How to Decide on the Best Place to Live
Home is where the heart is so here are the most important factors to help you find a home that suits the needs of you and your family.
If you’re single, living in a bustling city might be an ideal choice for your next home. If you have a family, on the other hand, a small town offers amenities that your kids will love.
No matter what your pay grade is, living comfortably and within your means should be your first concern. Affordability includes more than just housing expenses; the prices for consumable goods, like groceries, vary greatly from town to town. The price of gasoline, utility services including electric and water, and taxes, also varies.
There are 40 states provide property tax credits or homestead exemptions that can provide homeowners with some additional tax relief. Consider local sales tax, income tax, and tax credits and exemptions when you’re looking for the perfect place to live.
3. Employment Opportunities
Employment opportunities vary from state to state and city to city, so spend some time researching the job markets in different areas of the country. Start by analyzing quality employment opportunities within your industry, then determine where the highest concentration of these jobs are located. Income levels for jobs can vary greatly from state to state. Do your research before you move, and ideally, find a job before you relocate.
4. Real Estate Value
Since buying a home is the single largest investment you will probably ever make, you need to seriously consider this factor. With real estate in a constant state of flux, it’s important to research current home prices, the length of time homes are for sale, the resale values of homes, and probable long-term value estimates.
5. Crime Rates and Statistics
No one wants to live in a high-crime area, but that doesn’t mean that everyone can live in a Utopian society where crime never happens. By researching the crime rates and statistics for various areas, you can learn more about the safety of a town or neighborhood.
Keep in mind that just because an area is safe today does not guarantee that it will be safe in the future. The long-term stability for a neighborhood can be a determining factor in how safe your surroundings are. Also, consider the future development of a particular location as you narrow down your choices.
6. Proximity to Family and Friends
If extended family and friends are important to you, choose a place either within driving distance or within a reasonable distance by plane. Otherwise, you’ll constantly feel torn, and likely spend all of your vacation time and energy shuttling back and forth to visit friends and family.
The climate plays a large role in our lives as it impacts our hobbies, behavior, and sometimes even our jobs. Living in the climate in which you are most comfortable contributes to your mental health, so choose wisely!
8. Education System
A good education is essential to setting up children to better handle the rest of their lives, so the importance of good schools cannot be overstated.
If you crave constant cultural stimulation, you definitely want to choose a place that has a lot of cultural offerings. Many people need to be near their favorite team, or a vibrant music scene or the theater. If you have a favorite hobby or recreational activity, make sure that you can continue to pursue these interests in your new home. Finally, if you enjoy being around a specific religious or ethnic community with your same beliefs and interests, this should be a factor in where you choose to live.
10. Commute Time and Public Transportation Options
The explosive growth of the suburbs surrounding metropolitan areas have made commuting times in many areas unbearable. The length of time it takes to get to work can be a determining factor in the decision to move to a new locale. A good public transportation system is a major plus when choosing a place to live.
11. Food Options
If you’re a foodie, you may want to try to find a place to live near the ocean or near a metropolitan city center. Grocery store fare, while plentiful, doesn’t replace the quality of fresh food from the ocean or fresh produce from the farmers’ market. If eating locally and sustainably is important to you, consider whether you can pursue this lifestyle in your new home.
12. Town or City Size
If you enjoy a friendly wave from everyone you pass while driving to the post office, then a smaller town is definitely for you. If you wish to remain relatively anonymous, a larger town or a big city is better suited to your personality.
13. Healthcare Facilities
Healthcare facilities are important at any stage in life, but they are especially relevant if you have children or if you are nearing retirement age. Easy access to good healthcare can increase your quality of life exponentially, so be on the lookout for towns and cities with good hospitals and medical schools. Often, there will be a correlation between cities and the quality of the healthcare.
14. Proximity to an Airport
If you travel a lot, you may need to live within close proximity of an airport. If you live more than an hour away from the closest airport, traveling to and from the airport can become very time-consuming and expensive. If you spend a healthy amount of time traveling, definitely consider the distance to the airport.
The reality of choosing a new place to live encompasses an incredibly large series of factors, all competing for your attention. In order to be successful in your search, you must determine what is most important to you and your family, do your homework, and then continue to be vigilant in your search until you find the right place to live. It can be intimidating and frustrating at times, but all that effort is worth it in the end once you are settled in your ideal location. Happy hunting!