How to find the best place to live? 7 Places to Get Started

best places to live

We all have dreams of some place different.  What would it be like to live here or there?  Eventually our house will be too small when another little one comes around and we’ll need to move.  When the time comes I want to know the ins and outs of a place to make sure I’m making an informed decision.  So how do you find the best place to live? I’ve come across some 7 places to get started that will help inform you whether you’re moving half an hour away or across the country.

Narrowing the Field: Take a Quiz

If you’re not sure where you want to live Find your Spot is a great website to give you a good idea of what type of location would fit your needs.  Register for free and take a detailed quiz ranging from weather, entertainment, sports, government, and education.  Then they’ll create a list of place for you to consider.  Each place includes a picture, and a detailed summary of what it offers.  I used this site to give me a starting off point many times.

Compare Cities Across the Country by Category

Another site that gives you a list of places to start you moving search is WalletHub.  It provides statistics on things like the states with the highest taxes, best cities for families, best cities for recreation etc.  The best categories to search related to moving are relocation, economy, jobs, taxes, and travel.  If you know where you want to move to this can also help you know how the location stacks up in relation to other places.

My favorite is Best Places.net.  It can compare all sorts of factors like cost of living, education, crime, housing, and commute time with another location.  I found this really helpful for budgeting purposes.  I might spend a lot more on a house but very little in utilities.  Plus you have forums that give you a variety of viewpoints to get an insider’s take on aspects like traffic and the best neighborhoods.  Of course take it with a grain of salt but I find if I hear the same type of comment a lot it probably has some truth to it.

Movoto is a good site for finding houses but it also has a menu at the top of the screen you can click on to get information on schools, housing market trends, and guides about moving to a location.  It also has a list of the safest and best places to live, which might be a good place to start if you’re not sure where you want to be.

Overview Sites with Unique Information on Locations

Homefacts.com offers an overview of a location just like the other sites but also provides unique information about a location that the other sites do not.  I used to see weather averages by month initially but then found categories I’d never seen before.  You can learn about environmental hazards, natural disaster likelihood, registered offenders (which might be too much information for me), and where drug labs were.   This could really provide insight into a location you might not think to look for.

Not all areas in a location are created equal and sometimes you need to know what part of a city/town is good for you.  Enter these sites to the rescue.  They provide a ton of practical information to give you a detailed picture of what life might be like if you lived in a particular part of town.

If you’re into a bigger city then Street Advisor.  might be good for you to check out.  It provides information on neighborhoods personalized to your needs.   You can select the type of person you are to determine the best neighborhood for you.  It includes fun descriptions you can click on that relate to you like country love, trendy and stylish, neighborly and safe and sound.  You can even refine your search further by clicking on interests like gyms, parking, and extras like daycare and public transit.  It will compile a list for you based on locals reviews.  Some neighborhoods have more information and comments than others but it’s a good jumping off point.

I love to walk around so knowing how walkable an areas is would be important to me.  Walkscore does this for an area as a whole as well as neighborhoods or streets.  You can learn about walking, biking, and access to public transit. It also has food in the area and what the locals are talking about.

Safety and education are really important to me so I always look at Neighborhood Scout.  It provides a map of shaded areas on crime, education, and housing values: the darker the color the better the area.  It usually gives me a good place to start in terms of neighborhoods and looking at houses.

If you want to know about amenities and an overview of an area that’s easy to read Area Vibes is a great place to go.  It gives color coded letter ratings on weather, amenities, housing, jobs etc.  If you click on a category it’ll provide more information.

I hope you found these websites a good starting point in your search for a perfect location for yourself.

What websites have you found helpful?

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