Maybe you’ve got a new job, maybe you’re moving to be with a partner, or maybe you just fancy a change! Whatever your reason is for upping sticks, it’s going to be an exciting time. But it’s also not going to be without its difficulties! For example, where do you live? If you’re moving to a city that you don’t – or only barely know – then you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Below, we take a look at the things to consider, which will hopefully mean you end up in the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
Identify Your Needs
Everyone’s different. We all ask for different things from our communities. Some people prefer to be “in the mix,” right in the middle of where everything is happening. Others prefer to be away from the crowds, in a quiet part of the city. There are pros and cons to each! Before you begin looking at different neighbourhoods, ask yourself what you need, and then what you want, from your surroundings. It’ll likely help to discount the vast majority of areas in an instant, leaving you with a few obvious areas where you should live.
Of course, it’s not just about what you like to be around when it comes to picking a neighbourhood. There’s also the matter of you know, that annoying little thing called work. You might find the perfect place to call home, but if it’s going to take you an hour to get to and from your office, then it’s probably worth looking somewhere a little bit more convenient. The novelty of living in a charming neighbourhood will soon wear off if you’re always commuting!
When it comes to choosing where to live, our minds seem to drift towards how nice the place is, what any roommates are like, and the proximity to work. But there’s another matter that’s just as important: all the amenities that are located nearby. It would be nice to live in a mansion, but would it be so good if you have to drive an hour to visit a local shop, or to get your morning coffee? When looking at places, look beyond the general atmosphere of the neighbourhood, and ask yourself how easy it would be to get all the essentials in life.
Events and other Happenings
Now, there’s a lot that you could dislike about cities. And indeed, a lot of people do seem to dislike them, but they may just be focusing on the wrong things. If you live in a big city – let’s take the biggest: London – then you’ll be able to attend more events in a single day than most other places have all week. Or, you will if you live close enough to attend them! It doesn’t really matter if you’re a little away from the centre of town, provided that the local community is alive with events and other goings-on.
The Cost of Living
Of course, you may be limited by your bank balance. Everyone wants to live in the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods, but the second they become trendy, the prices can go through the roof. However, if you’re determined to live in one particular part of the city, then you don’t have to settle for somewhere else just because you can’t afford a one bedroom apartment. There may be a studio for rent or a bedroom within a larger flatshare that’s available. Of course, your money may go further elsewhere, but sometimes it’s worth settling for smaller accommodation if it enables you to have everything on your doorstep.
Like Minded People
If you’re moving to a new city, then you want to make it as easy as possible to make friends. And choosing the right neighbourhood can help with this. Try to find an area that has like-minded people living there; it can make all the difference. If you’re a late twenties professional, then you don’t want to live in an area populated by young student – or vice versa! It’s hard to get this information without being there; the best thing you can do is take a walk around the neighbourhood and try to get a sense of the kind of people that live there. If everyone’s wearing the same kind of sneakers as you, you may be on to a good thing!
Your Long-Term Plans
Your focus may be on finding absolutely anywhere to live, but it’s worth showing a degree of patience. Remember: the thrill of ending your search will quickly be replaced by a feeling of “I should have taken more time” if you rushed into something. You’re not going to be moving for just a month; you’re hoping that your move will be for years! As such, when you’re looking at places, ask yourself – to be the best of your ability – whether you could realistically see yourself being there a few years down the line. Of course, you won’t be locked into your flat forever, but it’s worth thinking about.
Nowhere is perfect. Even if you think you’ve found heaven on earth, you, well, you won’t have. It’s easy to put on rose tinted glasses and think that a place is perfect; but if you already know that such a place doesn’t exist, wouldn’t you be well served by knowing what it’s problems are before you move there? Have a talk with the people that already live in the neighbourhood, and ask them to identify the worst thing about living there. Hopefully, the problem is so small that it doesn’t influence your decision – but it’s worth knowing!
Go for a Walk
Finally, remember that there’s no substitute for getting onto the street and exploring a new neighbourhood yourself. You can read and be told all you like, but the first-hand experience is crucial. Go for a stroll, and get a feel for the neighbourhood; the pace of life, the noise, the people, the general atmosphere. If you like what you see and feel, then you may have just found your new home.