What’s it like living in … ?
A question we may have all asked ourselves at one time or another. What if you wanted to research and find out; where would you start looking? I have four places to try to satisfy your curiosity-maybe even inspire a move.
Local City Sites
If you’re looking for insider info on a potential place to live or job relocation but don’t know where to find it, you’ve come to the right place.
First try the town/city’s website. Often they have information on local parks, educational classes, fitness and sports offered, basic facts about the town, and information for visitors. Some websites include accolades and awards for the town.
The local chamber of commerce will tell you what kinds of businesses are in the area. How many hospitals are there? Do they have volunteer opportunities? What types of entertainment are there? Are there any annual events they sponsor to benefit the community?
I like to see what a place looks like so I check out tourism videos and videos on youtube of people driving through an area. Real estate companies sometimes do neighborhood profiles on youtube which I’ve found helpful to check out.
If you’re up for looking for real inside information and willing to read a little bit try forums. Trulia, city-data, fodors, and tripadvisor have forums where a lot of people comment and you’ll get ideas from natives, transplants, and real estate agents. They all provide a piece of the puzzle in the big picture of what the place is like. So keep that in mind when you see one person ranting about how awful it is. Instead, look for trends in comments like a lot of people complaining about the traffic would mean this is likely a real issue to be aware of. A forum on a search engine often pops up first when you type a question or long phrase into the search engine like what’s the best neighborhood in Portland?, living in Boston or Chicago, or moving to San Antonio.
Data Collection Review Sites
These sites collect data and summarize it for you. Both sites however work best for big cities. If you want to move to a big city like Boston or San Francisco you’ll find articles on the best bars to visit, free things to do, common slang, cheap lunches etc. Thrillist is easy to navigate with article titles that pull you in. What really does make Bostonians angry? Hm. What are the 7 sates of living in Austin? Now I wanted to know and I wasn’t even interested in living in either location.
LocalNiche has ranks and statistics like wallethub, but forums as well. I’ve used to get ideas about neighborhoods. I especially like how it has questions locals answer like how safe people feel, quality of attractions, and the direction they think the city is going in. For local neighborhoods and suburbs of a metro area they have rankings and review where people comment on the overall feel of the area etc.
What sites have you found most helpful in researching a place to live? What information did you find most difficult to learn?
Photo by Gabriel Santiago at Unsplash