6 Factors to Consider When Moving to a New Town
How Will Your Life Change When You Relocate?
Whether you are moving across the country for a new job, or moving to a new school district so your kids can get a better education, moving to a new town will inevitably take some transitioning, where stress and a lack of preparation can easily get the best of you. Because there are so many factors outside of your control, it is important to do some research on your new town ahead of time so that you have an idea of what to expect.
Keep in mind that where you live can have a huge impact on your quality of life, and make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. If you hate hot weather, for example, think twice before moving to a city in the south. Business Insider has compiled a list of US cities with the best quality of life, with Bellevue, Washington and Alexandria, Virginia coming in first and second – but if moving to any of these cities isn’t in the cards, here’s a short list of important factors that you should consider when moving to a new city.
When considering moving to a new city, the cost of the city compared to your income should be one of the top factors that you think about. The cost of housing is a no brainer, but the price of groceries, gasoline, and even a cup of coffee is going to make a big difference in the way you will settle into a brand new city.
You can check out a comprehensive list of the most affordable cities in the country on websites like Niche. On the top of the list, you’ll find cities like Fort Wayne, Indiana and Toledo, Ohio make for a relatively smooth transition.
2) Taxes in the New City
City and state taxes can also increase the cost of living in a given city. Income tax, local sales tax, tax credits, and exemptions are all important to consider. You can find more information about the taxes in a city at the Tax Foundation, which publishes statistics on the state-local tax burden.
TurboTax also published a list of cities with highest and lowest income and sales tax, worth considering – it seems that Westchester County in New York has the highest property tax, while Chicago, Il has the highest sales tax.
3) Crime Rates and Safety
While the cost of a city or neighborhood is important, you don’t want to move to an affordable area only to find out that the cost is low because the neighborhood is plagued by crime. Often times, neighborhoods with very low crime rates are more expensive than less safe neighborhoods, so it’s important to consider these trade-offs.
A Niche study highlights Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, as the safest city in the US. Check out our post on ways to take safety into your own hands in your neighborhood.
The weather in a given city can contribute a lot to your quality of life, especially if there are weather patterns or seasons you’ve not been used to preparing for. If you are a diehard ski bum, moving to a place with no mountains, like Ocean, New Jersey is probably not the best option. But Ocean is perfect for families looking for quaint neighborhoods within driving distance of NYC.
5) The Education System of the New Town
Relocating your family can be challenging and exhausting, so you want to be sure that you are bringing your kids to a location that has a high quality school system.
You can find “school scores” on all of our Homes.com housing listings, ranking schools with letter grades from A+ to D based on test scores data from public schools. Before you move, you can also check out our post on how school districts affect home prices.
If you have four family cars and a motorcycle, moving from Houston to New York City might be a difficult transition. Knowing the ins-and-outs of the public transportation system in your new city will help you transition more comfortably in a city that relies heavily on a subway or metro system.
Likewise, moving from a rural area to a city with heavy traffic might take some getting used to, so be prepared and calculate commute times and gas expenses.
Bottom Line: Do the Research Before You Plan to Move
The best way to reduce the stress and anxiety of relocating is to make sure that you know exactly where you are moving. Gather as much information about the town or city ahead of time so that you know exactly what to expect.
There will always be inevitable surprises when it comes to moving. Keep an open mind and prepare for the trade offs as well as the benefits of living in your new location.
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