How to Decide What US State to Reside For Home Buyers
How To Decide What US State To Reside For Home Buyers Was PUBLISHED On May 27th, 2019
The US is one of the largest countries in the world. If you’ve spent any amount of time in more than one state, you know how different one state is from the next. From dialect to food to the cost of living, each of the United States is unique. This means that you have a lot of options to choose from when deciding where to settle down, but it also means that some places will better suit your needs and desires than others.
So what should you take into account when deciding where to live in the US? The list of things to consider is endless, and what matters most to you is completely subjective. However, we have compiled a list of factors that should never be overlooked when getting ready for your next big move.
1) Cost of Living
Before you get into the nitty-gritty of a particular state’s culture, you need to consider your own budget and do some research. Some states are significantly more expensive than others, and it’s important to know how much you can afford to spend on things like rent or mortgage, food, public transportation, and so forth. One simple way to get a general idea of a state’s cost of living is to look up the available housing that suits your needs. Are the two-bedroom apartments way more per month than the one you’re living in now? Is that something you can comfortably afford, or would you be kissing your entire paycheck goodbye each month?
Typically, you’ll want to make at least three times more per month than your rent or mortgage payment. Don’t forget daily and weekly expenses, like groceries, gas or public transportation fees, any extra bills you may have to pay, and so forth. Plus, it’s always nice to have money leftover to add to your savings account!
2) Job Market
This ties into the question of the cost of living. If your move allows you to stay with the company you already work for, then this is not as much of a concern. However, if you’re going to be looking for a job on arrival, you need to make sure that jobs are available–specifically, jobs that you’re qualified for. Different states have different economies. A rural, farm-based economy, for example, would not be well-suited for a techy, while an industrial economy would not be well-suited for an environmental preservationist. Always make sure that your skills match the market.
3) Weather Conditions
We all know someone that absolutely loves the winter–and someone who thinks 60 degrees means parka-weather. Humans may be adaptable, but that doesn’t mean we have to adjust to weather conditions that make us miserable. If you’re the kind of person who values all four seasons, meaning that you want to see the leaves change in autumn and snowfall in winter, then certain parts of the South are probably not your best choice. If you can’t stand to be cold, certain parts of the North are out of the picture. It’s a huge country, so you truly have the option to take your pick when it comes to climate!
So you’ve found a few states that have the right job market for you. What about your free time? Having available attractions that suit your desires is a crucial factor when it comes to overall happiness. If you grew up near the ocean and love the feeling of sand beneath your toes, you may need to consider how you’ll feel living thousands of miles from the nearest beach if you move to the Midwest. Maybe you love being able to walk to six different bars and dozens of unique restaurants. If that’s the case, living in a major city will probably be your best bet. Never move to a state that simply cannot offer you the sites and sounds that make you feel happy, relaxed, and alive.
Not all states are the same when it comes to available modes of transportation. Daily travel, whether for work or for play, will have a huge impact on your experience. Think about your ideal commute. Are you driving a short distance or several miles? Does traffic grind your gears, or can you handle it with ease? Do you want to ditch your car and start taking a bus everywhere? Would you absolutely love being able to walk to work? Unless these options all sound fine and you’re ready to go with the flow once you get to your new home state, you will need to do some research regarding travel options.
Culture can refer to a lot of different things, so this is a big one. There’s a vast difference between Northern, Southern, Western, and Eastern culture, but even those categories get broken down when you consider individual states. If you love bar-b-que, country music, and rodeos, you’ll probably prefer Texas over, say, Washington. If you value the camaraderie of athletics and a good cheesesteak, Pennsylvania will have you covered. Of course, there’s more to culture than public pastimes and staple foods. There are more serious factors to consider, too, like diversity and political leanings. Experiencing a culture that is totally foreign to you is not inherently negative, but it is for you to decide whether you want to immerse yourself in something new to you or if you feel more at home when surrounded by like-minded people.
Now that you’re thinking about what you need and want from your state of residence, it will be easier to narrow down your best options. We have covered the factors that affect just about everyone, but there may be additional considerations you need to make depending on your individual circumstances. For example, if you’re moving with school-aged children, you will certainly want to include educational opportunities in your research. Just remember, with fifty states, you have tons of options! Take the time to determine the things that are most important to you and do your research before you decide which state to call home.