The American landscape is changing for several different reasons. Many people move to chase new work opportunities or warmer weather. The former — and, depending on where you go, the latter, too — often bring them to bigger cities. That is especially true for millennials, who are flocking to metropolitan areas across the country.
In spite of this ongoing trend, though, you may not be quite sure if city living is the right option for you, and that’s a fair thought — it doesn’t suit everyone. If you’re weighing a move, here are four ways to help you decide whether to move into the hustle and bustle or to stay outside of it.
1. Consider Your Career
One of your first considerations should be your career path — is it more viable in the city than where you live now? For some professions, the answer will undoubtedly be yes. For instance, the banking industry tends to gravitate toward bigger cities, such as New York or Charlotte, N.C. You might find more opportunity to move up in places like these.
Then, of course, you have career paths better suited for suburban or rural living. A landscaper, for example, will want to live somewhere with plenty of properties to prune, and pavement-covered cityscapes won’t offer as many opportunities to do so. Finally, you might have a career conducive to either environment, which means you’ll probably have to consider other factors to help you decide.
In any case, head online and look at city-based postings for the job you want. See if you qualify and find out how much you can expect to make for the right role. This research will help you in the next step, but it’ll also help you decide if your career is a viable option in the city — you might find you’re better off moving to a metropolitan area for a bigger paycheck and/or better opportunities.
2. Look at Your Financials
It’s no secret living in a city is typically more expensive than the suburbs. So, as you contemplate a move to a more metropolitan area, you’ll have to take a good, hard look at your financial situation to see if you can handle the change.
First, of course, you’ll want to make sure you have enough money to cover the move — including transportation, gas and hotel stays along the way. If you’re moving with a job lined up already, your company might help pay some of the costs, so check with your new boss or HR rep to see if they will help.
Once you’ve paid for your moving expenses, you’ll still have to have the cash to pay for a deposit on an apartment, as well as any essentials you’ll need to make the place livable. City living will probably require you to pay for public transport, too, so factor that into your summation.
Of course, the heightened cost of living tends to bring a corresponding salary boost, so figure out what you’ll be making in your new job in an urban area. In a best-case scenario, you’ll have no problem paying for everything once you get over the hump of covering your move, apartment deposit, etc.
3. Experience City Life
What’s one of the best ways to decide if you want to live in the city? Try it out for a weekend. If you have a friend living in your ideal location, ask to stay for the weekend and immerse yourself in the local way of life.
For starters, you’ll get an idea of what living situations will be like. You’ll hear the sounds of the city, some of which are tens to hundreds of decibels higher than what you’d hear in the ‘burbs. For some, this factor especially is a turn-off — if you appreciate tranquility, bustling city life may not be for you.
However, there are plenty of pros to urban living you cannot find in less populated areas. For starters, there’s much more entertainment and activity available to you in a city. Rather than hitting up the same restaurants or visiting only chain eateries, you can explore a variety of different cuisines from your new metropolitan base.
To that end, cities tend to have more activities, from museums to brewery tours to parks to theater and concerts. Every weekend, you can pick something new to do or see, and you’ll have a hard time getting bored with that.
Keep in mind your city weekend as a visitor will probably be a lot more exciting than daily life as a full-time resident. Think critically about your trip — once the newness wears off, do you think you’ll still like that location? If the answer’s yes, keep a city move on your radar.
4. Make the Right Choice for You
Finally, it’s essential to remember you’re the one who’s considering moving, which means you have to make the right decision. You neither have to give into migrational trends, nor do you have to remain where you are because it’s the path you’re on now. You have the tools to choose the right place for you to chase your dreams — use them, and you’ll be pleased with whatever decision you make. We can’t wait to see where you end up!