With the rise of the digital economy, moving to a new community has become easier than ever. Just a few decades ago, people spent their entire lives having never left the state or even the city in which they were born. Today, over half of Americans have moved to a new town or city at least once.
Moving is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. It’s an expensive and time-consuming affair that will require all your patience and energy.
For starters, you need to pick a place to move to. If you’re moving for a job, then the decision has basically been made for you. But what if you’re looking for something new? Choosing a new place to live isn’t like shopping for clothes. You can’t just undo your decision because the place isn’t to your liking.
If you take the time to do your research, you just might end up in a place you’ll grow to love. You get to explore new neighborhoods, meet new friends, and live your best life. Your future happiness and prosperity hinges on this one decision. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s going to be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.
That said, you can learn from those who have trod the same path. Here are a few tried-and-tested tips that will help you make better decisions.
1. Live in the community for a few days
Before deciding on a permanent relocation, it might be a good idea to see what’s it’s like to live in the community. You can stay in a hotel or rent an Airbnb. Walk around the neighborhood and visit the schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. You can also take this opportunity to start looking for apartments or houses.
Once you’re absolutely sure about moving to the area, your best option is to purchase a home. It might be a good idea to check the average prices so you can budget accordingly. If you’re dead set on relocating, spend a few weeks checking local listings and compare their prices. That should paint a general picture of the property market. If prices are rising, it means demand is high and you need to move fast.
2. Look for a job
Unless you have a trust fund that can sustain you for the rest of your life, you’ll need to look for a job. Some people look for a job before relocating, while others wait until they’ve settled into the community. Either way, it’s the first thing you should do. You don’t want to exhaust your savings, so the faster you act, the better.
Opportunities differ from place to place. Jobs aren’t hard to come by, but if you’re looking for a high-paying position, the job hunt might take you a while. You’ll want to relocate somewhere with a healthy job market such as a major city or an up-and-coming town.
One way to gauge the local economy is to visit the shopping areas. The presence of upmarket brands means that there are enough high-income earners in the area. But if most of Main Street has been boarded up, you might want to consider a different place.
3. Calculate your budget
You might want to sort your finances out before doing anything drastic like relocating to a new place. As a general rule, you’ll want enough funds to pay for three months’ rent plus living expenses. But your budget ultimately depends on the area’s cost of living.
The value of a dollar varies from place to place. The national average cost of an apartment is around $1,400, but if you want to live in Manhattan, expect to pay triple or even quadruple. You could potentially get more for less if you live in a small city or a large town, but if you want access to the best jobs and culture, your best bet is a major city like New York, Atlanta, or Baton Rouge.
Moving is never easy, but these three tips will help you make better decisions about relocating to a new place. Don’t rush the process and take time to do some research. Information is power in today’s digital economy and you’ll need everything you can get.