We are fiercely proud to be American. America is the land of opportunity; no matter what background your come from, you have the chance to thrive and flourish here. However, not every pocket of America is the same. Some towns and cities are more conducive to creating a productive life than others.
If you are considering starting your life over in a new place, or maybe looking for a nice place to start a business and truly experience the American dream, we’ve put together a list of things to look for:
Three Things to Look for When Looking for a Place to Settle Down
- Cost of Living
When looking for new jobs in a new town, it’s easy to be enticed by huge starting salaries, but this is not a reliable way to look for a place to settle down. The starting pay might be 150% of what you make now, but if everything costs twice as much, you’re really taking a cut in pay. Instead, you should consider the cost of living and affordability of a new town first, and then wages second. The cost of living tells you how far the dollar stretches. Pay attention to the average cost of housing and the price of gas, among other factors. Take a stroll through the grocery store; how do the prices of the groceries that you generally get compare to what you pay for them currently. Consider the expenses that you have currently, and then make a list of the approximate cost for them in your new town. This give you an idea of what the cost of living in that area is. If the cost of living is 85% of what you experience currently, but the wages are the same, you’re better off than if you moved somewhere that the wages are double but cost of living is triple.
- Job Market
You might think that you don’t need pay attention to job market statistics as long as you can line up one job. It’s true to an extent; it’s a good idea to line up a job before you actually set roots in a new town, but even if you have employment lined up, paying attention to the job market is a smart move. You can’t tell the future, if your current job fell through, how hard would it be to secure a new position? Before selecting a place to call home, look at the job market. Are there a lot of opportunities in your career field? Look at statistics such as the unemployment rate and the job growth rate. These numbers will tell you how secure your job is and how hard it would be to get a new job if it didn’t work out with the first one.
- Importance of Education
Landing in a town that has great educational opportunities is important for several reasons:
- The most obvious reason is for your own benefit. If you have children, you will be directly impacted by the state of the educational system. If it is poorly run and has a bad reputation, you should be seeing red flags and looking for a new place to live, pronto. Your child’s primary and college education will have a huge impact on the opportunities they get in life.
- The state of the education system is a big indication of how the future of the town or city will fair. The youth are the future of any place; one day they’ll be running it. If they are given the tools for economic development through a quality education, the entire town or city will be prosperous. If the school systems aren’t good, you might not want to invest in building a life there.
- To piggyback on the previous point, your ability to get your investment out of home if you ever decided to start over somewhere else will depend on the growth of the economy in your area. And that is directly tied to the state of the education system. Hedging your bets on a place that has a strong education system is a good idea.
Do you have any other tips for looking for a place to build a life? Please share in the comment section below.