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How to pick a place to live

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At a career or personal crossroads you need to know how to pick a place to live

When you are looking to make a move for yourself or your family there are a number of different factors to take into account. There are in fact so many factors that knowing how to pick a place to live can seem like an overwhelming task. 

Most people think about what the climate will be and what the schools will be like (if they have children) but there are quite a few different things to consider beyond those two factors.  

Cost of Living

One of the top things you should take a look at when deciding where to relocate is the cost of living. There are quite a few places where a dollar can be stretched much easier than in other places. 

Most people assume that only small towns have a low cost of living, but there are plenty of larger cities that have decent costs of living. This means that rent or mortgages are relatively low but cost of living can also mean how much it costs to get your weekly groceries, what the utilities cost and how much it costs to go out for a night on the town. All of these kinds of costs should come into play when you are looking for a place to move.

Job Opportunities

It seems like this should be a no-brainer when you are moving and most likely if you are looking to move to a place you already have a job lined up. There are people who are looking to move because they don't have a job or want a change of scenery. Moving to a place that has quite a few job opportunities available in your line of work can be good for you even if you have a job already lined up.

The job you have today may not be the job you have tomorrow and you certainly don't want to be stuck in a place that has high unemployment rates or very few job opportunities.

Crime Rates

When checking out a town, or an area of town you should always take the local crime statistics handy. If you are moving from one area of a city to another you might already know the areas where you wouldn't want to live, but if you are moving to a brand new town you aren't going to have that knowledge.

Sometimes you will be able to tell the bad parts by sight, other times it will be quite a bit harder. There are websites that will allow you to check an area of town and get varying details on the types of crime that occur in that area. 

Other factors can indeed include the quality of education and the quality of medical care that you can receive from one location to the next.

All of these factors can be somewhat dizzying and there may be some of the factors that are actually going to clash. You may find a city that has poor education rates but a great cost of living or low crime rates. You might also find a city with high crime rates but great education or medical facilities. Making a decision should be based on a wide variety of different factors.

There are a number of different sites that will actually break down how the factors can be measured and compared. Kiplinger's is one site that will allow you to not only examine different factors but they will tell you how those factors break down. They are not the only site, but they are certainly one of the most trusted.

As always, the final decision comes down to your gut reaction when looking for a place to live. You have to be comfortable with your final decision because it will be one that affects your future for quite a while.

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