How to Choose a New Town

Where we live affects so much in our own lives: the job we find, the friends we have, the activities we enjoy and even our health. If you’re considering a big move — whether you’re moving to get work, to be near family or just because you’re craving a change of scenery — following the steps below can supply you with a clear way to assess your new potential hometown. We will start by focusing on the big picture (choosing a area), then we will zero in on a locality and, eventually, a road and a house. Let’s begin.

The New York Botanical Garden

Decide on a Region

Weather and landscape: Would you love seeing the seasons change, or do you rather live somewhere temperate? Do you like getting out in nature to increase, swim or camp, or do you go shopping? What type of view do you love to see when you go outside? Mountains a city skyline, plains?

Social and cultural amenities: Would you want to be near famous museums, a symphony orchestra or major sports teams? What about a playful arts or music scene, places of worship and learning institutions? Make a list, considering how close you would preferably like in order to every place — frequently visited places should go on your neighborhood list (we will get into that in a minute), but for others, being within a day’s drive might be fine.

Polhemus Savery DaSilva

Family, friends and other connections: naturally, the people that you know are among the most essential pieces of the puzzle. Living close family and friends can be a significant reason to choose somewhere to reside. Before going away to get work, consider the effect it would have if you’re no longer in driving distance of people you’re close to. Send out feelers to see if there is a distant relationship or a friend of a friend whom you can connect with in your town straight away.

Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd..

Jobs and cost of living : This can be a delicate balancing act — in one place you could have the ability to get that great big house you have always wanted, but finding a job may be harder. In another place jobs may be more plentiful and highly paid, but if the cost of living is too large, you can end up scrambling to remain comfortably afloat. A cost-of-living calculator is an easy way to get a rough idea of how far your salary goes in another city — not all places are represented in the one linked here, but it is sometimes a good place to start.

Tamara Hubinsky Interiors

Pick a Neighborhood

Walkability: The idea of walkability has been all over the area in recent years, and with great reason. Living in a location in which you do not have to jump in the car for every small errand can enhance your quality of life — not to mention it’s healthier, because you will be walking more! You are able to find any neighborhood’s walkability rating on Walkscore.

Neighborhood amenities: Here is the fun part! Get out and explore your new potential community on foot. Seek and try markets, restaurants, shops and caf├ęs. Start looking for walking and jogging trails, bike lanes, parks, libraries, schools and activities for small ones if you have children. This is sometimes challenging to do if you’re neighborhood searching from afar, but try to research areas firsthand before committing to a place.

Crisp Architects

Proximity: As you consider a locality, take into account its proximity to your own work, family and friends’ homes, hobby places as well as other preferred destinations. Obviously the nature of the neighborhood itself is crucial, but in the event that you must commute for hours every day, you won’t have the time to enjoy all it has to offer. Try to strike a balance, and avoid long commutes if at all possible.

Try this: For a week pay attention to all the places you go and write them down. Be specific — if you enjoy seeing your regional independent bookshop and natural grocery store, write that down, not just “bookstore” and “market.” Use your list when comparing potential areas.

Mahoney Architects & Interiors

Schools: when you have children, finding a neighborhood that is in a good school district — or using great private schools if this is your preference — is vital. Assess the Great Schools site for ratings and reviews of public and private colleges across the U.S.. But also try looking local parents’ forums online, speaking with people that you know in the area and visiting potential schools. There’s only so much information that a statistic could tell you; the rest you need to learn firsthand.

Safety and crime: As with colleges, there’s only so much crime statistics can let you know about a locality. It is not advisable to check out the numbers on Crime Reports, a website that offers free searches of crime reports by location, but do not stop there. Speak to people from the neighborhood and test it out yourself.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Air and water quality: Pollution levels may affect everything from asthma and allergies to cancer rates, and air and water quality may fluctuate radically from place to place. Stop by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) site to search your environment by zip code. You can also utilize its search functions to find out if there are sources of green electricity available in the area.

CWB Architects

Find the Right Street and House

Know what house style you would like, but try to envision living in it, not just how it looks in the road. Imagine how you will use each room and look closely at this flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. Likewise do not focus so much on the house itself that you neglect to observe the block you would be moving to! Meet the neighbors in the event that you can (daring individuals could knock on doors) and look for well-maintained homes, people out walking and streets and sidewalks in good condition.

See what homeowners are spending for developments around the U.S.

Ben Herzog

Make a determination

The very first question you should ask yourself before buying a residence is whether you can easily afford it. If it’s a stretch, the hassle of keeping up with payments is only likely to build over time. Make life easier on yourself and choose a little less house than you are able. Be willing to compromise (nowhere is ideal!) But do choose a place that has at least your best three qualities.

Tell us : Are you contemplating moving? How did you wind up living where you do now? Share your tales in the Comments!

See related