You know it’s time for a change. You have all the symptoms of being ready to leave town, including jealousy of people who live in other places.

That said, deciding where to live is another matter.

Knowing you’re tired of your current address is progress, but you need to make another decision before you start calling movers. Read on for five factors to consider when asking yourself, “Where should I live?”

1. The Job Market

You can dream of living in a country home surrounded by goats, but where are you going to work? Unless you’re self-employed or can work remotely, you need to move to a place with a good job market.

The job market should match your skills too. If you’re looking for a job in software development, you need a place like Seattle or D.C. rather than rural Kentucky.

In general, you’ll find a more diverse range of job industries in population centers.

2. Budget

It’s natural to want to move to a hip city like Brooklyn or San Francisco. But what about the cost?

Money is arguably the biggest factor in how to decide where to move. Unfortunately, New York and San Francisco are two of the priciest cities in the United States.

In general, places on the West Coast and East Coast will cost more than somewhere in the Midwest or South. But don’t knock places like Wisconsin until you’ve tried them (or at least visited for a few days).

Knowing where to live means knowing what you can afford. And “affordable” doesn’t have to mean boring.

3. Family and Friends

Starting over in a strange town is scary at any age. But many people find that the older they get, the more need to live in a place with familiar faces.

That doesn’t have to mean living in the same county as your entire family. It does mean having some sort of social network.

Even having a friend or two in your new town can make a big difference in how supported you feel.

4. The Weather

Winter in Southern California is going to look way different than winter in southern Idaho. Before you fall in love with an area, make sure you can handle it during all four seasons.

It may not be the main factor. But looking at the climate can be a handy tiebreaker in how to decide where to live.

For instance, let’s say you like both City A and City B. But you also get depressed in the winter. If City A gets 250 annual days of sun and City B gets 175, you’re probably better off picking the first option.

5. Arts and Culture

Love going to live concerts by big-time bands? Or do you love going to pro baseball and football games? If so, you’ll want to head to a major metro area.

If you’ve lived in a small town, you know that complaining about how boring things are is a favorite past time.

City dwellers also get bored, but that’s more likely to happen in the middle of traffic on a Tuesday than in the middle of downtown on a Friday.

Deciding Where to Live

You can ask other people, “Where should I move?” But you won’t be happy if the decision isn’t yours.

Once you’re done deciding where to live, don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you leave. At some point, you just have to jump.

But don’t neglect your health while you’re moving. Bookmark our blog for tips on how to feel good en route to your next stop!