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Perusing options is one thing, finding the right place to live is a whole ‘nother. So, how can you choose the city that’s best for you?

Choosing a home is more art than science, though there are factors that can help you narrow down the list to decide what is best for you. Niche is a data platform that recently ranked the best cities to buy a house. They compare everything from financial matters to schools and lifestyle to create their top 20 list, and you too should balance out all the things that factor into the life you want to live.

Here are just a few of the many things you might want to consider if you’re up for the possibility of making a big move.

How to Choose From the Best Cities in America to Buy a House: 6 Things to Consider

  1. The finances, of course! But don’t just think about the cost of living. A low cost of living won’t matter much if you can’t find a job. Before you choose, consider the following: housing prices, cost of living, and job opportunities. It’s also a good idea to take a look at taxes, as those can play a huge part in how much of your paycheck you’ll get to keep and how much you’ll pay to own a home in the first place.
  2. Going back to job opportunities, you’ll also want to make sure there is an abundance of them in your industry. Unless you’re not that attached to the kind of work you do and whom you do it for, do some research to make sure you can get opportunities in your field before you move.
  3. That said, life is about more than just work. Another factor to consider is the lifestyle of each location. If you love water sports, for example, you probably should stay close to a coast. And if snowboarding is your favorite thing, a Southern state might not make you happy. Same goes for the population. Urbanites might want a large population to blend with while rural types would probably prefer more land than people. Examine what each city offers regarding activities, lifestyle, and population to make sure you’ll love the atmosphere as much as the financial and job upsides.
  4. Don’t forget about health, as that’ll factor into where you live too. Even simple things like a change in climate can impact your health, and every city across America has something different to offer regarding the quality of healthcare. Since buying a home is a potentially multi-decade decision, make sure it’s one you can feel good about in sickness and in health.
  5. What about kids? For all the parents reading this list, you already know that school districts matter. Examine the range of school districts in your desired locales and make sure the affordable housing those places offer also come with a school district that matches your needs.
  6. Unfortunately, you can’t consider where to live without thinking about crime. Whether you have a family or not, your safety is important. Check a crime map before you choose to be sure you’ll feel safe and happy wherever you buy.

There’s a lot to consider, to be sure, but remember to have fun with this process as well! Choosing to buy a home in your current city or a new one is an adventure and one that shouldn’t be rushed. Take your time and analyze each factor to be sure you’re making a decision that will help you live the life you’ve been dreaming of.

If you’re house hunting, your credit needs to be in good shape. Get the facts about buying with credit and see if there are errors on your credit report with our FREE tool.