Chris Bigelow

Disparate thoughts and musings…

3 Web Sites to Consult When Considering Relocation

moving-vanAccording to one blog, some 35 to 39 million (12%-14%) Americans move to new homes each year. Of those, about 4.7 million people move to different states each year. Relocating to a different state can be an intimidating proposition, for dozens of reasons. Today I’ll review some of the financial implications and some handy tools available on the internet to help you make an informed decision.

From a financial perspective, the two key things to think about are the differences in salary and cost of living between two areas. There are lots of salary data web sites that will provide data on what a particular job pays on average in a particular area. Note that there can be significant highs/lows either side of this average.

Avon-Whitsett ComparoOne great web site I have used to compare cost of living between two areas is Sperling’s BestPlaces. While providing a wealth of other information, this site let’s you compare the cost of living between where you live now and where you are considering moving to. Click on the “Cost of Living” tab and follow the prompts. This tool will tell you how much more (or less) expensive your destination city is, what the major driver is in the cost difference, and a table comparing a number of cost of living indexes between the two locations. Sperling’s also has data on schools, crime, and climate.

Another useful web site is City-Data. This site aggregates demographic, weather, census, and other data in one easy to use interface. Type in a potential relocation spot and you can find out just about anything about it. While City-Data does not have the direct cost of living comparison option that Sperling’s does, they have reams of data and a terrific, user supported forums section where you can ask questions or read previous questions/answers about a particular city or town. I’ve found the forums to be invaluable.

Browns Summit schoolsWhile salary and cost of living are key pieces of information to have when considering relocation, another critical factor for those with children is the quality of education available. If you need more education info than the two previously mentioned sites provide, I recommend that you check out Great Schools. One nice feature of this site is that it will compare the schools in your target city with others in surrounding cities to help you figure out which one(s) is (are) best.

Relocation might be stressful, but these tools will help you objectively evaluate your options and aid you in making the best choice for you and your family.

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4 Comments»

  Chris Bigelow wrote @

A fourth web site that’s worth a look is http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/9.html. They have tax information for all 50 states which can help you evaluate the tax implications of a move. Real estate listings for a particualr area can also be helpful in determining typical property taxes and housing costs.

  Dorothy wrote @

Hi Chris,

Nice work as always. Especially your point on the averages these salary sites supply. I’ve had people want $20k more than the job was paying or budgeted for (and much more than they made) because their research on these sites told them so. Being realistic is key.

Another tip: Make sure everyone in your family is supportive of the decision to move.

I liked the taxfoundation.org site-didn’t know about that one. As a Recruiter I also like Homefair.com as well as Salary.com.

See you soon,

Dorothyisclicking.wordpress.com

  Chris Bigelow wrote @

Another one a recruiter told me about is http://www.recruiterrelocation.com/. I’ve glanced at it but don’t know it well.

  Michele Heine wrote @

Chris

Some very useful information. I’m not planning on moving anytime soon but if I know of people who are, I’ll refer them to your blog as a good place to start.
Michele


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