There are countless places to live all over the world that offer a bewildering array of climates, business environments, cultural flavors and expense levels. There are many factors to consider when you choose a place to live, including highly personal considerations like proximity to family and friends. There are, however, a few factors that anyone can use to help separate the ideal locations from the also-rans.
Consider whether you can afford the area. If you dream of living in New York City but you just don't have the money, it may not be the right time to live there. This does not mean you will never there, but you may want to increase your income -- or at least come up with some quality job prospects in your new location that are solid enough to pay the bills -- before you make the big move.
Check the area's CPI , or Consumer Price Index. You can find a link to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' regional reporting data in the References section. The CPI can tell you whether your desired destination will cost you more or less than you spend on everyday expenses in your current home. Of course, if you change jobs or careers as you move, your income may rise to a level that can handle a more expensive area.
Check the climate. Visit any new area you are considering before you move there, and make sure you visit at various times of the year. For example, a winter in Florida is much more pleasant than a winter in New York. But a Florida summer can feel like a damp trip to hell. So before you buy a house in the area, you will want to know whether those kinds of conditions are for you.
Look online, where a bit of research could give you a fairly good idea of a region's weather patterns; of its economic makeup and vitality; and of its job market. In addition to poking through the Web, contact the local chamber of commerce in any city that interests you and ask for information packets on the business climate and for a travel and entertainment guide. This can give you a good idea of whether the area holds the kinds of attractions that interest you. That, in turn, can help you decide whether it is at least worth a visit or whether it is best to just give it a pass.
- David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images