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What to Consider When Moving to a New City

7 Areas to Research before Moving Anywhere

By Kelsey Hawkins, North American Van Lines

The average American will move about 11 times in their life. Whether near or far, moving can be hard. Moving is even harder if you’re in a new place without family or friends. Although it can be hard, moving can be a chance to start fresh. Like all big decisions, it is important to consider many things before moving.

Cost of Living

Cost of living is one of the most important factors to consider when moving. Cities draw residents with high paying jobs, cool restaurants, and an exciting culture. They also carry a big price tag. It is important to consider taxes, average income, and average home cost.

It is also important to consider the average prices of everyday items, like gas and groceries. Wages usually reflect the higher cost of living but paying more for some small items can be a big change.

Career Opportunities

Many cities have specific job industries. Some jobs are in demand everywhere. It is important to consider your skill set and work experience before moving. For example, a coal miner would have trouble finding relevant work in Silicon Valley.

Websites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed can be good resources for job seekers. Checking out local blogs and visiting company websites are also good ways to find jobs in your new town.

Crime Rates

Safety is an important factor to consider when choosing where to live. Many cities and the FBI release yearly crime reports that can give you a good idea of the crime rate in an area.

A city’s crime rate may influence your decision to move there or not. There are steps you can take to deter criminals. One of the most important things that a new resident can do is be aware of their surroundings. Crimes usually take place when people are careless. Take steps that can prevent possible crimes:

  1. Lock up your belongings.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings.
  3. Have a good relationship with your neighbors.


Weather is a more important factor to consider when moving than most expect. The decision of climate in your new area is about more than deciding if you like snow or not. Your health and natural disasters are major factors to consider. If you have breathing problems, you should avoid cities with a lot of air pollution. In areas that have a lot of natural disasters, consider how that will affect your insurance rates.


Transportation is the hardest factor for everyone to agree on. Some people want to live in a walkable city where they can get from place to place without a car. Others might think a city has good transportation if their drive to and from work is under an hour.

If you have a car and don’t plan on selling it, you should avoid large cities like New York. They charge a lot for parking spaces and garages.


Education may not seem important if you don’t have kids, but schools effect areas. Houses in neighborhoods with good schools have higher resale values. Higher education is important too. Many students who graduate from these colleges may stay in the area after graduation. This will have a big impact on the workers in the local job market. Many educated professionals usually have a positive effect on an area’s economy.

Entertainment & Culture

All cities are different. While they all have history and culture, they aren’t all a good fit for everyone. There may be traditions that you don’t like. It is important to consider your values and goals. If you are religious, it may be important to you to live around like-minded people.

It’s also good to consider the entertainment options available in the city. If you like the hustle and bustle of New York City, moving to a quiet suburban area may be tough. If you like exotic food and entertainment, moving to a less diverse area may be a deal breaker.

Kelsey Hawkins is a contributing writer and media specialist for North American Van Lines.  She regularly produces content for a variety of informational and lifestyle blogs.