Video:10 Steps to Finding the Best Place to Livewith Jonathan Stewart
Finding the best place to live for you and your family might seem like an impossible task, but it's easier than you think. Here are 10 steps to finding the best place to live.See Transcript
Transcript:10 Steps to Finding the Best Place to Live
There are some incredible places to live in the world, but not every place is the best place for you, your needs, and your preferences. Instead of closing your eyes and dropping your finger on a map, there is a more scientific approach to determining the ideal place to call home.
Consider City Size When Finding the Best Place to Live
Steps one, two and three really go together. Deciding on whether you prefer a big city or a small town is often tied to your concerns about safety and the lifestyle options you desire. For instance, a small town often ranks higher on the safety scale, but it may lack the entertainment and culture that you seek from a big city.
The tradeoff with big city life is that, while it’s packed full of bright lights, dining, culture and nightlife, crime frequency is often greater than those small, idyllic, but quiet towns. Somewhere in the middle is the suburban life, which can blend safety with more abundant lifestyle choices. Amongst the cookie-cutter houses and manicured lawns are parks, restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Yet, cities like Vancouver, Seattle, and San Diego also offer the excitement-vibe within a relatively safe atmosphere.
Think About Personality When Finding the Best Place to Live
Then, you might want to consider this: Are you an outdoorsy type or a homebody? This step is most often connected to the kind of weather or climate you prefer. Some might want to be outside as much as possible, enjoying the green life, the beach life, the snow life or all of the above.
On the other hand, others are quite happy in their natural vegetative state, so weather and outdoor facilities are not important. There are those cities that blend the best of both worlds, such as Denver or Portland. They offer the outdoor lover a wide variety of hiking, biking, and skiing options while others can enjoy the solitude and opportunities to light a fire in the fireplace while curling up with a good book.
Cost of Living A Big Factor in Finding the Best Place to Live
Beyond fun and safety are the practical steps to consider. Whether you are single or have a family to support, knowing that a certain location offers job opportunities in your field is important. You also want to know that the city you are selecting has a cost of living that suits your income and allows for a comfortable lifestyle.
And especially when kids are part of the equation, good schools and healthcare become some of the most important options to consider. In the age of the Internet, sometimes job locale is no longer important. More and more careers are taking on a telecommuting role so it doesn’t matter where you live as long as you can get an Internet connection.
Transportation Can Be Important in Finding the Best Place to Live
Other steps may be more or less important, depending upon your personal preferences. These include transportation -- do take public transport or your bike to work? Are you concerned about gas prices and want to avoid the commute?
You may also be concerned about the political climate because it impacts on the values you hold dear -- for instance, are you liberal or conservative? Do you want to be a part of local politics?
Lastly, many people hold steadfast to a spiritual focus in their life. So, you may wonder, "Are there a variety of churches or temples to enhance my spirituality?"
It's not always necessary to make decisions about each of these steps before starting your research. You might discover answers while exploring online and offline information about cities, including cultural guides, job listings, police and school reports and advice from those in your social circle, which will change your definition of the best place for you. Or you could just move to Southern California. I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.