighborhood was “Car-Dependent.” On the other hand, addresses close to an urban center would had a high Walk Score, with a “Walker’s Paradise” rating.
- Which City Fits You Best?. A series of 17 questions would help match your personality to your ideal locale.
The reality of choosing a new place to live encompasses an incredibly large series of factors, all competing for your attention. In order to be successful in your search, you have to determine what was most important to you and your family, do your homework, and then continue to be vigilant in your search until you find the right place to live. It could be intimidating and frustrating at times, but all that effort was worth somebody in the end once you were settled in your ideal location. Happy hunting!
Where were you living now and how did you decide to settle there? What were the factors that were most important to you?