Blog July 22, 2021

How to Decide Where to Live – Choose the Best Place to Start Over

Posted in How-to
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

There is no better way to start fresh than with a relocation to somewhere new. If only the question of how to decide where to live wasn’t that hard – the endless possibilities and various factors and places will make your head dizzy just thinking about them. Find your peace in thinking that you are not alone – about 40 million Americans are relocating every year.

In some cases, the final location of the relocation can be pre-determined – relocating for a job as well as relocating for love can be reasons to move where you won’t have any saying about the location. However, when you have the free reign of your home’s future location, try to make the most out of it – and we are here to teach you how.

How to Choose a Place to Live Considering the Costs of Living?

Unsurprisingly, money is the most important factor for the number of people when choosing where to live – oftentimes, a need for downsizing and reducing can be the force that makes people leave their old homes. For most of us, affordability plays a huge part in various decisions, and choosing where you’ll be located in the near future is not an exception. If you are considering relocating to NYC, San Francisco, or Boston, for example, be prepared to give away a significant amount of your income each month.

Ensure Not to Pay an Arm and a Leg for Your New Life

Before hiring state-to-state movers to help you and opting for different kinds of packing services, you should think about what’s the price of each utility, groceries, public transportation, and alike, aside from housing and renting costs. Thankfully, all that information is available and easily accessible – explore online each of the cities you are considering and weigh if you can afford the life in them.

At Best Places, for example, you can easily find all of the statistics regarding living costs and even use a calculator to compare prices in different cities. However, your search doesn’t end there – for big cities, you’ll have to explore prices in various neighborhoods, which can be vastly different, and see which part of town or metropole can be your home.

How to Best Explore the Housing/Renting Market When Moving Interstate?

In the modern world, your housing research can be done online, but you can also opt for renting an apartment for an undefined period of time and explore the market in person. Either way, there are several things to think of before you opt for the location:

  • Current housing prices,
  • The prognosis about the future home values,
  • Are the houses usually sold above or under the asking price?

Buying a house is probably the investment of your life, so don’t risk purchasing something that will soon lose a lot of its value. On the other hand, renting an apartment doesn’t demand that kind of commitment – just be sure to know the renting market in the cities you would prefer to live in.

How to Decide Where to Move In Order to Save Money on Taxes?

Yes, there are states where you are not legally obliged to pay some type of tax, just make sure to do the proper research on places where you would want to move. For example, Alaska and Montana are the states where you won’t be paying sales taxes at all. In some states, on the other hand, income taxes for some or all income sources became non-existent, which is the case in Florida or Nevada.

According to last year’s data, the state that leads in the highest income taxes department is California, followed by Hawaii and New Jersey, and the shortest percentage belongs to Wyoming, Washington, and Texas. It is important to know that statistics will be your friend in the future when relocating to a different state.

man signing a document
Do your research so you won't be surprised when the tax season comes

Deciding Where to Move Based on Employment Opportunities

Job opportunities are the most common reason for relocation – even 40% of all relocations are job-related. If you wish to get a job in a different city, you must explore the job market to see if it can offer you jobs that match your professional field. When relocating, it would be preferable to find an area with lots of different choices regarding job positions and the one with the competitive salary.

However, keep in mind that the same position in different cities can offer different earnings. It is an unwritten rule that the pay is better in cities with a higher cost of living. Note that some work positions, like those in the education field, can be found almost anywhere, but you’ll have a better chance of living in more populated cities if you are interested in the technology field.

If you are relocating for the first time and learning how to find a job after college, your best pick would be home near or in the city center – a good choice for young professionals and those who want to build a start-up company. Keep in mind that no matter how far the technology advances, it will never provide the possibility of professional networking the same way as personal contact.

If you are curious about how to find a job long-distance, don’t miss watching the following tutorial.

Rural, Suburban, or Urban Area – How Do I Decide Where to Live?

You should start with questioning if you are content with the area you are currently living in and give a list of reasons for each answer. Note that each of these areas has its pros and cons and that the decision should be solely based on your preferences and things you want to achieve in the future.

If you are looking for the best cities to raise a family or are already relocating with kids, the right fit for you would be the relocation to the suburbs, with big houses and proximity to schools and hospitals. For lone wolves who enjoy outdoor activities, rural regions would be a dream come true, and young generations (as well as those young in heart) will enjoy the urban scene and amenities big cities have to offer.

Remember to stay true to yourself – if you are, for example, relocating from a small town to a big city but are small-town-girl (or boy) at heart, you won’t be happy in the metropolis, and your relocation depression could worsen.

How Do I Decide What City to Move to According to Its Size?

There is no right answer to this question – it all depends on your personality and needs. Big cities have a more developed cultural scene, with many artistic events, music venues, museums, theatre, and the like. On the other hand, you can often feel lonely in a metropolis, especially if you are relocating to another state alone.

That is not something you’ll usually experience in the small town, where the sense of community is strong. Look into your heart, close your eyes and think about yourself in both types of cities – where do you think you’ll be happier? If you know the answer, don’t hesitate.

The city of Chicago as a possible final destination of interstate moving
Big cities have a lot of things to offer for each day of the year - you'll never be bored

How to Pick Where to Live – Exploring the Infrastructure of the City Before Moving

Can you imagine relocating to a different town because of low housing costs and great neighborhoods only to realize that you’ll need more than one hour to commute? It can definitely darken your mood for an infinite period of time. That is why it is essential to know the proximity of those buildings and facilities important to you. When deciding how to pick a place to live, make sure you consider the next suggestions:

  • When moving from state to state with your children, the elementary school districts are one of the primary factors in deciding about the location. Don’t choose a neighborhood too far from it. Have in mind, however, that good school districts oftentimes cause high housing costs.
  • You should pick a neighborhood or town where health centers can be reached in a short amount of time, especially if you have children or an elderly family member. If something goes wrong, the last thing you need is a long drive to the nearest hospital.
  • Amenities important to you should be physically close, whether it is a gym, restaurant, or theater. Those are facilities that have a huge part in making you happy – don’t deny yourself of them when moving state to state.

Can Public Transport and Commute Dictate to Me How to Choose Where to Live?

You can hire an auto transport company during your interstate moving, have your car delivered and forget about the troubles of public transportation. Right? Well, the reality is much more complicated. Before you opt for one choice, ensure to explore all there is to know about its citizens’ traffic habits.

If driving a car is pointless, like in NYC, you must see if public transportation connects you with everything you want and how long you will spend commuting each day. Don’t choose a location where you could lose hours upon hours in traffic.

A girl in front of a train in move
Traffic jams can be unbearable in some cities

More Things to Consider When Choosing a Place to Live

There are so many factors that can have more or less influence on your final decision. Those we mentioned above could be regarded as essentials, but more aspects can play a big part in your choice. Before opting for a professional cross-country moving service, pay attention to:

  • The proximity to your family and friends – there isn’t anything better than being able to visit your family whenever you wish and for them to be able to help you when you ask. Saying goodbye to your friends can be difficult, but it will hurt less if you know they are near.
  • Predominant weather – if you are not in your preferable climate most of the year, your happiness might suffer. So, if you like the warmth and the sun combined with the closeness of water, ensure to pick some of the top beach towns.
  • City’s safety – questions about it should also be on your relocating to another state checklist. Ensure to compare the crime rates in cities and neighborhoods before you opt for one.
  • City’s community – its nature should be close to yours, which means that you should choose a neighborhood where people share your views (if you are not prepared to expand your horizon.) That way, making friends in a different city will be easier, and you’ll end up building lifelong friendships after meeting new neighbors.
Relaxation with new friends after cross-country moving
Enure that the people around you share your views

Steps That Will Help You How to Decide Where to Live

Now that you know what you should pay special attention to in order to enjoy the benefits of relocation, it is time we go through the process of choosing. Ensure to follow the next steps:

  • Put on paper all benefits you need in a town, but also all that you want to get (for example, short commute time, low housing costs, and the like,)
  • After an online search, narrow your choice to about a dozen cities,
  • Come up with your scoring system for each benefit (for example, 1 – horrible, 3 – good, 5 – excellent) and assign them to each location,
  • Check up the total points for each location,
  • Before you make your final decision, don’t forget to visit the place – it could be good on paper, but you might find yourself not liking its vibe.
a list of cities before moving state to state
Create a list of cities to choose where you'll build a home

Where Should I Move to Start Over?

It is a question only you can have the right answer to. Be prepared for one fact – the anxiety about relocation will never let you be completely sure about your new location, so you must learn to overcome it. Never forget – he who dares wins. Starting your life over will never be easy, but if you chose a location that suits all your wishes, the transition process can go from scary to exciting – just be sure to choose a location wisely. Good luck!

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