With the wealth of information available online these days, it’s not as hard as it used to be when moving to a new city sight unseen. Free programs like Google Earth allow you to stroll the streets of an unvisited town without leaving the comfort of your home. You’ll still have some things to discover after moving in, but scoping out your new city before you relocate will give you a great idea of what your daily life will look like.
Follow these tips to hit the major areas you’ll want to consider before moving.
1. Scope out demographics
They may not give you the entire story but basic statistics about your new city can give you a good idea of how well you’ll fit in. Some of the key demographics to look at:
- median income
- median home cost
- public school information
- percentage of the adult population with a high school diploma, college and postgraduate degree
- age distribution
- the religious diversity
- the ethnic diversity
These statistics are all usually available through a local or state website and even the US Census Bureau’s website.
2. Research cultural events
The happenings going on in a city or town will play a large part in how you spend your free time when the moving is all over. The arts and entertainment section of the local newspaper and publications tailored toward cultural happenings are great places to start your research. Make a list of the major attractions in the area, such as museums, scenic areas, natural attractions, professional sports teams, amusement parks, or concert halls. Then take note of events that happen annually, like a state fair, music festivals, cultural events or marathons. Lastly, look for places you would want to visit on a regular basis, like restaurants, libraries, clubs or parks.
3. Find where to live
You’ll spend a huge chunk of time in your home, so it’s important to figure out just where you would want to live. The neighborhood you choose will have a large effect on your overall experience. After considering what factors are important to you, like proximity to public transit, size of homes, crime statistics, and distance to your workplace, begin looking for homes to rent or buy. You’ll want to consider not only the size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but also the age and style of the home, yard size, nearby amenities, and proximity to schools. Real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow are a great place to start your research but some of them may not be up-to-date with current listings. When you’re ready to start looking at residences or make an offer on your dream home, call a local real estate agent to help you. Depending on where you’re going in the country, ReloMary may be able to connect you with all the resources you need before moving to your new city.
Once you’ve done all your research, hired the moving company, and decided on a place to live, the rest of the process is easy. Meet the movers at your home, begin unpacking, get settled in, and take the time to explore the wealth of opportunities in your new digs. Meet your neighbors, check out cultural, culinary or sporting events and meet people in the area with common interests. Visit the most talked-about attractions you’ve heard of and be sure to find things to do that are off the beaten path. Head out with a map of the city or a new friend as a tour guide and see what you find.