How to Decide Where to Live – Criteria Your Dream Home Should Meet

June 23, 2021Moving Tips
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

With the whole world spread before you, how to decide where to live when moving home comes is a difficult question. Knowing that leaving your birthplace will affect you a great deal, you should take your time choosing where to live. Even a recently published study says that geography and personality are closely intertwined. That being said, it is essential to understand that pursuing happiness in a new place should never be a matter of pure coincidence. Wherever you choose to go, we are here to help you do it the right way.

There’s Never One Right Answer

Where should I move to start over is a question that you will likely go over and over in your head, like a carousel. However, when trying to answer it, there’s one thing to keep in mind: the idea of a dream place varies and depends on many things, especially your priorities, values, and needs. Even the people that know their needs to the tiniest details can’t tell if the decision they made was the right one until they’re finally there, adjusting to their new lives. And that’s the most challenging part when relocating to a new state.

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Creating a Step-by-Step List Might Help

Even though this is not a simple question, taking simple steps forward will surely bring you closer to the answer. Here are a few of them you can follow to make it easier to pick the right destination and move efficiently:

  • Identifying your needs – The things you didn’t have while living in your old town and the ones you’d love to have in the new one.
  • Make a shortlist – Sure, there are many beautiful cities around, but not all of them are appealing enough to consider for a living. Choose the ones that match your values.
  • Do your homework – Try to find out everything you can about the cities that got your attention and see how they score when you compare them.
  • Go for a visit – If there’s time and enough of a moving budget, visit some of your top picks.
  • Pick one – No matter how you get to the decision, it’s time to pick the one spot that seems best for you.
  • No worries, you’ll never be sure if it’s the right one, but it’s undoubtedly the best one at the moment.

Considering the question of How do I decide what city to move to can be frightening if there’s no good answer. Try adding some fun to the process by taking one of the personality quizzes, like a where I should move quiz. Maybe it could even help you figure out your preferences faster.

A quote written on the road
Don't let the fear stop you from taking steps forward your move

Key Factors to Consider When Moving to a New House and Choosing a Place to Live

One of the relocation tips you can’t miss before making a fresh start is determining the key factors and researching each one of them. This is a simple path to a better idea of what a change of scenery will imply. You can create important categories based on your priorities, and if you’re not sure how to do it, we’ve got you covered.

How to Decide Where to Move: Consider Your Future Career First

Whether you’re relocating to another state alone or with a family, employment opportunities will be one of the most important factors when deciding where to move. It’s well known that these differ from state to state, as does the income, so learning more about the job markets is essential. One of the common things you forget to do is analyzing the competition within the industry you work in and the locations of the highest concentration of job opportunities for you. You can start searching for a new job before settling down in some of the potential cities you’re considering for your future career.

The Money You’ll Spend on Life There

Asking yourself how to choose a place to live will be much easier when you understand what the living costs are going to be like. Earning enough to afford a comfortable life is not a luxury but a basic necessity. Getting the things you want is why you left your hometown in the first place. However, don’t let money be the only guide. A community that makes you thrilled and curious about life will always be good enough to teach you how to overcome obstacles when faced with them. Also, things like making friends in a new town will always be much more enjoyable once you find yourself relaxed and not worried about expenses.

Do You Want to Live Close to Family

Moving to another state will make you think twice about how far your future location is because of all the people you love but are leaving behind. Just think about packing your car for a move and all the driving stress you’ll have to go through every time you decide to drive across the state to reunite with your family and close friends.

Although there are countless relocation hacks to get through it a bit more easily, maybe it would be a better idea to consider getting on a plane and simply shipping your car across the country. With a reliable auto transport company, there’s always the open trailer transportation option available, quite an affordable one, actually, but enclosed trailers are also there to consider. Knowing how to choose where to live will mean putting your thinking cap on because finding the right way you engage with these challenges will help avoid potential disappointments.

Choosing the Climate That Suits You Best

Climate is one of the critical factors that seriously affect our quality of life. Whether aware of it or not, it goes far beyond our physical comfort, what we wear, and the hobbies we’re into. It’s no wonder it shapes many of our decisions, especially concerning relocation, since the climate affects local economies and work opportunities a great deal. Life in a colder climate isn’t the same as in the tropics, for example. If your every day is dark and snowy, you’ll have to be creative to make the most of it. You’ll have to think of the tiniest details, even those like creative storage ideas in your home, to create a functional life. So, researching what effect the weather you choose will have on your goals is a must before leaving your old town.

To hear more about the pros and cons of deciding to relocate away from family and friends, check out the video below.

Other Important Things to Think About Before You Make the Decision

Finding the suitable packing materials or learning to pack a moving truck correctly is important, but don’t let all of your time go to these. There are certain things – or better said, peculiarities – of every state. Being adequately prepared to face them is also crucial when it comes to how to pick a place to live. Digging into cities’ cultures, lifestyles, sizes, and amenities is something you don’t want to skip before embarking on a journey like this.

Understanding What the Culture and Lifestyle Is Like

Spending some time surfing online – researching the advantages and opportunities of the cities you’re interested in – is something you have to do to understand better what to expect and hope for. When you know the stuff you love – music venues, cinemas, theaters, museums, arts, spaces, and outdoor activities – then you know what to search for. That’s precisely why researching each town before deciding to call it home is a must.

Consider the City Infrastructure

A good livelihood of the citizens comes from the smart infrastructure solutions of the cities. Your fundamental needs and overall productivity will depend on how supportive the crucial systems are: healthcare system, public transportation, school system, etc. If you’re stuck in traffic every day, and driving anxiety hits you every time you leave the house, the quality of your life will surely suffer. Just compare driving in NYC to any other city with a not-so-rich traffic congestion history.

It’s vital to mention that high-quality medical care should be on your priority list, especially if you have older family members or kids. Outdoor spaces follow close behind as part of the green infrastructure of every city. Living in a great city often means having a wide range of parks and easy access to outdoor activities. These are just a few factors to consider, but generally speaking, don’t put your infrastructure needs aside.

Friends hanging out and having some food
Going thoroughly through all the factors will make the whole process a lot easier to handle.

How Do I Decide Where to Live When Moving With a Kid?

We’re well aware of how complex it is to provide an ideal upbringing for a child. In a world that offers so many options – how do you know what’s right? Should you give your child a rare chance to roam free in the fresh air of the countryside? Or expose them to urban diversity? Or maybe go somewhere in between, and choose the suburbs? One thing is sure – when relocating with kids, it’s not only about you but also about providing the best possible opportunities for them.

Creating a Safety Net

Safety should rank high on your list, even if you’re on your own. But now that you have a kid to take care of, low crime rates are even more important. Low crime prospects, and crime prevention in general, will provide you with a piece of mind. That’s why identifying them before heading off is one of the critical tasks, and not even a complicated one. Just by researching the internet, you’ll find a lot of significant info. For a more detailed insight, you can even look for crime reports referring to each city area. Remember that creating a safety net goes beyond your house; the surroundings and the way they function are critical components to it.

Pay Attention to the Quality of Education

For parents, deciding how to pick where to live comes a bit easier if there are top-ranking schools in the area they’re going to. It’s not uncommon that a positive school climate and academic performance indicate other positives found within the city. If you are not sure how to dig into the school quality in the cities you’re considering, there are websites like SchoolDigger that have proven helpful in the process.

Two kids at the school desk
Conduct in-depth research of all the important factors when relocating with kids.

Learning How to Decide Where to Live Isn’t Easy, but It’s Certainly Worth the Trouble

Understanding how the homes we choose contribute to our lives is undoubtedly one of the most vital steps to happiness. The turmoil of going through the phase of adapting to a new environment could be much simpler if we learn to recognize what we want way before the adventure begins. Narrowing these down might take some time and a lot of effort, but once you do it, finding a place to call home won’t cause any trouble ever again.

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