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7 Things to Consider When Deciding Where to Live

If there’s one thing I love the most about my current stage of life, it’s the endless opportunities I have for creating the future I’ve always dreamed of. I was born and raised in Pensacola, and after 18 years of living there, I moved to Orlando for college. I lived in the Orlando area for three years. Earlier this year, I relocated again to Miami for graduate school. I think it was the best decision I could have made.

Moving to an entirely new place can be terrifying. I was nervous when I first moved to Orlando for college, and I had many reasons to worry. I barely knew anyone in the Central Florida area, and I had never lived in a city like Orlando. What if I didn’t like it? What if something bad happened to me? What if I discovered some unpleasant surprises in my new home?

Spoiler alert: everything turned out fantastic, I loved Orlando from the moment I moved there, and nothing awful happened to me. In fact, I’ve kind of become an expert on this whole “going somewhere where I don’t know anybody and somehow surviving” thing. Am I crazy? A little bit. But my travels helped me figure out what I like and dislike about certain places. When I decided to relocate, I was able to make a more informed decision about where to go.

Below are some of the criteria I considered when deciding where to move. These are things you might also want to research and consider. If you learn as much as you can about a place before moving there, you won’t have as many surprises when you arrive.

Here are seven things to consider when deciding where you want to live:

1. Climate

Weather and temperature were big factors for me when I was deciding where to live. I love New York City, but I wouldn’t want to even visit, let alone live there, in the winter months. I’m a Florida girl who loves warm weather. I couldn’t live anywhere that gets super cold.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want to live somewhere that has distinct seasons?
  • How do you feel about snow?
  • Are you OK with sweating in the heat as soon as you walk outside?

2. Cost of Living

Some areas, like Manhattan and San Francisco, can be expensive to live in. Typically, smaller towns have lower cost of living than cities.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you willing to pay the extra bucks to live in a metropolitan area?
  • Are you fine with living in a small town or suburb that comes with a lower price tag?

3. Employment opportunities

If you’re planning to get a job after you move, it’s worth researching to see what opportunities are in your area of interest. For example, in the advertising industry, there are plenty of jobs in Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City. The number of employment opportunities was one of the reasons I chose to move to Miami. So, do a little research on your potential new home.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Will you be able to find a job in your industry there?
  • Will your salary compensate for the cost of living in the area you choose?

4. Things to do

I love living in the city because there’s always something to do. Both Orlando and Miami have activities for all kinds of people. However, not every city or town is like that.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • Will you be able to do those things in your new home?

5. Distance from family and friends

Although I don’t really get homesick, I do miss my family and friends in Pensacola. I live 10 hours away from my hometown, which means I can’t just drive a couple of miles to see my dad or best friend.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • If you’re planning to move far from home, do you think you’ll get homesick?
  • Would you rather be just a few minutes or hours away from your family so you can see them often?

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6. Traffic

I enjoy driving, so the hectic traffic in Miami doesn’t usually bother me. (Actually, that’s a lie. It’s a pain!) If you hate driving, you might want to consider living in an area that doesn’t have crazy traffic every day. Heavy traffic can be a major inconvenience and increase your commute time by hours.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you cool with being in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to work?
  • Would you rather be able to get where you’re going in 15 minutes or fewer?

7. Crime rate

I hate talking about this one because it’s scary to think about, but things do happen. Feeling safe in your home is super important. I feel secure in the area I live in, but other parts of Miami can be dodgy. I would recommend that you do extensive research on the place you’re considering as a whole, but also individual neighborhoods. And I also think you should go visit them in person before you move, if you can. You can’t always trust what you read on the internet. You should get a feel for each place yourself.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do you plan to stay safe in your new home of choice?
  • Do you need to get a security system for your house?
  • Is the area generally crime-free?

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you found this post helpful. If you enjoyed it, please pin it to your favorite Pinterest board and enter your email in the box below to subscribe to my blog!

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  1. Adreanne says:

    These tips are very timely and helpful. I’m currently looking for an apartment in Dallas, Texas. I’ve moved from Chicago, to San Antonio, and I’m currently living in Orlando. I’ve moved quite a bit. This move to Dallas is a little more nerve-racking because I’m no longer a kid. So, when I move this time, I’m moving on my own with very limited help from family.

    So thanks for the tips!

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