If moving to a new city is on your agenda, make research a part of your plan. You donât want to blindly move somewhere without scouting it out first. Well before moving day, get online and on the phone to research anything from municipal services and cable providers to doctorâs offices and coffee shops. Book a tour with the local elementary school for your kids, and find out where the local dog park is.
Starting now will ensure your new city will feel almost like home from the very first day.
There are several online databases that collect and analyze important information on U.S. cities. Sites likeÂ City-Data.com display profiles of cities with statistics such as population, cost of living and median income levels.Â NeighborhoodScoutÂ digs a bit deeper, giving detailed descriptions on area demographics and characteristics. StreetAdvisorÂ is hyper-local, meaning it focuses on ranking neighborhoods and streets for popularity. Is walkability important to you? Check outÂ Walk ScoreÂ rates for your neighborhood based on its proximity to schools, stores, coffee shops, and parks.
One of the best sources of information out there is city hall. When you call, ask them about new resident resources, or go to their website to find out everything from trash and recycle pickup to voter registration and common utility companies for the area. The local Chamber of Commerce is another great resource if you want suggestions on the best restaurants or businesses around.
Find out what the typical commute length is before you move. If youâll be driving in, consult traffic overviewÂ on Google Maps, which gives accurate traffic estimations by the day, hour and minute. If public transportation is what youâll be using, check the schedules and map the routes. Most transit authorities have an online âPlan My Routeâ feature that tells you all about train switches and bus transfers that add to your commute time.
If you have kids, and even if you donât, look into the local school system to make sure itâs strong. Strong schools equal strong neighborhoods and higher property values. GreatSchoolsÂ is a good resource to start with that ranks local schools on a 1â10 scale.
Many city police departments publish crime rate information on their websites. You could also check out CrimeReports,Â Family Watchdog (sex offender registry), andÂ SpotCrimeÂ — all helpful online databases specializing in analyzing local crime statistics by area and type of crime.
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