If you’re moving to a new city, especially one you’re not familiar with, it can be very helpful to do some research about where you’re going to be living so that you feel more comfortable once you’re there. Some of these tips are just common sense, some of them may be new to you, but they are all good things to do if you want to have some degree of familiarity with your new surroundings before you move there.
Getting to know the neighborhoods in a new city is a great first step since the lifestyle and culture can vary widely from one area to the next. Figure out what’s important to you, whether it’s living in a walkable area with easy access to restaurants, or living near major roads so that it’s easier to deal with a work commute. Whatever it is you’re looking for, there are a number of great online resources you can take advantage of to make the transition easier. As you search for homes in a new city, looking at Google maps can help you to better visualize what living there might be like, as well as what local stores, restaurants, schools, highways, and other necessities are nearby. Sites like Neighborhood Scout, Area Vibes, and Next Door are good places to look if you need some basic information or want to learn about the area from others that already live there.
Crime is always a concern wherever you live and a new neighborhood or city can makes that information even more important to know about. We all want to live somewhere safe and it’s not always easy to glean this information from simple livability statistics. Take a local at local crime maps that many cities have available from the police department, or you can use a resource like Crime Mapping to determine the level of safety in a specific area or neighborhood.
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If you have children, you’re going to want to know about local schools before you move to a new city. We all want the best for our children and ensuring that they get a good education can greatly influence which part of a city you prefer to live in. There are several online tools you can use to find a wealth of information about school systems, from data supplied by the city and school districts themselves, to more broad resources like Great Schools and School Digger.
Reading the local newspaper is a great way to stay abreast of what’s happening in a city you’re considering moving to. Every major news outlet has an online version that is easy to find, which you can access either for free, or for a minimal payment well before your moving date. There are not many better resources than the local paper to take the pulse of a local community, learn what they value, and find out what the key issues are for those that already live there. It can also help you get a head start on the next piece of advice and learn about what events and activities there are in a city you’re considering.
After you move to a new city, you’ll want to do some exploring and find out what it has to offer in terms of arts, culture, family activities, and entertainment. Looking at a city website is a good place to start so that you can learn about annual or recurring events, as well as what restaurants and businesses you may want to visit. Most cities have a tourism board that covers these things and you can also find a Facebook group that will no doubt be able to provide several suggestions for things to do to any new residents to a city.