In the age of Work from Home and Digital Nomadism, it’s almost more important than ever to feel connected to your community at large. Many young adults (and retired adults alike!) are searching for the perfect place to put down roots — whether that means starting a family, establishing a career, or retiring.
But trying to decide where to live can be hard. Use this guide to help narrow your search and find the perfect city to call home!
Assess Your Current Situation
When deciding where to move, quality of life should come first. You need to move somewhere you can thrive financially, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
Knowing what doesn’t work for you is just as important as knowing what does. Take a moment to create a sort of pros-and-cons list for where you currently live. What do you love about your city? What is okay but could be better? What do you absolutely hate? Below are some important factors to keep in mind.
If you’re looking for a new job, then career opportunities should be a top reason for moving to a specific city. But even if you are thrilled with your current job, you never know what the future holds. You want to ensure your new city has plenty of job opportunities in case things go south.
The climate can truly make or break your experience in a city. If you’re someone who thrives on sunshine and warm weather, moving to the rainy and cloudy PNW might not be in your best interest. On the flip side, if changing seasons make your heart happy, you might want to avoid states like Florida. Look into the average seasonal weather and temperatures for the cities you’re considering to check they match the climate that makes you happiest.
Noise and Crowds
Are you a light sleeper? Do you need absolute quiet to get focused? A bustling downtown environment probably isn’t for you. If you want to keep things calm and quiet, look at areas that are more suburban or rural. But if you love constant activity and disappearing into a crowd, high-energy cities like New York or Los Angeles could be a great fit.
Traffic, Transportation, and Walkability
Whether you work remotely or commute, you need to consider the ease of getting around a city. Will you be sitting in traffic for an hour just to meet up for drinks at that new brewery? Can you easily walk to a nearby grocery store for the eggs you forgot to pick up for breakfast? Are there plenty of reliable bus or subway routes available to help you get around? Look for a city that meets your preferences regarding driving, public transportation, and walking.
Entertainment and Activities
Different cities attract different lifestyles. Paddleboarders, hikers, and barhoppers love cities like Austin, while skiing, snowboarding, and camping draw others to states like Colorado. Think about the activities you love, whether that’s hitting up the hottest nightclub, reading in a cozy coffee shop, or spending hours sunning by a body of water. Do your research and find a city that offers that type of entertainment.
Distance from Family
Some people need to be near the support network of their family, and others prefer some distance. If you value time with your family, you’ll want to think about moving within a few hours of them. Constantly traveling for holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions can be difficult or even impossible when you have to cross state lines.
Consider Your Budget
Living costs should be a determining factor for where to live, but you also need to consider the cost of moving itself. Moving out of state can get pricey, but even a move across town can mean deposits, boxes and supplies, a moving truck, etc. Come up with a budget for your mortgage or rent and a budget for the actual move, then narrow down locations that fit into it.
Decide If You Want to Rent or Buy
Whether you’re looking to buy a home or rent an apartment can also help determine where you move. In heavily populated cities, you’ll have more luck finding tons of apartments to choose from, but you might struggle to find a rental in a rural town. On the other hand, suburbs and rural areas are usually great for homes and lacking in traditional apartments. Ask yourself questions such as “Is now a good time to buy a house?” and “Am I looking for something more permanent or flexible?”
Don’t Forget About the Future
When looking for a forever city, you should spend time thinking about the future, including significant life events that might be years out. If you want kids at some point, school districts, neighborhoods, and parks become more important. If you’re career-focused, the local job economy will be a huge influencing factor. And if you’re approaching retirement, you want to ensure there are good retirement communities and resources around.
Visit Your Top Choices
With the above in mind, narrow down your list to about three to five cities and visit them. Spending a week or even just a few days in a city can give you a taste of the culture and help you see any big drawbacks that might not be apparent in your internet research. If you have the budget, hitting the road and spending a month or so in each city can really help you experience first-hand what life in that city is like.
Stay Flexible with CORT Furniture Rental
Before you pack up your belongings for the big move, consider renting furniture until you’re completely settled into your new city. The last thing you want to do is move all of your things into a new place just to realize it’s not the exact neighborhood you plan on staying in forever. Renting furniture for the short term can save you moving costs in the long-run while you figure out where you want to settle down.
Plus, renting is simple. You create a furniture subscription package with the furniture you want and determine how long you want to rent the furniture for. Then, our team delivers and sets up the furniture — no heavy lifting required by you. When you’re ready to move your belongings, we’ll pick up the furniture you rented so you have space for your personal items! Start creating a furniture subscription package online today or drop by a local CORT Furniture Rental showroom to talk to a design expert.