Research has shown that the farther north (or away from the equator) you live, the more common seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is. Although SAD is tied more to a lack of sunshine than a lack of warmth, it’s easy to argue the correlation between cold weather and winter blues.
If you think relocating to a city with higher temperatures can also provide a higher quality of life, you aren’t alone. From Phoenix to Houston and Jacksonville, cities with warmer climates are usually hot housing markets as well.
Zillow recently compiled a list of the 25 most populous cities by number of pleasant days. According to the list, a “pleasant day” is one where:
- The mean temperature is between 55 and 75°F
- The minimum temperature is above 45°F and the maximum temperature is below 85°F
- There’s no significant precipitation or snow depth
At the top of the list are four cities in California and one in Florida, Jacksonville.
So how do you decide which warm-weather city is right for you?
Think about what you really want. Write down the must-haves and nice-to-haves you’re looking for in your warm destination. Is proximity to water important? The mountains? Do you need Broadway-level entertainment, or will off-off-Broadway suffice?
Take a trip down memory lane. Think about places you’ve visited or read about that seem like nice (warm) places to live. See how these cities stack up against your must-haves and nice-to-haves lists. That should narrow the list down quickly.
Poll your social networks. If you’re like most people, you have social media connections all over the country. Tap into those who live in places you think you might like and pick their brains on the pros and cons of that city.
Factor in more than climate. If resolving to shed the wintertime blues forever is on your list for 2015, here are some additional factors to consider besides the climate:
- Jobs - unless you’re retired, employment opportunities should be at the top of your list when looking to relocate. Once you’ve narrowed down your city, use these tips to help with your out-of-state job search.
- Affordable housing - what good is great weather when you’re house poor? Be sure to do research on the areas in your price range. Are they the same areas you’d want to be?
- Overall cost of living - a lot of factors go into cost of living, from housing to food, transportation, health care and entertainment. Shoot to find a city that’s at least at, or a few points below, the national average. Use a cost of living calculator to easily compare cities.
- Proximity to your family and friends - although living in a warm city means more friends and family will come visit you, it’s also wise to consider a place that has a decent-sized airport or is a short driving distance to where your loved ones live.
To learn more about new homes in Nocatee, visit nocatee.com or call 1-800-NOCATEE.