Sometimes, a change of scenery is just what we need. New employment opportunities, better educational standards, and just a generally improved quality of life could all serve as triggers for us to seek out new places to live.
However, as with most things in life, it’s better to be prepared. If you’re thinking about making a change to your living situation and are wondering what to look out for when choosing where to move to, you’ve come to the right website. The following things should help you choose the place that’s right for you.
Unless you belong to the proverbial one-percent, your main consideration for where you live will likely be cost. But how much can you afford? While there are no hard and fast rules about how much you should set aside, most financial planners suggest the 30% rule when it comes to housing expenses. Simply set aside 30% of what you make every month as your budget for housing, whether you’re renting or paying down your house. For example, if you make $5000 per month, you can set a budget of $1500 for housing, whether as part of your amortization to a bank or as rent for your landlord.
You should also know that real estate and rent prices vary greatly throughout the United States. You’ll find that the $1500 you’ve budgeted for housing is spent very differently depending on where you are. In Alabama, there are a lot of Birmingham apartments for rent within this rate. You can get either a 1 or 2-bedroom apartment depending on the size of your family.
Proximity to Health Care Facilities
Naturally, your family’s safety should be your primary concern and one of the best ways to keep them safe is by having adequate health care facilities nearby. If you’re looking to move to a new neighborhood, you should definitely choose one that’s relatively close to an established, well-maintained tertiary hospital with an accessible emergency department. Before moving in, take a visit to the hospital and have a look around. If it’s in a state of disrepair, you can be pretty sure the quality of care you’re going to receive will be less than ideal.
Hospitals and emergency clinics shouldn’t be your only consideration though. There are different aspects of health that need to be considered as well, such as mental health. When choosing your next home, you may want to live in an area with access to a mental health clinic or drug rehab Phoenix residents can trust. This way, you can get the care you need, even in an emergency.
Crime rate is another factor that needs to be considered when choosing where to live. Unfortunately, accurately determining a locality’s crime rate is rather difficult. In the US, most crime rate statistics are determined by documenting actual investigated crimes as reported to the police, and adding these numbers to a number derived from interviews of people who live in a specific area. This creates an index that accounts for both reported and unreported crimes, but unfortunately, this number can be rather inexact and serves better as an indicator rather than a true metric for crime.
Now for the good news: Both the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of Justice Statistics have produced records to indicate that both violent crimes, such as murder and rape, and property crimes, such as grand larceny or auto theft, have been on a steep decline since the 1990s. While it hasn’t been eradicated completely, crime is being reduced almost throughout the nation, which is something we can all be grateful for.
Access to Other Amenities
Convenience is often a major factor in deciding where you want to live, but what convenience means can differ dramatically from person to person. To determine what matters to you, gather the members of your household and ask them what’s important to them. Do you have school-age children? Looking into a housing community with an excellent school system is fairly obvious, but you may also want to move to a place with a lot of parks and open play spaces where kids can socialize and be around other kids their age. On the other hand, do you live an active lifestyle? Having gyms and exercise facilities close to home will be ideal for anyone who likes to work up a sweat regularly. Are you the outdoorsy type? Living by the edge of some towns or smaller cities, rather than downtown or in city centers, might be preferable for you, to make getting away to the country easier.
What you should also take note of is that as more of these amenities and personal conveniences become accessible, the more expensive your cost of living is likely to be. Weighing the pros and cons of having access to what you need and paying for this is one of the most important decisions you’re likely to make, when it comes to finding a home.
These are just a few of the considerations you’ll need to account for when deciding where to live. Ask friends and family about what they think, and put together a list of what matters most to you, before setting out on your home search.