Moving to a new city? Here are 6 tips on Picking the Perfect Neighborhood

Are you ready for a fresh start? Are you moving to a new city alone? Brace yourself for some exciting changes! All of this new scenery and culture can be intimidating at first, but finding digs in the perfect neighborhood is the key to making the most of your new city! Picking the ideal community means finding areas with people who are your age and like similar things. For instance, if you like art, check out the art district!

Okay, we know it’s not always that simple. There are so many other factors that can affect where you sign a lease or buy a home in a new city: cost, work commute, school commute, etc. So, the real answer to “how to pick the perfect neighborhood” is to take your time.

moving truck on highway

Here Are 6 Tips to Make Moving to a New City Easier, More Cost-Effective, and Fun!

  1.  Sign a short-term lease

Ideally, you’ll be able to find a place with a month to month lease. That way, if you find your dream home, you won’t be stuck in a lease and can move right away. Even short-term leases can be expensive to break, so if you can avoid the problem altogether by living in a month to month apartment, then that’s an option you should pursue. When choosing an apartment that you plan to live in for a few months at most, try to find the smallest, least expensive place you can comfortably live in. There’s no point in spending more money on rent than you have to.

  1. Rent a storage unit.

If you’re planning to stay in a small apartment for a month or two until you can find a permanent home, putting your things in a storage unit is a convenient and inexpensive solution. First of all, unless you don’t own many possessions, moving into a smaller apartment is going to be a problem. If you’re thinking of downsizing, check out our helpful Spring Cleaning Guide.

You don’t want to waste money on a larger apartment that will fit all your stuff, but you also don’t want to have to get rid of your stuff. Renting a storage unit will give you a place to keep your things when they don’t fit in a smaller apartment. Then when you find a permanent home, you can move your stuff in. This is inexpensive, plus it saves you from having to unpack your items only to have to pack them up again in a month or two when you move.

  1. Get familiar with your ideal neighborhood.

Living closer to where you work can save you a lot of time each day on your commute. That’s time you can spend doing things you enjoy, or you can spend it with your family. You do have to consider the cost of where you’re going to live as well. In many cases, neighborhoods near business centers are pricier. That could cause an issue with the homes you’re interested in to be a little pricier than your budget allows. What you have to do is find a happy medium. Find a place close enough to your job to avoid a long commute, but in a neighborhood you can afford without struggling.

What type of neighborhood suits your lifestyle? Are you young and single? If so, living in an area where there’s an active nightlife might be something that you’re interested in. Are you married with kids? Then living near stores and in a neighborhood with good schools is going to be a priority for you. The point is that finding the perfect neighborhood for you involves looking at what you want out of it. 

  1. Get smart about investing.

Investing in a home that will give you the greatest return makes a lot of financial sense. Even if you never plan to sell your home, you never know what the future holds. A few years from now you might get offered a fantastic job in a new city, then you’ll need to move. Having a home that appreciates more will let you walk away from it with more money in your pocket.

aerial shot of neighborhood

If you end up staying in your home forever, having more equity in it gives you more financial flexibility. You can always refinance your home in the future to help pay off bills or put your kids through school. The bottom line is that the more equity you have in your home, the more beneficial that it will be to you. How do you choose a home that will appreciate in value? Spend some time looking at home values in different neighborhoods.

  1. Try to get a home near your ideal recreation areas. 

Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? For example, if you’re moving to a city in California, buying a home in a neighborhood near a beach. Which gives you a convenient place to get away to on the weekends. If the beach isn’t your thing, you can always look for a home near parks, hiking trails, or other outdoor locations.

  1. Look for a neighborhood with a low crime rate

You can find out a lot about an area by going online and looking at crime statistics. This is especially important if you have a family. Data alone won’t paint a complete picture. Make sure that you drive around the neighborhood you are thinking of moving to. Try talking to your potential neighbors too. If they’re friendly and tell you that there’s a low crime rate, then the area is probably safe. Combining your experience with data, you can make sure that any neighborhood you are thinking of moving to is safe for your family.

moving truck in the evening on the highway between cities

Moving to a new city is both exciting and scary. No matter how you feel about it, you’ll definitely be seeing some major changes in your life. By being smart and planning ahead, you can make the moving process much easier on yourself. This is the same mindset you should have when deciding where you are going to be living in the city that you’re moving to. Instead of plunging in and buying a home, sign a short-term lease in a small place. That way, you get to know the new city and save some cash.

You can also rent a storage unit during the period of transition. You won’t have to worry about where you’ll keep your items in a smaller apartment. This allows you to experience the city vibe and take your time when looking for the perfect neighborhood to move into.

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