Ways to Research a City Before You Move There
If you do not like the city in which you are currently living, you should probably consider moving elsewhere. But before you start packing your items, you must take your time reaching the options in front of you to find the town or city of your dreams. There are many things which you need to take into account:
- Cost of living
- Job opportunities
- Real estate market
- Your social contacts in the area (if any)
You need to consider all of these factors, especially if you are eyeing a long-term relocation solution. This means that you will also need to research the place you are planning to move to in great detail. There are several excellent ways in which you can do that.
See what people have to say about it
Think whether you know someone who is currently living in your town of choice or have lived there at some point in their life. First-hand experience is always valuable because you get to hear the information straight from the horse’s mouth as the saying goes. If you have zero contacts there, do not lose heart. Go online and visit forums or check out social media websites to find some opinions from locals. In case you are moving to some lesser-known and smaller place and you are not able to find any forum threads focusing on it, take a more proactive approach – be the one who initiates the conversation. Start a thread on a local-based website.
Listen to what expats and tourists have to say too
Some of the best place from you can gain info on a town or city in which you have never lived before are travel or expat websites. Tourists and expatriates are interested in important topics related to the local cost of living, culture, transport… Therefore, their insight is typically more practical and unbiased.
Read some boring but insightful statistics
Visit the official website of the place you are thinking of relocating to and check out the latest data and researchers posted there. Reading statistics may not be your idea of fun but it will help you gain an insight into the local crime and unemployment rates. If you have kids, stop by the site of Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skill) to see if there are any good schools in the town. Last, but not least, pay attention to journalistic articles and reports discussing life satisfaction rates in the area.
Remember that a city is made up of various areas
Do not forget that a town or city consists of many neighbourhoods all of which have their own pros and cons, character and thus attract a different crowd. So, once you are certain that you have found the town of your dreams, you will need to repeat that same exercise when you are picking your new neighbourhood.
Talk to a real estate broker
Even if you are not intending to hunt for a home with the help of a real estate agency, you can at least consult with a professional working in that sphere. These experts will help you understand the local housing market better and let you know what you should expect. Ask about the local property and rental costs. If you want to rent a flat or a house, let the real estate agent tell you about the local trends. In some parts of the country, rental properties tend to come unfurnished and you may need to rely on an affordable furniture assembly and disassembly in London and to take all of your current furnishings with you. Knowing is being prepared.