Moving is stressful. Ensure that you make the right decision before you move so you won’t have to do it all over again in just a few short months. To help you make the right choice, here are some things you should consider when deciding where you are going to move to.
1. Determine what you are hoping to achieve from the move and write it down.
Are you looking for a change in pace? More job opportunities? A better place to raise a family? More recreation?
There could be countless reasons why you want to move. By making a list and prioritizing what is the most important to you can help you in the decision making process.
2. Check out the towns you are considering on the Internet.
You can look up help wanted ads, local news, real estate prices, community events, and many other helpful bits of information all from the comfort of your house to give you a basic idea of what the town is like before you go anywhere.
3. Look up weather statistics.
The weather is not something that we can control, but it makes a big impact on how we feel and what activities we do. Knowing what the weather is like throughout the year in the towns you are considering moving to can help you know what to expect.
4. Look up Census information from government websites.
You can find out a lot about a place by the demographics of the people living there. What is the average age of the residents? What are their average earnings in a year? What industries exist in that town for work? Is the town growing or shrinking?
5. Go on a road trip and check it out firsthand.
Websites are a good starting point, but nothing beats experiencing a town firsthand. Plan a trip and drive there. Explore the areas in and around the town. What condition are the houses in? Are there a lot of business spaces for lease? How friendly are the people?
6. Visit the local visitor info center.
While in town, be sure to stop at the visitor information center. Yes, they have information for tourists, but they also have information for people that are considering relocating there. You can get a ton of brochures, newspapers, magazines, and advice from people at the info center. They will tell you like it is, unlike a website that stresses only the positives about a town.
7. Visit companies in your industry to get an idea of job prospects.
No, you don’t need to bring a resume. You are still just fact collecting at this point. But talking to people working in the industry that you would likely work in if you moved there can be extremely valuable. They’ll let you know if work has been steady or slow and if anyone’s hiring.
You are also doing some valuable networking. If you decide to move to this town, you already know some people in the biz and have a great opener for your cover letter. They already met you.
8. Talk to a realtor.
Although you’re not in the market to buy something yet, realtors have valuable information about the community. And the best part is, they are dying to tell you all about it! You can get information about what areas of town are the best to live in, local events, recreation, and so much more. They can even give you a printed sheet of current listings so when you’re driving around neighborhoods and see something for sale, you can get an idea of what a certain type of house is selling for.
9. Take notes.
Remembering all the little things you saw while on your road trip can be daunting, especially if you visit more than one town in the same trip. Take notes of your impression of things, who you saw, what you did, how you felt about the town. You will definitely want to reflect on them later on.
10. Rate the town.
Remember the reasons why you want to move from step 1? Well take out that list and for each town you are considering, give each reason a score out of 10. That can help you compare and contrast different towns when it comes time to make a decision.
Taking the plunge and making a move to another town can be scary and exciting at the same time. By following the above steps, you are sure to make the right decision on where to move.