Moving can be an exciting opportunity to experience new things, but it’s a good idea to look into some details about your potential new city before calling it home. Many cities have very different price tags—from international capitals such as Prague to London and even between those in the same state such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. So what does cost of living really mean? What else will affect your future if and when you move to a new place? Check out some of the factors you need to consider when comparing city experiences.
Cost of housing
Apartment and home costs can vary significantly, and some cities are friendlier to renters. If you are thinking about buying a home and getting a mortgage in your new location, it’s important to look at what other homes are going for and what they have to offer. (You can calculate how much house you can afford.) Your credit score is a major factor in the interest rate you’ll be approved for on the loan, so be sure to keep an eye on your credit in the months before applying. You can check your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com.
Housing is often the biggest, but not the only, expense you will face in your new city. The price of basic utilities, health care, and even groceries can vary greatly between places. Some goods are also more or less available depending on where you are located. Finally, it’s important to factor in the cost of transportation. Is there public transit? Can you walk to work? Do you need a car? This can make a big difference in your monthly costs.
If you are not relocating for work but for your own reasons, it’s probably important to look into job availability in your potential new city. Some cities are better for job seekers in terms of growth and unemployment rates, but it’s a good idea to take into account your industries of interest. Some cities are hubs for certain industries and may not have a lot of job diversity. It’s important to do your homework so you won’t be unemployed and struggling to adjust for too long.