Are you moving to Jacksonville, FL or a new town? If so, then you’ve got a lot of research lying ahead of you. From the cable providers and municipal services to the best healthcare practices and local coffee shops, you certainly want to know everything about your new home town. However, how can you manage to scope out your stomping grounds without being there physically?
Thanks to the digital advancements today, you do not have to be physically present to learn about your new city. If you know where to look, then the Internet can be an invaluable tool in your research. Below are 6 tips that will help you to make the most out of the online resources as you continue researching your new city.
There are many online databases that are dedicated to gathering and analyzing all the important information on cities. At City-Data.com, you will find the profiles of numerous cities with pertinent statistics such as median income levels and cost of living. Neighborhood Scout digs much deeper into this data, with detailed descriptions on the area characteristics and demographics. However, the home appreciation values and crime rates are only available with the subscription. StreetAdvisor is hyperlocal and it focuses on ranking streets and neighborhoods for popularity. Also, in case walkability is important to you, then Walk Score will work perfectly for you. They usually rate the neighborhoods based on their proximity to schools, coffee shops, stores and parks.
One of the best sources for information might just be the city itself. Just call city hall and then ask about some new resident resources. Alternatively, you can visit the official city’s website so as to get familiar with all city happenings. Many towns have shareable online guides for residents and visitors. The officials are also capable of passing on info about how to find local Internet providers that cover the area and how to set up the utilities. You can also contact the local Chamber of Commerce for some suggestions about the best businesses or restaurants in the area.
Get a rough idea about the kind of commute length that you will be looking at before you decide to move. If you are planning to drive to work, then the traffic overview found on Google Maps will turn out to be one of your top resources. The website gives correct traffic estimations down to the day and hour. If you’ll be using public transportation, then do not forget to check the schedules and routes of the local public transport. Most transit authorities usually also have the online “Plan My Route” feature that details how to move from one place to the other — including any bus transfers or train switches that can be added to the commute time.
It’s believed that great schools usually make great neighborhoods, and it’s usually true that the residents who care more about their schools usually care about their community as well. Even if you lack kids or you aren’t even planning on any in the near future, then it’s a good idea to get a neighborhood that has attractive school system . In case you want to learn more about the schools within the neighborhood that you are moving to, then GreatSchools, an independent nonprofit organization publishes a guide that usually ranks all local schools on the 1–10 scale. The website bases its rankings largely on the standardized test scores. College readiness and the student outcome rates are also included. In addition, there’s also a separate space for the local residents to share their reviews.
Locals usually give great and honest feedback. As such, online forums present the best places for you to find current residents or even ask a few questions about the area. The user forums found at city subreddit and City-Data.com lists are great places to start. Nextdoor, a private networking website where neighbors can get connect and chat is yet another great resource for the personal community responses. Bigger review and social media sites including Instagram, Yelp, Google+ and Facebook are also good resources. Reading through the posts from residents found on the pages will provide you with an insight into all the things that matter a lot to the community. In addition, you might also find some friends who share your interests.
Crime rates are one of the most important statistics that you should learn about when you plan to move to a new area. Most city police departments usually publish this information on the official website. In case these rates aren’t available online, then you can still gather some cursory data through the phone. Furthermore, there are several sites that share the public crime data. Family Watchdog, SpotCrime and CrimeReports are all good online databases that normally analyze the local crime statistics by area and the type of crime. SafeWise ranks the safe cities and by state.
Moving to Jacksonville or any new city can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, you can calm down your nerves by doing solid research beforehand. Use the above tips so as to get familiar with your new home and start thinking like the locals before you join them.
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