What to Research About a City or Town Before Living There


Moving to a new city or town is a little daunting. It’s difficult to know what you’ll think about it or how it’ll feel once you’ve arrived. Also, is it an affordable place to live? Are there good opportunities present there, or is the place you’ve had your eye on one to skip? Here are some suggestions on what to research before choosing to move to a new town or city.

Check That There Are Job Opportunities

Before you move, you’ll want to identify the local job market. Look at online job agencies like Reed and in classified ads too. Cast around to see how the job market looks. If there’s a town centre where many companies are situated, how far is it away from affordable housing? Will you need a car or will you need to use local transport to get there, and how long will the commute be?

If it’s a town, sometimes it had a singular industry in decades past but has since reinvented itself. What type of companies are situated there now, and do they match your talents or educational background for related jobs?

How Expensive is the Housing Market?

It’s a good idea to begin your search online with various websites that show listings of local properties on the market. Doing that, it’s possible to get a quick idea about price ranges for different flat sizes, and houses or bungalows.

For example, if you’re interested in South Woodford, then it’s useful to talk with estate agents in South Woodford to get their take on the local market. They’ll know things that you cannot discover with online listings, such as whether large companies are moving into the industrial parks there and if it’s an expanding population or a shrinking one.

Consider the Demographics

Some towns or cities attract a younger crowd, people attending college, and young couples looking to start a family. Other areas skew heavily to an older pre- and post-retiree crowd with an average age over 50. If you don’t know the area and haven’t visited previously, then get a sense of it by looking at local activities promoted in the regional websites online, local newspapers, and by visiting to look around. It will be pretty obvious what the demographic mix is when you spend a day or two wandering about to get a sense of the place.

Schools and High Education

Whilst you may not have a family or children yet, it could happen in the future. In which case, a place that has some decent schools supports that possibility. Even if you’re dead certain about remaining child-free, then higher education at local colleges, polytechnics, or universities may still a possibility. While many courses are now available online, there’s no substitute for meeting with lecturers and teachers in person. For some courses, some class attendance may still be mandatory too. Learn what’s available, so you can keep your future high educational prospects open.

Knowing what to research and how to do it with an unfamiliar town or city is useful. Companies can ask employees to relocate to another part of the country or you may just want a change of scenery. Either way, being able to scope out the area avoids any surprises or inconveniences later.