Moving filter: What and where did you research before choosing to moving somewhere?
August 7, 2007 5:27 PM   Subscribe

Moving filter: What and where did you research before choosing to moving somewhere? What should we look for?

This is our first time to move somewhere that is our choice. I've lived where I grew up, and my wife and I now live where we go to school. We have always lived in the Midwest, and we are really thinking about moving somewhere North, particularly the North West coast (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, etc... not Cali)

But what are important things to look for, and where do I find this information? Such as top 10 cities in a state, etc. Wikipedia provides a good overview of the state, and good info on individual cities. But what all should I be looking for? I'm more concerned with areas of states, rather than super specific city information right now, since I will have to find work first.

But taxes, politics, weather, outdoor activities, etc...

We definitely want something with milder summer temperatures, and we are prepared to deal with harsh winters, but a nice balance would be great. We like living 30 minutes away from a big city. Currently we like in a 15k city, with 200k metro area 20-40 minutes away. Any suggestions?

posted by peripatew to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best Places is an interesting start.
posted by crabintheocean at 5:35 PM on August 7, 2007

Definitely check weather, winter and summer extremes, humidity or dryness. Cloud cover and rain bother some for the northwest. Summer heat and humidity bother me in the northeast.

Also, check cost of housing/living. Check availability of the kind of jobs you want. Check traffic/commuting conditions. Check into cultural conditions; will you accept the kind of people you might find there and will they accept you? Think about what kind of fun you'd want to have there? Is there enough of a cultural life of the kind you'd like?

Googling should help you find out more. But a visit might definitely be in order once you have it narrowed down. Try to get jobs before you move.
posted by DarkForest at 5:38 PM on August 7, 2007

Find Your Spot is another good one. It walks you through TONS of questions that you might not think of initially.
posted by meindee at 5:52 PM on August 7, 2007

While county seems like an antiquated way to define area. You can find most demographic information via county websites. Also, a good realtor should be able to tell you about the good things in an area since they're trying to sell you the area as well as a home.

Also, most people don't realize that while the western side of washington is trees trees trees, the eastern side is a nice warm desert with decent heat, but no humidity. Nothing in the 200k population density however. Spokane (far east side of WA) might have those numbers, but otherwise you're going to be on the western side of the state.
posted by sethwoodworth at 6:16 PM on August 7, 2007

Access to high-speed internet was a big deal for me. If you can get Verizon's FIOS, you will likely be deliriously happy with it.
posted by Malor at 6:54 PM on August 7, 2007

DataPlace will give you information like population, average income, housing prices, and you can compare it to other places, or to where you live now, to get a sense of what it's like vs. what you're used to.

City Data has photos, maps, graphs.
posted by desjardins at 6:57 PM on August 7, 2007

I found the Places Rated Almanac to be invaluable when I planned my cross-country move several years ago. It ranks cities based on nine factors that influence the quality of life (economy, housing, health care, recreation, etc). The most valuable tool in the book for me was the fact that you could weight certain factors as more important when trying to find the best spot for you. For instance, crime rate and education were more important to me than transportation and climate, and I was able to reflect that in my calculations. Good luck!
posted by shannonm at 6:41 PM on August 8, 2007

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