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One of the most important parts of moving is choosing where to transfer. The location of your new home as well as the neighbourhood you will become a part of will greatly determine how you will live your life for the next few years (possibly longer). And so as not to be shocked with the local setting, for your pre-move, it is advisable to study and know your neighbourhood.
The first thing you need to know about is the population type. In simpler terms know thy neighbor. Find out everything you can about the local demographic in area. This includes age range, gender, social economic background, culture, religious beliefs and other important things to know about the people in that area. This will help you to settle in and adapt.
Economic Standing / Unemployment Rate
It’s important for you to transfer to a place that will offer good career opportunities. If you’re an entrepreneur, study the recent economic standing of the area and the business atmosphere. You should also find out if they have local laws that support start-ups. For employment-seekers, knowing the unemployment rate in the town or city is essential.
You’ll need to know if the place is a safe haven for families or a hot zone for various crimes such as theft. With or without kids, this is a must.
Accessibility to Important Services
As early as possible, try to find out where you can avail of important utilities such as gas and electricity, water, phone, internet, etc. You should also make a note of the nearest services like the hospital, dentist, grocery, laundry, gym, and other things that you consider regular (and important) parts of your daily life. Doing this will help you settle in faster.
If you have a car, getting a grip of where the major roads are is important. It’s also good to familiarize yourself with one-way roads and specific traffic rules in your neighbourhood. For commuters, find out what the available modes of transportation are and how much they cost. This will help you in planning your daily budget. (cab, bus, subway, etc.)
What to do:
Here’s how you can do comprehensive research about your new neighbourhood.
If you don’t have enough time on your hands, you can always go to the internet and search for resources about your new city or county. A few helpful websites include:
- http://www.census.gov/ – To get various important data about your locale
- National Center for Education Statistics – To search for schools and universities
- http://www.neighborhoodscout.com – To find out about the local crime rate
- http://www.hopstop.com/ – For transportation guides
The best way to familiarize yourself with your new neighbourhood is to actually visit it ahead of time and as frequently as you can. Talk to the locals and ask around city hall. Drive around town and make mental notes. Immersion is one of the best ways to observe and learn.