Many of us end up living relatively close to where we grew up—sometimes we remain in the same exact town. Some end up relocating because of relationships or job opportunities, and the decision of where you will live is made for you. But, then there are a few of us who want a change of scenery or want to find a place with greater opportunity, and we have total control over the location. Picking our new home can seem quite challenging when the options are so vast. But, with some careful thought, you can get some great insights into your most ideal location and proceed accordingly.
What Do You Value Most?
There are so many different areas you can live, from bustling cities to small town surrounded by astounding natural beauty. There is no one place that is better than the other, and the best choice for you will depend on you. Think carefully about what you value most, what is most important to you. If you are moving within Canada, and you highly value diversity, Toronto is a good choice due to the fact that there are over 150 language spoken there and 50 percent of the population is foreign-born. While weather certainly will not make or break our happiness, it can have a huge impact on our well-being and recreational activities, so think carefully about that. Figuring out what is most important will help you weed through the choices with focus and will increase confidence in your choice.
Cost of Living
The cost of living can vary greatly between locations, and besides the obvious consideration of moving somewhere that you can actually afford without having to live off Ramen noodles, you want to think carefully if you are truly getting your money’s worth. You may be able to technically afford a certain area, but is what you are spending truly worth it? Somewhere with the most stuff is not necessarily the best place; if you usually like cooking at home, do you need somewhere that has over 500 restaurants? Entertainment options are great, but do you need to choose from 30 different movie theaters? Think carefully about what you really need and value to decide if you must live in an expensive community.
Importance of Being near Family and Friends
We all have different views on maintaining relationships with those closest to us; this is not to say that our love for our friends and family is directly proportional to how far away we live from them. I love my friends and family dearly, but my passion for living abroad is just too strong to ignore. When deciding on a new location, you have to carefully examine this issue. Is it important to be close enough that you can drive up whenever you want? Or, are you okay with being farther away and not physically seeing them as often? If you feel a pull to stay closer, where is it coming from? Is it truly how you feel or are other issues getting in the way, such as guilt and obligation?
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things real estate and moving.