Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tips for Buyers & Sellers

How to Decide Where to Live: 10 Questions to Ask Before You Move

Choosing a new city or town to live in is a big decision that involves many factors. Whether you’re looking for a home to rent or buy, you’ll be placing your money on the line when you move, investing in what will hopefully be a happy future.

In addition to monetary concerns, convenience and peace of mind will come into play when moving. So, before you jump into a new neighborhood, take time to see if it meets your expectations in terms of the kind of life you’re looking for.

Here are 10 questions to ask before you make your next move.

1. Is the area close enough to important people and places in my life?

Consider the people you want to see most often. Is your potential new home close enough where you can grab coffee or lunch together, or meet for other gatherings? What about your doctor’s office or kids’ school? Work and place of worship? The people and places we spend most of our time at should be near enough that we don’t need to disrupt our day and life when frequenting them.

2. Is the city or town too close to what I want to avoid?

Do you despise traffic, loud noises, paid street parking, and miles and miles of concrete? The situations, scenarios, and scenery you want to avoid should ideally be far from your home. So, as you decide where to move, consider the proximity of everything. Make a note of fire stations, late-night pubs, busy roads, commerce centers, and transit stops. If these kinds of things excite you, take up residence nearby. If not, choose another location.

3. Will this place make it easy for me to work?

If you’re looking for a new job in your new city, research the job there market first. Are positions available for what you currently do? If you’re starting a new business, is there demand for your product or service – and are taxes and policies business-friendly? Keeping your current job? What will the commute be like? These are all important questions to ask when deciding where to live.

4. How much will it cost to live there?

In addition to researching home prices in an area you’re considering moving to, check out the cost of living. What types of charges will you typically incur in your potential new city? There could be parking fees, road tolls, or business fees. You might find that some cities generally have higher gas and groceries costs and higher prices at restaurants and service-oriented businesses. Remember to factor in how much you’ll spend getting to work or going places you enjoy.

5. How much control will I have over what I can do to my property?

If you’re looking for a home you can almost entirely make your own, you probably don’t want to choose a house with a homeowners association (HOA). HOAs typically have strict rules on what you can and can’t do to your property. But, if you’re happy with a generally well-kept home with communal benefits, this situation might be perfect for you.

6. How walkable is the area?

Do you like to minimize the time you spend in your car? If so, look for a walkable city close to grocery stores, cafes, entertainment, and public services like schools and parks. Are space and privacy important to you? If you answer yes, you might not care so much about a city’s walkability but instead place value on remoteness.

7. Is there green space and nature close by?

Studies show that exposing yourself to green spaces and nature has many health benefits. So, if you want to be healthy, ensure you can access open green spaces and natural surroundings within an easy walk or commute. If you have a dog, enjoy hiking, or like spending time outdoors, don’t overlook the importance of parks and wilderness in your potential new city.

In addition to these questions to ask yourself when deciding where to move, consider the following.

8. What kind of climate can I expect?

Do you love four seasons or enjoy a more temperate climate?

9. Does the city or town meet my safety and security needs?

Your safety and security needs will revolve around whether you have children or pets or live alone.

10. How important is it that I feel a sense of community?

What community centers or groups are close by? Does the city hold seasonal events or fun gatherings?

Are you looking to sell or buy a new home? Let Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate® walk you through every step in the process.