Even if you’ve moved a lot, changing locations is always full of uncertainty

If it’s any consolation for those making a move to another city, it’s a lot easier to learn more about your new community than it used to be. Previously, just about the only place you could get info about where you’re going to live is through work colleagues if you were moving due to a job relocation, or friends and family if you were moving to a preferred location.

Today, you can use the web to quickly get way more information than a coworker or cousin ever could give you. The web makes it possible for you to learn just about anything about your new home, except maybe what it’s actually like to live there. From seeing your potential morning commute in pictures, to finding out local crime stats and livability ratings, you can find it all on the web. That is at least if you know where to look.

Here are just a few of the ways you can learn more about the new neighbourhood, community and city that you’ll soon call home.

1. Visit the City’s Website

A good place to start is to get more information from your new city itself. Many city’s websites have new resident guides. You will also find phone numbers and email addresses to municipal representatives who can answer questions about details like property taxes, utility costs and payments and even which days you should set out the recycling.

2. Look for Neighbourhood Databases

Staring with the city’s site, look for information by neighbourhood, including demographics, crime stats and income levels. You can also get community-related info from realtor websites, including things like property values and walkability statistics.

3. Checkout Your Neighbourhood, Commute and Local Services

Google Maps is a great tool for taking a look at lots of things you might want to see in your new town, from your new home, condo or apartment building, to your immediate neighbours, your nearby shopping, schools and community services, and even your commute. To ‘see’ your commute, simply enter your home address or starting point, and your work address and ‘get directions’. When you click on each written instruction in the directions results, it will show you a street view of that point in the commute. You can always just click and drag Google’s yellow ‘streetview man’ to any point along the commute to see that spot.

4. Hangout on Social Media

If you want to get an idea of the ‘word on the street’, check things out on Facebook, Twitter or your preferred social media. Many neighbourhood associations have Facebook pages where you can read comments from your soon-to-be neighbours. Searching your city, community or even street name on platforms like Twitter and Instagram can offer up other localized information that you won’t find elsewhere.

5. Check School Reviews

Especially for elementary and secondary schools, their ratings can also be a reflection of the neighbourhoods around them. That makes school reviews useful even if you don’t have school-aged children. Good schools are generally located in more highly-regarded neighbourhoods. These can be places you might want to live, because of their reputation, or places you might want to avoid, because of higher property values.

Once you start researching the place you’re planning to move to, you’ll find lots of other sources of information. And once you’re ready to move, give us a call! We’re here to help.

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