How to Compare Towns and Cities Before Deciding to Move There
When moving to a new town, a lot of thinking goes into your decision. There are certain factors you must consider before moving to a new city. Even when the move is a voluntary one, you still need to investigate and plan properly so you do not regret your move and start planning another move shortly after your move. The last thing you want after a move is to second-guess where you decided to move to.
This creates the need to compare cities before making your decision on where to move to. In comparing cities, there are certain things that you must take into consideration. Some of these things will be personal and dependent on the reason for your move and other personal reasons. Regardless, some things should generally be taken into consideration when deciding what town or city to move to. We have highlighted some of these factors.
- Cost of living
Cost of living is a critical factor people take into consideration when deciding where to move to. As much as what affordable cost of living means can be a relative term, some places are generally known to be expensive. When deciding what city to move to, it is best to check and ensure that you choose a city with an affordable cost of living. Affordability of cost of living covers things such as transportation, cost of health care, cost of utilities, groceries, and many more. There are tools available for calculating and comparing the cost of living.
- Standard of living
The standard of living differs from town to town. Standard of living includes things such as accessibility to health care, accessibility to quality and affordable housing, quality of education, and poverty rate. These factors in a city determine how comfortable you are in that city. It is important to compare the standard of living of the different towns you are considering. The new town you decide to move to should have a good standard of living.
- Cost of housing
The cost of housing in a city is a very important factor. Whether you are buying a house or renting one, the cost of housing will affect you in any city your move to. Thus, it is important to compare the cost of housing in the different cities you are considering. Carefully review the real estate value and the trend in the fluctuation of prices in the different cities to determine which city will be the best option for you. It is also important that you review the housing trends in the city to ensure that houses have a good real estate value. If you wish to sell, it will be in your best interest to get value for your money.
- Employment opportunities
This is another very important factor to consider. People even relocate to cities where they think they will have better employment opportunities. Ensure that you compare the employment opportunities in the state are in line with what you are looking for. For example, certain towns are great for artistic people and some towns are good for professionals. You should also consider the quality of employment in the towns. It is one thing to be employed and it is another thing to be gainfully employed. Make sure you properly evaluate the opportunities in the town you are considering.
- Tax rates
Of course, you cannot escape paying taxes. However, some states have low rates on their income taxes. There are even some other states that waive income taxes on most sources of income and some that do not charge sales tax. You also need to consider the rate of other taxes such as property taxes, business taxes, school taxes, and others.
It’s important to compare the different taxes of the different cities or towns that you are considering moving to. It is economically smart to move to a town where you pay lesser tax than your current town. It is not the smartest decision to pay higher taxes unless there is some other more important factor that is attracting you to that city.
- Availability of health care facilities
This should be an important factor in your checklist especially if you have children and other dependents. In choosing a city, it’s best to choose a city with affordable but good quality health care facilities. Accessibility to these health care facilities should also be considered when evaluating the availability of health care in a city.
- Crime rate
The last thing you want is to move from a safe town to a town with high crime rates. This makes it very important for you to compare the crime rates of the different cities that you are considering moving to. You can easily find this information online or by doing a little investigation. When you are done comparing, evaluate it along with other important factors and pick the city with the lowest crime rate.
- Availability of Quality Education
This is especially important for parents with young children or for people who are planning to have children. The town you decide to move to must-have quality and affordable education that is easily accessible. Ensure that the city has a good school district and that it will be easy and safe for your children to commute to school daily. There are tools available to help you evaluate schools and pick the best.
- Commute time
An average person spends an unreasonable amount of time commuting. Ensure to evaluate the time and cost that will be spent on commuting. Good cities should also have easy access to public transportation to ease commuting. If you prefer to drive, ensure to check if it is safe to drive on the streets.
Moving to another city will require a lot of research. In this age of technology, information is readily available for you to have enough data to compare cities before deciding on the city to move to.