7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Moving To A New City, According To Realtors

Sometimes, you know you’re ready for a change of scenery, but you may not know exactly what that change looks like. There are so many cities in the world, you can’t possibly live in all the ones you’d like to. So, how do you decide what the perfect city is for you at the moment?

With more and more people being location-independent, this question is becoming increasingly relevant. When you can do your job from anywhere, the decision of where to live becomes less about work and more about what would make you happy — which is amazing but can also be overwhelming.

“I always suggest writing down a list of what ‘ideal’ features you want your home to have,” April Kozlowski Palomino, a realtor at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, tells Bustle. “Then decide which items are absolute must haves and which items would be nice but not necessary or of great importance if the home didn't have it. This will make your shopping a more seamless and less frustrating experience.” You can do the same exercise with the features of the city you want to live in as well.

To get the process of figuring out where to live started, here are some questions you can ask yourself, according to realtors.

1Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current City?

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One clue into where you want to live is where you don’t want to live. Gary Malin, President of Citi Habitats, tells Bustle you should ask yourself what’s bothering you about your current living situation. Then, look for somewhere that won’t present these problems.

2What Kind Of Climate Do You Thrive In?

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The climate you’re in can have an impact on your mental and even physical health, so choose it wisely. “For instance, in Arizona, like many states, we have mountain living where it's cooler and even snows or warmer areas where the heat can be pretty intense but is great for arthritis and some degenerative diseases,” Jen Nelson, a realtor in Phoenix, Arizona, tells Bustle.

3What’s Your Budget?

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Your buck will go much further in some cities than others. For example, you could get a two-bedroom apartment in Berlin for the price of a small room in San Francisco. “If your budget is $1,000/month in rent or mortgage, and space is an important factor to you, then you may want to consider rural areas versus the heart of the city, for example,” Joe and Kim Howard, founders of Howard Homes Chicago, tell Bustle.

4What Are Taxes Like In Each Place You’re Considering?

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We don’t always think about this, but different parts of the country have different tax laws, which could lead you to have very different expenses depending on where you are. “If you move from California to Arizona, for instance, the state income tax and property tax rates may decrease as well as everyday costs like groceries and gas,” says Nelson. “This means more disposable income for you!"

5Can You Test Out Different Places First?

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Before making the leap to move to a new city, try visiting to see what it’s like. “I suggest to people that they first housesit in the area where they are considering living as a way of ‘testing out’ the new community before making such a huge commitment,” Kelly Hayes-Raitt, author of How to Become a Housesitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva, tells Bustle. Or, get an Airbnb for a week or two so you can experience the city like a resident.

6What Makes You Happy?

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“If you have options with no constraints, start by narrowing down the scenery and type of lifestyle you envision,” say Kim and Joe Howard. For example, if you love the outdoors, great food, or trendy cafes, look for places that provide these things.

7Where Is Your Industry Centered?

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Whether you’re looking for a new job or will be continuing your current one from a new location, having people in your industry around you will benefit your career. “As Americans, we see a lot of our lives dedicated to our jobs, and it's generally a positive to be surrounded by others in your industry,” say the Howards. “Tech-savvy people may flock to California, where fashionistas may prefer New York, for example.”

At the end of the day, though, where to live is a personal choice, so you have to go with your gut and move to the place that resonates with you the most.