How to Find the Best Place to Live in the US (2021 Edition)

How to Find the Best Place to Live in the US (2021 Edition)

by Mohit 3 November 2021

Neighborhood Moving Guides

How to Find the Best Place to Live in US (2021 Edition)

Relocating or finding a new house is not easy, especially when you have a plethora of options to choose from.

The hassle of finding the best places to live is doubled when you are up against a deadline of vacating your rented accommodation or relocating before joining a new job.

Second-guessing your ideal location among the places to live in the US will not help.

Whether you are a freelancer looking for some of the best places to live in the US to work remotely or planning an ideal location to settle with your family, the house-hunting decisions must be considered carefully to avoid unfortunate repercussions in the future.

Factors to consider while finding your next home

Choosing where you want to live may set the course for all future decisions. That is why you must not ignore important factors like affordability, employment opportunities, climate, infrastructure, safety concerns, and more.

Among the many places to live in America, there will be some that will tug at your heart for their facilities or mesmerizing beauty, while others will be included simply to avail business and employment opportunities.

So… where to live in USA?

Consider these factors and find a perfect place for your new home.

  • Budget-friendly

Budget-friendly | places to live in US

The maxim “a penny saved is a penny earned” still holds true when it comes to saving money on rent or trying to create wealth through adequate savings.

Wealth has a huge bearing on one’s quality of life, which is why you must be careful about how much you spend or if your expense is worthwhile.

The first criterion while finding your next home should be to list the affordable places to live in the United States before zeroing on the place where you would like to relocate to.

Check for expenses like housing, health, and daily living costs, including groceries, transportation, etc. These factors decide the affordability of the place.

  • Rent or purchase

Rent or purchase | places to live in US

Prior to the cost of living, it is the housing budget that must be given due consideration. Therefore, before allocating a budget for housing, it would be worthwhile to compare the rent of housing at different localities and the home buying costs at the available mortgage rates.

Some of the best places to live in the United States may cost you your lifetime worth of savings, while others may just pinch your wallet a bit. In some places, renting your accommodation may be a better option than purchasing it.

  • Quality of neighborhood

Quality of neighborhood | places to live in US

It pays to live in a diverse community. However, you must find out about the socio-demography of the region before planning to shift there.

While it does not make sense to generalize an entire neighborhood based on a particular set of experiences, reading about your community from news or incidents pertaining to a particular area will help you assess the people you will be sharing your neighborhood with.

For example, if you are someone who prefers complete solitude or non-interference from neighbors, living amongst urban elders will help.

For those in love with Bohemian rhapsody, living in a neighborhood full of unconventional people who refuse to conform to a particular set of ideas may fuel your passion for a style that can be best described as offbeat.

  • Tax burden

Tax burden | places to live in US

You cannot escape the tax burden in its entirety though shifting to the right place can lessen your tax burden.

If you are looking to save money on taxes, you will surely find the perfect neighborhood in places like Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon that do not charge sales tax.

Other states that have waived off income taxes or charge negligible tax include Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Besides these taxes, you must also consider other levies such as property taxes, school taxes, gasoline taxes, and business taxes and fees that can increase or lower your expenses depending on where you live and how much you pay.

  • Earning opportunities

Earning opportunities | places to live in US

Some places present themselves as ideal for small businesses with good opportunities and a scope of earning on a regular basis.

Other places are well connected and established for large businesses to set up their corporate houses, thus, creating enough employment opportunities for young professionals.

High school students also get a chance to learn from internship opportunities or part-time jobs that add to their experience in their resumes.

For many, lucrative employment has nothing to do with location. Yet they choose to live in these places where they can find a serviceable workspace, strong internet connection, and reliable laptop wherein they can meet their clients frequently or avail more opportunities to work from home.

Income levels vary between states, and so it makes sense to live in a state with more earning potential.

  • Value for money

Value for money | places to live in US

Where to live in the USA is a common question that many ask while assessing the properties’ real estate value.

The US real estate market has fluctuated immensely in the past few years, resulting in buyers focusing on home prices and short-term price trends of properties.

While considering relocation, you may want to know how long the property has been up for sale or rent or if there is enough potential for the property’s price to increase in the near future.

  • Safety concerns

Safety concerns | places to live in US

Crime happens, but that does not mean that you would not mind living in a high-crime area. Safety concerns matter while choosing a neighborhood, especially if you have kids.

Find out from municipal or state resources about the crime rates of a particular area or the most recent crime statistics affecting the neighborhood, town, or city.

Every state manages a database that you can use to assess city-wide crime reports, the nature and frequency of the crimes, and relevant police action taken to curb them.

You must opt for a neighborhood that has had a record of long-term stability as opposed to areas that look posh but continue to be riddled with crimes and gun violence.

  • Infrastructure

Infrastructure | places to live in US

While finding the best places to live, you surely would not like to touch base with family and friends. That is why you must find your next home in a city or town that is in proximity to your loved ones.

Infrastructural support is important so that you may drive across roads and state highways to meet your loved ones during the holidays.

Besides, a change of place or a sudden decision to go on a picnic is possible only if your city is well connected to others or has well-planned interconnected streets.

  • Weather conditions

Weather conditions | places to live in US

When finding your property among the places to live in America, check for the climatic conditions in that city or town.

Climate has a determining factor on one’s quality of living. If you enjoy ice sports or frolicking in the snow, choose a place that remains under the spell of winter for more months.

For those who love to bathe in the sun, a city with a warm climate suits best. If you prefer beaches to the slopes and hills, prefer living in areas near the Sun Belt to avail the benefits of warm weather.

Climate impacts our daily habits and mental conditions, also affecting our hobbies and choosing what we want to wear.

Even employment opportunities largely depend on climate as corporate houses shirk away from the idea of having their offices in areas prone to cyclones, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

The effect on local cuisine is evident as food habits for those acclimatized to the cold are different from those living in warm weather conditions.

  • Schooling

School for kids | places to live in US

The value of quality education cannot be underestimated. Young couples and families with children take into account the local education system before deciding where to live in the USA.

Suppose you are unsure of the quality of schools in the locality. In that case, you can always use several online resources to evaluate the quality of schools in your town, city, or neighborhood.

You may also choose from places to live in the United States with robust and acclaimed state and municipal school programs where you can enroll your child in some of the best schools in the area.

Alternatively, you can shift to districts that are renowned for reputed schooling and educational opportunities.

  • Lifestyle

Lifestyle | places to live in US

What kind of lifestyle you prefer is a deciding factor when it comes to selecting the best places to live in the US.

You may be more inclined to visit bars, hotels, museums, restaurants, music venues, or football stadiums that would require you to live in big cities where you will find these entertainment opportunities galore.

Small city people have their own sweet way of passing time that includes joining laughter clubs, playing pool or jogging in parks, etc.

Others enjoy a quiet lifestyle while enjoying outdoor activities like camping, hunting, raising livestock, or spending maximum time in open spaces.

And there are some who crave both the hip and fast lifestyle in the cities along with the rustic way of living in rural areas.

Choosing a place accordingly that allows you to live at the city’s pace while trotting to nearby rural areas during the weekends will help. This way you will benefit from the cultural opportunities available in cities while being able to visit villages too.

  • Public transportation

Public transportation | places to live in US

Some of the best places to live in the US boast less commute time and more public transportation options.

The recent changes in workplace rules have allowed more people to work from home, thus, prompting many to move from the bustling cities to semi-urban or rural areas where there is more peace and greater scope to accommodate traditional activities.

While housing prices are high in urban cities and their surrounding suburbs, the benefit of public transportation for daily commuters cannot be denied.

Though the public transportation system in the US may not be at par with European counterparts, traveling by road continues to be among the most preferred option among daily commuters.

Since not everyone may work from home or have the leverage to drive to their offices every day, settling down for a place that has ample public transportation opportunities helps.

However, this is different for those willing to settle down in far-off regions while managing regular commute when required. The stand-off between comparatively affordable housing in outlying cities and employment in the core urban areas continues.

  • Tummy delights

Foods | places to live in US

Taking care of food options is one major factor, especially if you do not have access to a home garden where you can grow your vegetables.

This is also true for those disinclined to grow their vegetables or more keen to purchase their daily groceries from the local market.

Access to fresh produce is a major drawback of living in rural areas. Those living in the suburbs often complain of having to drive to the nearest grocery store bordering the next city or town.

While trying to find the best places to live in the US, checking for grocery delivery services is important as low demand often underlines poor logistics involved in delivering groceries to your door. You may either choose to shift to an urban area where you will find many grocery stores within your vicinity or order them online to be delivered at your doorstep.

  • Personal Preference

Personal preference | places to live in US

Some people love to live an anonymous life as opposed to being exposed to the glare of city light. If you love the daily hustle and bustle that city life gives, make sure that you find your next best place to live in a big city.

However, if the city charm affects your sanity and you prefer to be at peace with nature and your surroundings, a distant town, city, or village must be your next housing destination.

Suburban communities are big enough to disguise yourself as incognito while being close-knit enough to mix with neighbors and people living in your vicinity.

  • Healthcare facilities

Healthcare facilities | places to live in US

Think of living in a city where you have to travel miles to get access to necessary healthcare facilities. Scary, isn’t it?

Proper healthcare is a right and not a luxury that must be limited to big cities only. Yet, rural or suburban areas are bereft of this benefit as most people find it difficult to avail of affordable, high-quality healthcare as promised.

Shifting to a city would serve you best if you have small children or aged parents living with you as they are more prone to illnesses and may need treatment frequently.

There are small towns and cities well equipped with good hospitals and research centers. Know about the number and quality of hospitals in a particular area before shifting to that place.

  • Proximity to airport

Proximity to airport | places to live in US

If you are a frequent traveler, living in proximity to the airport will help you a lot.

Depending on the nature and frequency of your travel, you may like to shift to a city reputed for having big, international airports or small cities that provide regular domestic flights to both big and small cities.

Also, check if the city you wish to shift in has airports marred with frequent weather-related delays or cancellations, as these can hamper your travel plans. Note down the time and expense it takes getting to and from the nearest airport.

Additionally, you must check for parking spaces at the airport if you prefer to take your personal vehicle to the airport.

  • Unforeseen restrictions

Unforeseen restrictions | places to live in US

If you love pets and intend to add more to your brood, considering weird restrictions subject to some areas may be worthwhile to note.

For example, residential colonies in some cities have only a one-dog limit while you may have more than one.

There are cities in the US known for their bizarre driving laws, thus, mandating you to know more about them before you consider shifting to that place.

Before you decide to buy or take a house on rent in a particular city, carefully read the tenant’s rights in the rent agreement apart from being well-versed in the town’s laws.

The stress before the move

Irrespective of where you want to live in the United States, there is the burden of finding the best city or town locality, be it temporary or permanent accommodation.

Moving across towns or cities that are far off may involve a lot of stress, unwanted travel, and logistical complications.

In general, where to live in the USA depends entirely on your need and the availability of the place for living. Adequate understanding can make the decision less daunting and painful.

If you are still not sure where to live in the United States, try our search engine. Based on your needs, find the best places to live in America from scores of locations in our proprietary discovery engine and pick the one that fits in squarely with your requirements. You can even compare different suburbs and see which one best check the boxes.

Try our neighborhood search engine here.

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