St George, Utah | 435-272-3786

Sep 19 2016

How to Learn About Your New City

If you’re moving to a new city, you might be a little nervous. Not knowing where anything is can be a stressful situation, but if you do your research ahead of time you can learn all there is to know about your new hometown. Using online resources, you can research the following to gain peace of mind about moving to a new city:

Check Neighborhood Databases

There are various online databases that are devoted to collecting and evaluating important information on U.S. cities. Websites like City-Data.com and NeighborhoodScout dig into statistics like cost of living, median income levels, descriptions of area demographics, crime rates and home appreciation values. There are other sites like StreetAdvisor and WalkScore that rate neighborhoods based on popularity and their proximity to stores, schools, coffee shops and parks.

Contact the City

The city itself might be the best source of information. You can contact city hall and ask for new resident resources or visit the official website to learn what’s happening around you. Many cities have online guides for visitors and residents, but city officials can also help you learn how to setup utilities or find the local Internet provider.

Figure out the Commute

It’s important to know what kind of commute length you’ll be dealing with before you move. If you plan to drive to work, look at the traffic overview on Google Maps. This will give you an accurate traffic estimate down to the hour. Those who take public transportation should check the routes and schedules of local public transit. Many transit authorities also have a route planning feature that gives details on getting from one place to another.

View School Reviews

A neighborhood with a good school system is appealing to anyone, even if you don’t have children. Residents who care about schools usually care about the community as well. Learn more about schools in the neighborhood with websites like GreatSchools. These websites publish a guide that ranks local schools on a 1-10 scale, based on standardized test scores, college readiness and student outcome rates.

Research Crime Rates

Crime rates are important statistics to learn about when you move to a new area. Many police departments will publish this information on their official website and if this isn’t available you can probably receive cursory data over the phone. Websites like CrimeReports, Family Watchdog and SpotCrime are great resources that analyze local crime statistics. Use SafeWise if you want to see regular rankings of the safest cities in the country.

Connect Online

If you belong to any professional associations, join the Facebook and LinkedIn groups for their regional chapters. Connecting with others online is a great way to ask for advice and learn more about the city. Forums that provide honest feedback from residents will also be useful, and websites like City-Data or the city subreddit lists on Reddit are a good starting place. Reading residents’ opinions on these pages will give you real insight into what matters to the community. You might even meet new friends this way.

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