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Living in the city comes with its share of advantages.
Plentiful options for retail, dining, and attractions are at your fingertips. Public transportation is readily accessible too, and of course, you can walk to virtually any destination. From diverse cultures to vibrant nightlife, urban areas offer something for everyone. But as with any location, city life has its drawbacks, too. For example, the cost of living can be astronomical, the noise may be bothersome, and crime rates tend to be higher than in suburban areas.
Is urban living on your radar? If so, here are five important questions to consider before you begin packing your bags.
- Can you afford it? Start by researching the cost of living in your new city and seeing how it compares to your current location. Housing tends to be the biggest monthly expense, so get an idea of what the rent or the mortgage will cost. Make sure you investigate state and local taxes, too. In particular, check the potential income tax, sales tax, property tax, and any local tax quirks so you won’t run into unpleasant financial surprises at tax time. You’ll need to establish a moving budget, as well, that includes all the costs of getting you and your belongings to your destination, along with the costs of settling into your new home. And of course, getting into a new house or apartment also comes with up-front expenses that you should plan for, such as application fees and security deposits. An emergency fund is important for everyone, but it’s essential when you’re moving somewhere new. The process tends to come with all kinds of unexpected costs and the only way to be ready for them is to have some money saved. Three to six months’ worth of living expenses is the standard recommendation but when you’re moving to the city, it‘s wise to err on the side of caution and go with the high end.
- What will your job look like in the future? With many companies implementing work from home policies, flexible work experiences have become the norm. Proximity to the office may no longer be necessary. If you’re contemplating a move, start by checking with your employer to understand what remote work may look like for your position in the months and years to come. Do they anticipate having a long-term remote work policy or will office activities eventually resume as usual? Will you need to come in on a semi-regular basis, such as weekly or monthly? Will your role, responsibilities, or compensation change if you opt to be fully remote? Have this conversation early on so you’ll know what’s expected down the road. This information can help guide your decision about where to move.
- How much privacy do you need? Seclusion is easy to find in rural and suburban settings but it’s hard to come by in the city. By definition, the urban lifestyle necessitates residing in a crowded metropolitan area. The buildings are close together, available space is lacking, and things are always bustling, even at night. If you’re the type of person who relishes peace and quiet, city life may not be the right choice for you.
- Are you OK with downsizing? Whether owning or renting, you can expect to have a smaller living space in your new city residence. Even if you think you can afford a larger place, you’ll need to consider how it will affect your cost of living as a whole. A larger home means bigger bills, and it could very well be a better option to stick with smaller living quarters initially. Plan to go through your possessions and decide which items you’ll take and which ones you’ll toss, donate, or put in storage.
- How long do you plan to stay there? Perhaps you just want to try city life for a bit or maybe you’re envisioning living there through your senior years. The idea is not to necessarily have an answer to this question but to consider it before making your move. Time is valuable, so make the most of it. The beauty of life is that plans can always change, but having a tentative arrangement in mind is a smart way to go.
Living in a big city has plenty of advantages but it also comes with some significant negatives.
Take time to conduct your research and weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s really right for you. The key questions outlined above can help you better understand your priorities and make the best choice for your unique situation.
The Certified Title team is here to offer helpful insights and valuable resources that enhance all types of residential and commercial real estate transactions. To make your next move its most successful, please contact our knowledgeable professionals.
About Certified Title Corporation: Since 1994, attorney-owned Certified Title Corporation has been furnishing residential and commercial real estate stakeholders across the nation with robust title insurance, settlement, and escrow services. Renowned for industry-leading reliability and an exemplary level of service and quality, the Maryland-based company helps clients from all walks of life achieve their asset goals. To learn more, call (888)486-5511 or visit https://www.certifiedtitlecorp.com/.