As a young professional, the world is your oyster. Lately, you have been thinking a lot about leaving the familiarity and safety of your hometown and moving to a brand new city. Before making the move, take some time and research different cities to decide which is right for you. Fortunately, with a variety of helpful online resources, you can learn a lot about your new city, all from the comfort of your couch.
Search for a Place to Live
There are a variety of websites that can help you narrow down your housing search without having to make countless expensive trips to your new city. If you are planning on moving to New York City, ForRent is a terrific resource that offers in-depth information on available apartments; this includes rent, floor plan info and more. Zillow is a website that offers invaluable information about housing in hundreds of cities across the country. It’s a good resource if you’re looking to buy. Use the two sites to research available options and determine ahead of time if the city you have in mind will have the housing you want and can afford.
Check out the Cost of Living
Moving to a new town is stressful enough; the last thing you need is to quickly discover that the salary at your new job will barely cover the cost of rent and groceries. Before deciding where to relocate, check out the Cost of Living calculator on CNN. You can enter in where you currently live, where you want to live and how much money you currently make. The calculator will tell you how much the equivalent cost of living is in your proposed new town. You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that your salary will go a lot farther in your number-one city choice, or that sadly, you will have to make about twice as much to afford to move there. Either way, this is helpful information to have before taking the moving plunge.
Learn About Specific Neighborhoods
Since most cities have more- and less-desirable neighborhoods, determine which areas of town will be safest and best for you. City-Data.com is a fantastic online resource that offers a wealth of info about a large number of cities in the U.S., as well as some of their specific neighborhoods. For example, if you are contemplating a move to Tennessee, simply click the state’s name on the home page and then select which city or cities you want to learn about. The website offers photos, demographic information, housing rates, neighborhood details and more.
See the City with Google
Once you have an idea of where you want to move, spend some time using Google’s Street View feature to “see” your proposed new neighborhood, grocery store and your office. Enter in the address of an apartment or house that you would like to rent or buy and you can probably see actual photos of the place. This will give you a good idea if the neighborhood is truly nice or maybe a bit too rough around the edges. You can also take a tour of the surrounding streets to see what it looks like. To back up your visual tour, use a website like Crime Reports to see how safe your desired new neighborhood is. It offers in-depth information on numerous cities in the U.S.