So you’re thinking about making a move. Not a small decision particularly in this uncertain economic climate. Here’s the key: there are so many wonderful possibilities that a change can bring, but it’s important to make the step carefully.
I’ve moved so many times that when I first consider a new location, I head to a couple of very helpful web sites to get the feel of the area:
City-Data.com This site gives all sorts of local statistics on an area and has great input from residents, visitors, and inquisitive relocators. A lot of great questions about a region are answered here.
Sperlings Another great site for stats and comparing communities.
Frommers Yes, this one is a “travel” site, but there is a lot of great information here on the culture of an area.
Obviously, another great place to look is in the official website for the town you’re contemplating a move to. But don’t limit yourself to the town of your prospective employer or the most well known city names. Make sure your search includes perimeter towns too, so you don’t overlook a hidden gem.
Definitely look at the local area’s newspapers for a handle on current events and the real estate and political climate. Another great resource is to subscribe to an area’s local magazine. For example, when we relocated to the mid-Atlantic, Richmond Magazine, was an invaluable resource for bringing the region to life for us months before we actually set foot there. It gave us all things to look forward to and solidified our decision to move to the town.
For our family, the climate, recreational opportunities, and education system are important factors. Having a clear idea of what you value most in a community will help you along in the decision making process.
Deciding to move is not a small decision, but you can get a clearer idea of whether or not it is the right decision for you by taking the time to do some worthwhile research.
What helpful tools have you found?