If you have a choice about where your profession takes you, learn everything you can about the city and its people before you make a final decision. Although moving to a different part of the country is a little bit like marriage – you won’t know exactly what you’re getting into before you take the plunge. Even if you’re assigned to work far away from “home,” learning all you can about the culture will help you to fit in and feel more comfortable in your new surroundings.
A Different Slant on Location
In our article on “Location, Location, Location,” we discuss common characteristics that make property values both higher and lower, but we don’t discuss the cultural “melting pot” that the U.S. is often known for. If you feel that you and your family can easily adapt to almost any situation and have made such a move before, then you may be ready for an educational adventure in another region of the country.
Some people resist the idea that the U.S. can be divided into regions with dominant cultural “flavors,” but others, like journalist Matthew Speiser and Mark Abidi in a 2018 article in Business Insider, report that author Collin Woodward makes a strong argument that there are 11 different “sub-nations” in the country with entirely different cultures. In addition to describing the differences in the regions, the article includes links to 27 maps that show how Americans speak English differently across the US, and an article purporting that the US also can be split into more than a dozen “belts” defined by industry, weather, and even health.
What Really Matters to Your Family
Even though your first response might be that your family could thrive anywhere, it can take families up to two years to really begin to love a very different area of the country. Some turn around and go back to where they came from before giving a new area that much of a try.
As you consider a move, talk to your family and decide which of the following 9, or other cultural differences could be a “deal breaker or maker”:
- A political majority and related liberal or conservative positions important to your neighbors and you could cause clashes.
- Religion could be important if you want your children to have friends who share your ideals, or if to actively participate in your faith you have to travel long distances to a church or synagogue.
- Climate or weather can take an unexpected turn anywhere, but in some locations you can expect more rain, snow, sunshine, humidity, heat, cold, wind, or even hurricanes and tornadoes.
- Altitude can affect weather patterns as well health conditions, such as asthma or COPD. Clearer air and spectacular views can also depend on how far above sea level your home is.
- Recreation of certain types can only be found in certain regions. If you like to ski, hunt, camp, hike, surf, boat, or attend cultural activities like plays or the symphony, are opportunities nearby?
- Social customs may just take some getting used to. In some areas of the country, people are thought to be more welcoming and friendly, or more standoffish and suspicious of outsiders.
- Food in all varieties can now be found in most regions if the country, but your favorites—fresh seafood, Cajun, Italian, Mexican, Indian, southern fried, etc.—may taste better in certain regions.
- Agriculture or industry may be predominant in certain areas within a region. Will you feel more at home in the “wide open spaces,” or in a bustling metropolis with lots of people and traffic?
- Environmental regulations are increasing in some areas. Check to see if electric cars, solar power, bike paths, public transportation, clean water and air are a part of the culture there.
Citywide Home Loans covers more than 37 states. Visit your local office for a referral to a loan officer who knows the area, the culture and the home-buying regulations in the region of the country that you are considering making your new home. Chances are good that he or she can connect you to a real estate agent in the area, as well.