Recently, the U.S. News and World Report revealed their finding regarding the ranking of U.S. cities showing which are the best for people to settle down. If you are unfamiliar with this list, it is often highly regarded as revealing the best location to live each and every year. What makes the listings so interesting this year, is that the ranking criteria means these are the best places to live even in the midst of a pandemic.
Essentially, if you are interested in moving somewhere new without waiting for the pandemic to end, these places are a great choice. The question is, how do you handle all the other aspects of moving while many businesses are shut down and the ability to find helping hands is diminished?
Below we will take a look at some of the best cities to live in and discuss ways to make moving somewhere new as simple as possible.
The Top Five Places to Live in The U.S. 2020-2021
As the years progress the general home-buying market gets younger. Currently, 1/3 of the home buying market is made up of millennials, which might explain why the best places to live skew toward a more youthful environment. In fact, Colorado really ran away with this year’s list!
The state is flush with modern industries and businesses so if you are moving somewhere new to find an exciting new career, you may find yourself working in a bioscience lab, on the ground floor of an Aerospace startup, or making a rewarding wage at a solar energy company.
So, where are the specific best cities? Take a look at this top 5 list:
- Boulder, Colorado
- Denver, Colorado
- Austin, Texas
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Fort Collins, Colorado
You may have spotted a location anomaly on that list. That’s right, Austin, Texas managed to snag the number three spot of the best overall city to live in 2020/2021. How did it manage such a high score? Well, in contrast to some of the more rural areas in Texas, Austin is an incredibly progressive and art-focused city.
The area is young, inspired, and has one of the higher average annual salaries in the US. The median home price is a little higher than the national average, but the area is flush with fair-priced rental homes in safe and flourishing neighborhoods. Locals to Austin have access to hundreds of interesting amenities like state of the art spas, performing arts classes, highly renowned schools, and much more.
There are other incredible cities on this list if you aren’t keen on making the move to Colorado. You might want to check out #7, Des Moines, IA – a city changing the opinion of this fly-over state by creating an elegant place for families to blossom. You might also be interested in looking at houses for sale in # 12 – Anne Arbor, Michigan. This city has the same high median for annual income as some higher-ranking cities while sporting a much lower average home buying cost. Plus, those who love the outdoors will feel right at home in this city of both rural and urban sites.
If you are interested in moving somewhere new based on your religious beliefs, there are a lot of great options for you’re interested in providing your children with a Catholic education, you should take a look at San Antonio, TX. #41 on the list of best cities to live and also ranked in the top 10 cities for catholic schools and religious education.
No matter what your motivation for moving, there is a city on the list that can work for you! But, once you decide where to go, how can you approach moving day with as little stress as possible? Below is our guide for making your transition smooth and stress-free.
5 Steps for Moving Made Easy
Moving doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Take some time to prepare and suddenly things get a lot simpler. The most important thing is to plan as early as you can and stick to your decisions. Changing your mind about things last minute can throw off the entire strategy.
Step 1: Make Sure Your New Home is Move-In Ready
Whether buying a new home or renting, you want to take the time to ensure the home is truly move-in ready before you spend money to lease moving trucks. Keep in mind that your standards for a home’s weather proofing and security may be skewed by your experience. While a home in Oklahoma might need a great storm shelter, a home in Texas might require hurricane screens or a stable seawall.
The last thing you want is to move into your new home only to find yourself needing to file a water damage insurance claim after the first storm event. Do some research on the types of weather you can expect in your new city, then reach out to your real estate agent or the owner of your new rental property so you can enquire appropriately.
Outside of proper weathering, there may be certain amenities that you want for your own comfort. Some areas tend to have older heating and cooling systems like radiators and window units. If you want to see upgrades to these services before moving in, you should begin pricing HVAC contractors and home ac repair, early. Whether you pay for the upgrades or the previous property owner or landlord pays for the upgrades, researching yourself can ensure the work is done by a reputable service provider.
Also be sure that your real estate agent or the owner of your rental have gone through the proper channels to ensure the house is in good shape. This means they should show you an evaluation by home exterior professionals, pest control services, and an appraiser (if you are buying the home).
Step 2: Secure your New Life’s Amenities
Moving somewhere new is exciting and can often push us into moving too quickly during the relocation process. Fact is, you need to be certain about your new home before you take on the time and financial burden that is moving.
Have you signed a contract for your home that guarantees its availability to you on your move-in date? Have you checked area schools to ensure you are moving your family at the appropriate time? What will you do if your child needs an updated physical to join local sports teams? Do you even know where to get a physical exam for school? These are all questions you should ask yourself before setting your moving date. You might be amazed at how much stress this type of preparation can alleviate.
Do your best to ensure as many things are in writing as you possibly can. This includes your rental agreement, employment contract, storage unit paperwork, and anything else that you depend on once arriving in your new city.
You can also prepare yourself for living in your new city by looking up reviews for establishments like local restaurants, beauty salons, shopping centers, etc.
Step 3: Prepare Your Current Home for Sell/ Return
As much as we might like to, we can’t just up and leave our current home without any repercussions. Moving somewhere new is exciting, but comes with a certain level of responsibility that we must take on.
If you own your home, you need to consider whether you are wanting to sell it or rent it. If you choose to rent out your home, you may need to hire a property manager who can handle the duties of a landlord while you are away. Often, this isn’t particularly lucrative when renting out a single property. However, if you have family or close friends in the area who would be willing to take on the duties for a split of the rental amount, this can become a much more reasonable option.
If you choose to sell your home, you may need to get the ball rolling on making some updates or improvements to your home. Namely, you should seek counsel from residential roofers in your area. Your roof will need to be in good shape before you can sell your home, so getting the evaluation and quotes for repair out of the way early can save you a lot of stress when it comes to closing the sale.
If you are a renter, you can leave your home with far lighter of a tether. However, there are still a few things to consider before moving somewhere new. Take a look at your rental agreement. Are there repairs you are required to make before leaving the home? Some rental agreements may require you to reverse any changes you’ve made to the property in the time you’ve lived there. For instance, if you’ve changed the colors of the walls in your home, you may be required to return all the surfaces to their original color. This can be an annoying process, so save some time by looking into local painters.
Your best option is to make an appointment to bring your landlord to the home and work through a moving checklist. Determine what you are responsible for repairing, replacing, or removing. If you find that your deposit covers the cost of these changes, you can simply leave without looking back. If you would rather make the changes and regain your deposit after moving, you might need to adjust your moving timeline, hire a home cleaning service, or take other steps toward correcting any issues.
Step 4: Pack Smart
If you are moving somewhere new, you may want to consider this the right time to downsize your life. Take inventory of your stuff and determine whether or not it is worth the cost, time, and stress of moving it.
For instance, you may want to keep all the photos you have of your grandparents, but do you need the dirty rug from your kitchen? The ottoman you bought on your honeymoon can definitely make the trip, but how attached are you to the ugly grey couch with the busted springs?
Not all decisions will be so easy, but there is an easy guide to help you decide what stays and what goes. Pick any item, be it a pair of earrings or a car, and ask yourself:
- Can I replace it?
- Do I use this regularly enough to offset the cost of moving it?
- Does it cost more to move this than it does to replace it?
- Will this fit the décor of my new home?
- Does this item bring me happiness when I look at it?
Take a tally of all your answers to get a well-rounded look at the situation. If an item brings you joy, but is expensive to move, can easily be replaced, and doesn’t even fit into your new home décor, it may well be time to let it go.
When you do begin to pack things away, start with your least used rooms first. Otherwise, you will find yourself digging through packed boxes to find items you need again before getting out the door. Put boxes and unneeded furniture into any home storage units you have available and even consider holding a garage sale to earn some extra cash.
Step 5: Prepare Some Rewards and Treats for the Journey
Depending on how far you go, moving somewhere new can be a long and tedious journey. So, gift yourself with a few treats along the way. Make a playlist or two with great road-trip music so you don’t have to focus on finding new radio stations as you pass radio towers.
Be sure to stop every so often to stretch your legs and use the bathroom. You will thank yourself later!
Make a snack box with all your favorite treats and drinks to dip into while on the road, but also let yourself stop eat a decent meal if you get hungry.
If it is a particularly long drive, you may want to mark a few sites to see along the way and stop for a photo op. After all, you may not get another chance to see these places for a long time, so don’t miss out!
Turn Your Daydreams into Reality
Think about your dream city or state to live in. Why not take the leap to turn your wishes into reality? Don’t miss out on creating a home in a place you are proud to live. Take some time to look at rentals, homes, or even a new home builder in the city of your choice. You might find inspiration to take that first step toward moving somewhere new.
Everything is strange right now, we know. You might think that this is no time to make life changes or even think about moving somewhere new. However, if you choose the right location, plan accordingly, and treat yourself well along the way, you can easily take on this or any other life change.