Moving to a new location can be an exciting adventure or a rocky transition, depending on how prepared you are!
While some people can spontaneously pack up their belongings and move halfway across the world, most of us feel better with a little more preparation. Like most big life changes, moving to another neighbourhood or city requires good planning and a lot of research.
If you’re considering relocating to a new area, here are some key factors to keep in mind as you move forward with your plans.
One of the most important aspects to consider is the cost of living. Does moving to a new neighbourhood come with a higher housing price? Or if you’re moving to a city, how do the property taxes compare to where you live now?
It’s also good to do some research on the cost of basic necessities like groceries and fuel. The same goes for utilities like hydro and water. Sometimes we can assume that prices for these items stay the same until we start noticing the significant difference in our bills.
Another critical factor is the job potential in the new area. If you’re making a career change in addition to a move, we recommend not only searching for the current jobs available but the average salaries for these positions. Wages can range from city to city, and this can have a direct impact on whether or not a higher cost of living is feasible.
For example, some areas like cottage country can be beautiful but may rely on seasonal employment such as tourism, making year-round employment more difficult to find. Wages may be lower as a result, even though housing may still be expensive.
We suggest getting as much of a visual layout of the area as you can. This can help you decide what areas work best in relation to the amenities and services you want to be near. There are the essentials such as hospitals, grocery stores, and restaurants, but there are also other nice-to-haves, such as recreational centres, airports, art galleries and museums.
What are the recreational options like in the area? Doing some research ahead of time can help you find the things that will make this new place feel like home, such as dog-friendly parks for your companion or beaches for weekend retreats.
Transportation may seem like a given when planning for a move but it doesn’t get as much attention as it should. While a quick check on Google Maps can show the estimated commute, it can’t always account for when a bus is late or when the main road is blocked for construction. If possible, we recommend doing one or two test runs of your commute in advance. This planning will help you determine if the daily trip is something you want to commit to every day.
Lastly, it can be helpful to understand the local political situation of the city. Does the city have an overall good reputation? What do the local residents say? Are there active neighbourhood associations? If you are someone who enjoys being part of an engaged community atmosphere, it can be worth reviewing online forums and community pages to get a sense of the issues that are affecting people in the area.
Fortunately, with so many options in the Niagara real estate market, there are lots of opportunities to find your ideal home! Our St. Catharines REALTORS® would be happy to show you all that this great region has to offer, from quaint areas like Port Dalhousie to the thriving hub of our downtown core.
Call our office at 905-687-9229 in St. Catharines, or 905-468-9229 in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Or send us a message on our contact page, HERE.