What is Your Preferred General Environment?
One of the first things you need to think about is whether you want to be right in the thick of a big urban center, a smaller city, or suburb, in a rural area or a small town? Having spent the last few years in a range of environments, I have discovered a preference for living in a smaller city, where I can get everything I need, without being exposed to the utter chaos, crowds and noise of a major metropolitan area. I also like not needing a car. On the other hand, some other people might prefer living in a suburb of a city, where it is quieter, while having easy access to all that is available in an urban center when the desire arises.
This is a core consideration for most people. What sort of income are you looking at in your new location? What is the average cost of rent or houses in the area? If you are considering a suburb of a major city, will you have to spend money on monthly public transportation passes? Will your new location warrant the purchasing of a car? If you want to live in a city because of the abundance of dining, entertainment and other amenities, does it absolutely have to be an uber-expensive urban center like New York or San Francisco, or will a smaller city suit you just fine? Think about how much you will make use of all these offerings when deciding if the price of living there is worth it. If you are looking for homes for sale in Atlanta GA, for example, you will find a variety of neighborhoods, oozing in Southern charm, that offer a nice slice of suburban living at great prices, with easy access to the heart of the city.
Weather is another factor to consider before making your move. How important it is will ultimately depend on the individual. However, I personally hate the cold, and anywhere that has bitter cold winters that last pretty much half the year would be out, regardless of anything else the area had to offer. But, for others, using weather as a primary factor may prove problematic. If you really have a preference for year-round warm weather, but it meant giving up a line of work you found deeply fulfilling because such jobs were not available, living somewhere warm will probably not be enough to make you feel happy. You may get pleasure from the pleasing climate, but that is different than feeling happy.
Proximity to Family and Friends
How important is it you be near friends and family, and what distance is acceptable to you? If this issue is tugging at you, it is important to examine the root cause. Do you truly feel it is important to remain close because that is personally important to you, or do you feel you need to stay close out of a sense of obligation or a fear of being separated? Having spent the majority of the last three years living abroad, I can say that I miss my friends and family dearly, but I know at this moment, living in New Jersey is not the right decision for me.
What Do You Value Most?
This decision is all about you and you need to think about what you value most, about what is most important to you. This may seem a bit obvious, but it is easy to get sidetracked with the opinions of others, and thinking about what you ‘’should’’ want. If you can answer this question, you will set a solid foundation for your search, and will make your decision with confidence.