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Roommates.com's Guide To Choosing The Right City For You

By Roommates.com, on 07/09/2021

Picking a new city to relocate to can seem like an overwhelming task. You have many considerations to make, from the cost of living and employment opportunities to the weather conditions throughout the year. Fortunately, the United States has many great options, no matter your preferences.

While looking for the best city for you, one thing you shouldn't do is miss out on in-depth research. Proper research can prevent that dreaded feeling like you made the wrong choice when moving to a new city. In this article, we will be breaking down what to look for in a city and some examples of excellent destinations. 

 

Cost of Living 

When making a move to a new city, one of the most important things to consider is the cost of living. Feeling financially secure and living a comfortable lifestyle within your budget should be a top priority. When budgeting, the most significant expenses you will have are your monthly rent and utilities. 

In major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicagoyour rent payments will be some of the highest in the country. Living with roommates is a great way to experience these popular cities while saving more money each month. Everyone's budget will be different, but there are cities that offer both affordable housing and vibrant city life. 

Some cities that have affordable rent prices are: 

  • Columbus, OH: Median Monthly Rent of $1,007
  • Bakersfield, CA: Median Monthly Rent of $1,071
  • Grand Rapids, MI: Median Monthly Rent of $1,106
  • San Antonio, TX: Median Monthly Rent of $1,200 

Along with your rent prices, the next highest expense will be transportation. If you live in a metropolitan area like New York City, the public transportation system will take you throughout the city. However, if you live in a more spread-out city like Los Angeles, you will need to factor in owning a car as well.

 

Employment Opportunities and Salaries 

The cost of living and the average salaries of a city should grow alongside one another. Employers offer higher wages to help employees manage the higher cost of living in these areas. While many of the average salaries in large cities look attractive, you should research deeper to understand the full story. 

Checking the average salary growth and price growth of a city will help you understand if your salary will decrease in buying power over time. If the average salary in a city is rising 4% each year, but the housing prices rise drastically at 9%, you may have trouble keeping up with living costs. Along with the average salaries, you should research the future job potential of the city. In up-and-coming cities like Charlotte, NC—the job growth is showing great potential at a 45.2% increase over ten years. If you don't have job prospects lined up in another city, take some time to research which cities have job growth in your industry.


Entertainment and Amenities

As you continue your search, there is more to a city than just its career opportunities and average salaries. Cities attract people from around the world because of their exciting and lively atmospheres. People want to find others with similar passions and hobbies that they can connect with. 

When people think of entertainment, they usually think of nightlife, social events, or outdoor recreation. Whether you are looking to party all night until the sun rises or want to explore the various museums, you should put some importance into a city's entertainment. You will have a much more well-rounded experience if you can find things you enjoy doing easily. 

The amenities of a city are another reason why many people are attracted to the city lifestyle. Having everything you need within a short distance is convenient and lets you get things done quickly. Every person will have different opinions on which amenities are most important to them. 

For example, you could value having excellent public transportation options over living near outdoor parks. Whatever your preferences, build a list of well-known cities for the amenities that you think are essential. While a city may not offer every amenity that you enjoy, choose one with the majority of them.  

 

Crime Rates

Unfortunately, crime is not fully unavoidable wherever you go in the United States. There will always be some level of crime in a city, with some being worse than others. While doing your research, take some time to go through the average crime rates and then research the difference by neighborhood. 

Some rent prices can be extremely attractive online, but they can come with a dangerous neighborhood that can make you feel unsafe. Do some research into which category of crime is more prevalent in the areas. If a city sees a high level of violent crime, this can be a big sign you may need to switch your focus to another neighborhood or city. 

 

Weather 

While this may seem like it should be an afterthought, the weather conditions of a city can make a huge difference in your experience. Everyone has different preferences for the type of weather they enjoy. Some people like the year-round warm weather and sunshine of cities like Miami, FL or Phoenix, AZ.

However, others enjoy going through the four seasons throughout the year and can handle colder climates. Some cities that are known for their frigid climates are Chicago, IL and Boston, MA. When searching for cities, narrow down your selection of the cities with the weather you enjoy the most.

Conclusion 

There are several factors that go into making a decision on what city is best for you. The weather, job prospects, and crime rate are just a few of the main things to consider. While researching online is important, nothing beats visiting the city yourself and seeing everything it has to offer. Who knows, you may instantly fall in love with a city during your next trip. Along with helping you with the financial burden, a roommate can be someone you can explore a new city with. If you are looking for a roommate, use Roommates.com to find your perfect roommate match!