Few people look forward to a relocation. The idea of abandoning what you’ve built for a new and unpredictable destination fills most minds with fear and uncertainty. However, making the right choice can put your family in a better situation than ever before. Here’s what to watch for when choosing the next home for your family.
When moving to a new city, there are some things you can control and some things you cannot. Of the aspects you cannot control, few have a greater impact on your circumstances than weather. Everything from your heating bill, to your daily commute, to the attractions nearby are predicated on an appropriate climate.
This will impact your decision in a couple of ways. First of all, everyone has a preference when it comes to climate. Some prefer seasons and winter sports while some prefer the tropics and no-hassle weather patterns. Making sure that everyone in your family is happy with the decision involves understanding everyone’s preference and making a decision that will either satisfy the group, or find compromise with everyone concern.
The second aspect that weather affects is price. Homes found in the aforementioned “hassle-free” climates come at a premium due to their attractiveness, ease of care, and general perception of luxury. This means that the same square footage and amenities of a home in one location can cost double in another location if the climate is favorable.
Moving therefore involves balancing the best of all options (or the lesser of all evils) and making a decision that’s affordable, agreeable, and enjoyable based on weather.
A move is an investment in your future, so knowing what your future may hold is essential to making the decision worthwhile. Depending on your career of choice, particular regions will suit your ambitions better than others. Look at industry publications that highlight burgeoning areas of economic development in one sector or another and visit chamber of commerce websites to get a better understanding of business development plans in the area.
Moving your family to a new location means taking care of their needs as well, and few needs are more important in a child’s development than a good education. The foundation of knowledge and life skills that your progeny glean from a nearby school district can ultimately determine their college options and success later on in life. Furthermore, school districts run the gamut from police-controlled to world-class, so vetting your options is essential to making the right move.
Strong, safe, well-respected schools are the backbone of a strong community, improving the well-being and outlook of everyone around them. This means that a good school district isn’t just beneficial for your children, it’s also beneficial for your safety.
Look for districts with high test scores, low crime rates, low dropout rates, and opportunities for early college preparation. If your child is into athletics or performing arts, make sure that the city of choice has a culture and reputation that supports those endeavors. Take care of your children’s academic, social, and athletic needs and you’ll find the transition much easier.
When you’re done shoveling the driveway and dropping the kids off at practice, you’ll likely want some leisure time. Every new city has new opportunities for entertainment, engagement, and enlightenment, from flailing metros with little more than a minor league baseball team to burgeoning cities full of art and events.
Search for locations in the area that hint at attractions, as well as city calendars for festivals and fairs. Theaters, sports stadiums, public parks, and local universities often suggest that there’s culture to be had, and that opportunities for enriching engagement abound. City calendars can help articulate the nature of culture in the area and give you reasonable expectations when you move.
Nobody likes to talk about it, but it’s something we all must face. Despite our best assumptions and trusting natures, unsavory characters exist in the world that are not above taking advantage of local residents to advance their circumstances.
Fortunately, myriad resources exist to help assess the safety of your city of choice. FBI criminal statistics can help you determine everything from violent crime rates to traffic fatality rates, while the sex offender registry can actually map out the location of offenders. Utilize these resources to assess both the general and local trends of the cities you’re selecting and determine which neighborhoods may suit your family best.
A move is an investment in your future, so make the choice count. Check the weather, employment potential, school districts, entertainment, and safety of your potential destinations, and make the decision that allows your family and your career to take root and blossom.
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