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Where Do I Move?

Aug 17, 2007
For some the question of "Where do I move?" may seem a little bizarre, for others it may incur fear, stress, and restlessness of the unknown. It is assumed that every five years 17% of the population will move house. To some of those the likelihood of moving to a new city or perhaps country may be a bigger reality than expected. Your spouse may be offered that once in a lifetime career development opportunity or your elderly parents may need the comfort of family closer to home.

It doesn't matter what your reason, the shear reality for some of us is we will make a move that is potentially out of our comfort zone. We live our life in an environment we have either grown up in or become accustomed to, having friends, family, shops & schools to name a few of the creature comforts. Regardless of the reasoning we do not realise what we have until we decide to relocate.

More importantly what do we consider when we are looking for a new home or area in which to live? If you do not have access to some good local knowledge at your new destination here are some ideas to help you make a more informed decision, certainly your criteria could be unlimited, so let's highlight some key considerations for now rather than after moving.

A common question I enjoy the banter of is "Which side of town do I live, Northside, Southside etc?" The answer is obvious if you live on the Southside guess what the answer will be.

Here are some things to consider:

Future urban development. Can you expect a new industrial or commercial park development as your next door neighbour, or is the local council, county or municipality proactive in future growth of the area, and how they intend to cater for an increased population

Property Values growth or decline obviously in a fast growing area may be positioned favourably to local services, public transport, or ocean views for example. A decline may represent a saturation of new homes & not necessarily because a new highway is being built right through the middle.

A Population increase or if a decrease may be indicative of an area in decline of employment opportunities which may experience a reduction in available services in the future.

Community services be it health clinics, shopping centres, banks are normally a good sign of stable future development, as some of these service providers will not have a presence in an area if it is not viable.

Crime rate this can be sourced from either the government statistics reporting agency or consider contacting the local Police station.

Owner occupier versus investment owned homes. Whilst this is not always a benchmark of comparing those in the community, as people can be nice whether they rent or own a property. It is assumed that if the investment ownership exceeds the owner occupier then that may have some cause for further investigation. Also consider apartment versus housing ratio as one may impact on the others future capital growth. If you contact either the Real Estate Institute or governing body in the respective state they generally have this information readily available or can be asked for.

Schools in areas can be summarised in benefits if you visit the government education department web site from there look at the schools population their academic achievements. At this point you can drill down further on what each school has to offer by visiting their web site sourced from the education department listing. You may be able to condense your search to a region or post code.

P&C Parent & Citizens or Parent & Friends meetings at local schools is a good gauge for those wanting to place their child into a specific school, one can get a feel for how compassionate or proactive a school is by the support they receive from members of the community and the teaching staff.

Playgroups or early childhood learning centres is a great way to establish new friends in a community if you have a young family, & in both cases there is normally an association or governing body that can suggest a centre or gathering place in your local area.

Sporting & recreation clubs or Associations are a great way to meet new people; you may even find or easily establish an expatriates club for people from your region or get involved in the local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club.

Starting a new business, look at what is being offered in the area, do not be afraid of competitors you may be able to do it better & still win them over. Like any new business do your homework to determine if the market can support your new idea, demographic surveys are available from local municipalities or government reporting agencies.

Parks & gardens whilst not essential will provide an outlet or escape if your new surroundings appear daunting, not to mention if you have children they can be a form of energy release to make your new home more relaxed & comfortable.

Some people may be attracted to a pristine environment although cannot afford the lifestyle or may be limited by employment opportunities in their speciality. There are plenty of good internet resources when investigating Real Estate values be it for lease or to buy, along with online employment advertising. If you have a selected skill set yet the new location is saturated with people who perform the same role, consider your available options.

Before deciding on your new chosen location what is the traffic like or activity at selected times of the day, particularly if you are opposed to sitting in a traffic jam or are accustomed to regular reliable public transport. If getting from home to your place of work is a problem be mindful of how that will affect your attitude or work life balance. You may find it distressing travelling for long periods of time or it may give you the opportunity to unwind; either way if you are spending a lot of time travelling, consider the implications. There may be no benefit of living in that pristine environment if your work commitments do not allow you time to enjoy it.

The most important thing when moving to a new location is to have fun & enjoy it. You will get exactly what you want if you have the right attitude & a clear expectation of your desires, you have a greater chance of succeeding.

What ever you decide, make your new house home sooner naturally & easily.

Happy moving!
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