Whether you’re moving to a neighbouring city or across the world, there are many factors you’ll want to consider when relocating. Finding the perfect spot for you and your family can seem overwhelming!
The best place to start is with a list of priorities – consider what you want right now and look to the future to see if that may change. Start with the end in mind – where do you picture yourself?
What to Consider When Relocating
The most critical factors will vary from person to person, depending on your situation and reasons for relocating. Here are some general factors you may want to consider.
1. Your Ideal Environment
When we move, we often picture our perfect home (which we can help you find!), but before you find the house, you’ll need to find the town right for you. Are you and your family nature lovers who enjoy the peace and quiet of a rural setting? Or would you rather be in a more urban environment with every amenity close at hand?
Are you a sun-seeker or love the cold and snow? Weather can be a crucial factor in deciding where to live. If you’re relocating because it’s time to retire, maybe a warm and sunny spot will be high on your list of priorities. Be sure to research the weather reports and average temperatures in the areas you’re considering.
A town’s walkability score shows how easy it is to get around on foot and how many amenities are within walking distance. Maybe you want to walk your kids to school, wander a beautiful downtown, or be able to walk to work. Knowing the walkability score can give you an idea of the town’s layout and how easy it is to get around.
4. The Vibe
Are you looking for a small-town charm or a bustling downtown? Do you want the anonymity and amenities of a large city, or would you rather live on a quiet suburban street where everyone knows your name? Each city, town, and neighbourhood have their own feel. Knowing what you prefer can help you narrow down your options.
When looking at affordability, look at house prices, local tax rates, and cost of living expenses.
Some cities are more affordable than others. And within those cities, there can be a significant difference between neighbourhoods.
6. Like-Minded People
If you’re relocating somewhere new where you won’t know anyone, finding like-minded people who share your beliefs, hobbies, and interests, will make settling in much easier. When researching potential towns, look at the amenities in the area that might attract the types of people you have something in common with. Joining a town’s online group can give you insights into what residents are talking about.
7. Access to a Support Network
Another factor to consider when relocating is how far you want to be from family and friends. Having a support network close at hand (particularly for seniors or those with young children) can significantly impact your quality of life.
If you have school-aged children (or are planning a family), the quality of schools in your area is another main factor to consider when planning a move—search websites such as The Fraser Institute for school rankings. (But keep in mind, these don’t always paint the whole picture, and ideally, you’ll want to visit the school or ask people in the neighbourhood).
9. Culture and Entertainment
What do you love to do? Your perfect place will be close to all your favourites. Knowing what entertainment options are nearby (particularly if you’re an active family) can help you narrow down your choices.
10. Employment Opportunities
If you’re moving for work, this may already be decided for you, but if you’re relocating and seeking employment, you’ll want to know what’s around. Scope the local job market, income potential, and commuting options in the area.
Questions to Answer When Relocating
What will your moving process be?
Logistics can play a significant role in relocating (especially if you’re going halfway around the world). Consider how easy it will be to move your belongings – do you have a lot of irreplaceable treasures that need to come along for the ride, or can you pretty much start fresh? How will you get you, your belongings, and your family to your new life?
What kind of house should you choose?
If you are relocating across the world (or country), you may want to consider renting before you buy to make sure you want to put down roots in your current town. But once you’re confident, purchasing a home is the way to go! So which type of house is right for you? A classic family home is perfect for suburban living, but a condo with limited maintenance might also be a great option. Look to see which types of houses are available in the area you’re choosing – this may play a role in the town or city you choose.
Are you moving with your family?
Family moves mean you’ll have to consider a lot more needs and wants (and possibly, some compromises). Ask yourself if the move makes sense for everyone and what amenities will be essential to family members.
Where to find answers when relocating
- City and town websites as well as welcome centres
- Realtors (they know their areas well and can give you a breakdown of neighbourhoods)
- Online research seeking town, city, and neighbourhood guides
- Social media groups and pages for local highlights
- The Fraser Institute for school rankings
- Community groups
- Employment/job posting websites
- Religious groups
- Review forums (like Trip Advisor, which can give insights into local attractions)
- Your professional and personal networks (you might have a contact in your prospective city!)
- Government statistic websites
The list of factors to consider when relocating will vary for each person. It’s always a great idea to start with a home buyer’s checklist of your needs and wants and then prioritize what is most important to you and your family. With a little bit of research and exploration, you’re sure to find your next perfect place!
We’re here to help!
Check out our community guides if you’re considering moving to the West GTA.