When you’re moving across town, you don’t need to tour the city because you’re likely very familiar with the area. But moving to a new city needs a little more research. Even new cities in your same area or region can have very different characteristics.
If you have a choice of places to move to, how do you know which one is best for you? Of course, you can go online and check information like walkability scores, crime statistics, community ratings and more. But stats can’t convey what life is really like in any community.
If you can, it would be helpful to spend some time in the city or town you plan to move to. Even taking part of your vacation time will payoff in you gaining insights that you just can’t get online or by talking to people.
5 Tips for Touring a City You Want to Move To
Of course, before you take the time for an extended visit to your target city, you would have done all the regular research. The following tips are for when you have a short-list of two or three possibilities, or if you want to confirm that your final choice is everything you want it to be.
1. Stay Near Where You Plan to Live
There can be significant difference between neighbourhoods in a town or city. The closer you can stay to your target communities, the better a feel you will get for living there. If possible, even try to get a rental of the same type of housing — detached, condo, townhome — that you intend to move into.
2. Get Around as You Usually Do
Do you commute by bicycle? Use public transit? Drive everywhere? This isn’t a typical vacation, so opt for the same ways of getting around that you use at home. You may get a completely new perspective on the area. If you already have a job lined up, you can even try the morning and afternoon commutes. This is what you’ll be doing every single day. So it’s important to know that it works for you.
3. Do Your Regular Things
If you shop for groceries every week, check local stores and pick one for your weekly shopping. Do the same if you like an evening stroll, or if your children are involved in youth sports. Try to replicate your current routine activities as much as you can. If that’s successful, the transition will be smoother, even if your routine changes after you move.
4. Have a Night on the Town
It could be as simple as a visit to the local movie theatre. Or you might want to catch a local band. Or check out a nice restaurant. However you enjoy treating yourself when you go out for a special evening, give it a try in the new town.
5. Go Out of Bounds
The city limits that is. Your entire life isn’t spent in the confines of your neighbourhood, community or city. So plan a day trip and see check out some nearby ‘things to do.’ It doesn’t have to be far, but it’s just your chance to get a better sense of where you want to live.
Want to find out more about selling your home before you move? Check out our article Questions to Ask Your Realtor When Selling.