Location, Location, Location: Working in the Great Metropolis

Location, Location, Location has long referred to real estate values as in where your property is located determines how much it is worth. But what is the value to you of the city where you decide to work and live? People choose to move to different cities for various reasons: it’s close to family, it’s far away from family, there are more jobs in the big city. But are there?

A Brookings Institution report states that not all major metropolitan areas are equal when it comes to recovering from the Great Recession. The Northeast, the middle section of the US and the upper Southeast are faring the best, while CA, FL and the Great Lakes area, not so much. Regardless of where you decide to move if you are looking for a job, there are some things you need to know about living in a metropolis post-recession.

Renting: Rents are going up in the larger metropolises. Why? All those people who defaulted on mortgages and walked away from their houses have to live somewhere. Pressure on the rental market in L.A. is increasing and rents are skyrocketing along with gas and food. What does that mean if you are considering a move here? Make sure your paycheck can cover the costs BEFORE you move and sign that lease. You may also have to pay more in gas because you may be living further away from where you work to find affordable housing.

Transportation: Californians do love their cars, but I’ve learned there are other ways to get around. Those costs are going up too and train and bus services are being cut to meet municipal budgets, but there are still more ways to get around than in good old suburbia.

Work Life Balance: Californians and New Yorkers work hard, but they also play hard too, and the big metropolises give plenty of opportunities to play hard if you can afford it. Join a gym; join an underground food club; join something. That’s the best way to find new friends and fun things to do when you first move to a big city, and it can make the difference between being absolutely miserable or finding your niche.

Stereotypes: All metropolises have stereotypes. L.A. is supposed to be one of the unfriendliest cities in the world. Come and find out for yourself. Don’t take the stereotypes as absolute truth. I’ve had complete strangers here help me with directions, moving stuff, finding the best places to shop and finding doctors.

It’s What You Make It: Living in a large city gives you an opportunity to define how you want to live. Like to party? Want to live in a beautiful area? Love to cook and shop? L.A. and New York have it all. Are you the bookish type? Love to drink coffee in a cafe? Want a small town feel to your neighborhood? Love staying in on a Saturday night? Great. L.A. and New York still have it all. There are no constraints here — only the ones you put on yourself.

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