Countless factors go into choosing a city to move to, whether you want to change your lifestyle, your friends, or your career. For those who want to start a business, there are even more considerations. With so many factors it can be tempting to forget about all of them and just pick a city because it seems cooler.The easiest (and safest) approach is to focus on what matters most to you. To help, we’re breaking down eight of the biggest factors that can help you decide on your next place of residence—whether it’s the city you’re living in right now or the one you’re thinking about calling home:
The first thing you have to ask yourself is, “How much can I afford to live in a specific city?” This is especially important if you know where you’d like to move to and already have a job lined up, but the cost of living in that city is prohibitive for your budget. Affordability can differ greatly depending on what part of the country you’re in and what the cost of living is in your hometown.
Another important question to ask yourself when deciding where to move is, “What can I get for my money?” A difference in the cost of living between cities doesn’t necessarily mean they’re equal in terms of how much living there will cost you. For example, cities such as San Francisco and New York City are often listed among the most expensive places to live, but they also include amenities and attractions that people value and that contribute to their cost of living.
Cost of Living: Many tools exist to help you determine how much it will cost you to live in a specific city. Our favorite is Numbeo , which gives you an idea of rent prices, how much grocery store items typically cost and more. It also includes plenty of information about quality-of-life factors such as pollution levels and safety.According to statistics,Ottawa is one of the more affordable cities to live in, with a cost of living index at 81.5. According to this metric, living in Ottawa is 12.6% cheaper than it is in Montreal, and 8% cheaper than the national average.Ottawa homes for sale are spread across the city in different neighborhoods, with some bordering Gatineau, Quebec. While Ottawa homes for sale are plentiful, its real estate market is just ever so ever-so-slightly less intense than Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver’s
Make a List of the Pros and Cons of Each City – Long-term Plans
The best city to move to depends on your personal goals and long-term plans. Making a list of the pros and cons of each city can help you weigh the important factors in making this major decision.
- The job market in your chosen city is obviously very important. Whether you want to work in an established company, start your own business, or freelance, you’ll need to know the employment market is healthy where you’re moving. This will allow you to feel confident that you’ll be able to get a job in your field. If you’re thinking of jumping into freelancing, be sure that the city has a viable freelance market.
- You’ll also want to think about whether you’d like to live in a hip, trendy location or a more low-key neighborhood. For example, some cities have a thriving club scene while others don’t have much going on at night. If you’d rather live along the beach or in a rural setting, make sure your target city supports your wish.
- One convenience factor to consider is public transportation. In some cities it’s abundant while in others, public transportation is nonexistent. In regions where public transportation is scarce, finding a place close to work or that allows for biking or walking can be challenging.
Listen to Your Heart and Do What Feels Right – Personal Factors
The internet has made it easy to get an overview of a city or a neighborhood, but it doesn’t provide a feel for what living there will be like. We know that you have more options than ever when deciding where to move to. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your choice, we recommend you tune into your heart and do what feels right.
Growing up in a big city, I learned that if I don’t feel at home anywhere, I’ll always feel at home someplace. Moving to a new place is a huge decision. So before you relocate, consider the following personal factors:
- Is there a place in your new city that makes your heart flutter?
- Is there a place in your new city that makes your heart sink?
- Are there places in your new city that make your heart sing?
- Are there places in your new city that make your heart cry?
These are simple questions, but they may open up conversations you’ve never had with yourself before. Remember, our cities are full of people searching for the same thing you are: home. Find yours.
Research the Culture of the City and Make Sure You’ll Fit in – Exploring Your Options
Always research the culture of the city and make sure you’ll fit in… In order to choose a city you look forward to living in, it’s helpful to research the culture of the city. The culture of a city is something that takes time to understand and can be different from what you think it is. You don’t want your first impression to be a negative one, so make sure you know what the essentials of a city’s culture are. To make sure you’ll feel at home in a place, do some research on the local norms and customs – for example, does everyone wear jeans or is it more common to wear suits? That will depend on the city. Also look into the general political landscape. Does this city vote Republican or Democrat? And if so, can you relate? This will allow you to feel more confident about where you live.
The Final Tips: Don’t Rush
Whether you’re moving across town or across the globe, you’ll want to be thoughtful about the big decision. You’ll probably end up spending more time researching and deciding than you did finding a place to live once you move so it pays to be thorough and take your time.
Shoot for Immersion
You don’t need to know and like everything and everyone in a new city, but it is best to try and immerse yourself in the new space as much as possible before making a decision. Go check out local businesses, visit local attractions, meet tons of new people who live there now. If you can only afford one night in town, that’s better than nothing!
Meet as Many People as Possible
If your job sites let you work remotely then try and set up meetings with locals. Even if they can’t tell you about their personal neighborhoods, they should be able to recommend meeting other locals who will also be able to help. Don’t expect them all to help, but if even one does it will be worth it.