How to Find a Good Neighborhood When Moving Cross Country

Posted Housing and Apartments / June 14, 2022
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

When moving to a new state, it’s important to find a good location to settle in. Look for one that has low crime rates, affordable housing, good schools, and many other amenities. Here is our guide on how to find a good neighborhood when moving across the country that will help you speed up the process.

Why Is Knowing How to Find a Good Neighborhood to Live In Important

If you want to avoid moving stress and one of the most common relocation mistakes do the research long before hiring cross-country movers to help you move. The whole process of figuring out how to find the right neighborhood to live in might get overwhelming, but that’s why it is important to have a plan.

Find good neighborhoods by relying on information from the internet but also from your personal experience. It is important not to skip this step because rushing to move out might land you in an area that doesn’t fit your needs nor your budget.

Furthermore, when you know that you picked a great spot to settle in, you won’t feel anxious, or even depressed because you are relocating and leaving friends, family, and old life behind.

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Take Advantage of the Internet to Do the Research

We live in the 21st century so begin your search for the ideal location on the internet. Start by searching for the best cities to raise a family if you are relocating with kids. You can also check the best cities for education if pursuing higher knowledge, or top locations for young professionals if you are a career chaser.

If you have already decided where to live check out NeighborhoodScout. This site offers basic information for free, but you can subscribe to receive more extensive reports on crime rates, schools, and other various topics.

Street Advisor is another free site that offers neighborhood reviews given by locals. On it, you can actually learn if the city you are relocating to is really the one with the best public transportation, short commute, and vibrant nightlife. Online neighborhood guides are also available on many websites of different local real estate agencies.

Make Sure You Visit During Different Seasons

Even if you are relocating to New York, the city that never sleeps, it will feel differently during different seasons and times of the day. That’s why if you live close enough to visit, do so at various times to get a sense of what it’s like.

You may discover that people park their vehicles in front of your potential house every weekend while their kid’s sports team practices nearby, or you may discover that streets are not cleaned regularly during the snowstorm. These are important details to be aware of before relocating.

Don’t Skip on Researching the Cost of Living

One of the most important things is to make sure you can afford the location you want to live in. Luckily websites like the Living Wage Calculator can provide you with an overview of expenses such as food, transportation, and child care. All you have to do is type in the desired location.

Go one step further and use CNN’s Cost of Living Calculator and compare the current cost of living to that of other places. However, remember that state taxes might eat up a significant portion of your earnings. That’s why don’t skip on finding out what the sales and income taxes are in a new state.

Check Out Most Affordable Major Cities You Can Settle In

If your dream is to move to a big city, there is a way to do it without actually dipping into your savings. Just pick one of the most affordable major areas to call home:

  • Fort Wayne, Indiana with a cost of living 12% below the US average,
  • Florence, Alabama with a cost of living 12% below the US average,
  • Augusta, Georgia with a cost of living 13% below the US average,
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma with a cost of living 8% below the US average,
  • McAllen, Texas with a cost of living 24% below the US average.

If you want to get a better vibe from the most affordable city on the list above, check out the video of McAllen’s Downtown.

Check Out the School Districts in the Vicinity

If one of the reasons for your move is the pursuit of good educational institutions for your kids there are plenty of websites that can tell you if you are relocating to a good school district. Visit the National Center for Education Figures website for general information, such as enrollment stats and student/teacher ratio.

Greatschools website provides a more in-depth look at local schools, including parent and student genuine reviews. The website also assigns marks to schools based on student performance.

On the other hand, if pursuing higher education, schedule a tour of the colleges you’re considering after you’ve completed your internet research. Furthermore, some schools can connect you with other parents or students who will be able to address any questions you may have.

Dig Into Crime Stats Before the Move

Nobody really wants to live in a crime-ridden neighborhood. Searching for crime reports in your neighborhood on Google is the simplest way to learn about most local crimes. Search for all types of felonies from petty theft to violent crimes. Only then you’ll have the whole picture about the safety of the location.

Websites like AreaVibes and NeighborhoodWatch can also provide you with additional information. On top of that, you can follow safety tips found on those websites as well as learn about local initiatives to lower current crime rates.

Consider the Commuting Time

It wouldn’t matter how much you love the new home if you can’t get around the area without tearing your hair out. That’s why even before shipping a car to another state, use internet tools such as Google Maps to check the real-time traffic flow along your daily commute route.

Furthermore, most internet maps will also include a feature that displays public transportation routes and stops if you prefer to use them over driving. Visit WalkScore if you’d rather walk. The website assigns a score to each community’s walkability on a scale of one to one hundred. There’s also a bike score and information about public transportation there.

Here Are Some of the Cities With the Shortest Commute Time

One of the most important tips for relocating out of state for people that don’t work remotely is to find the cities with the shortest commute time. To help you speed up the searching process we pulled out the top five locations:

  • Buffalo with 20.3 minutes,
  • Columbus with 21.8 minutes,
  • Hartford with 22.3 minutes,
  • Milwaukee with 22.3 minutes,
  • Las Vegas with 22.5 minutes.

When You Find the One Hire Long Distance Movers and Start Your Adventure

When you are completely sure that you’ve found the perfect place to call home it is time to put the relocation process into motion. Start by calling a long-distance moving company and scheduling cross-country moving services.

With the right long-distance moving services at your disposal you won’t have to worry about packing or car shipping. You can relax and let professional movers handle the grunt work while you are preparing to embrace all that a new area has to offer.

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