How Do I Decide Where to Live?
No, seriously. Do you know how often Google gets asked this question? Well, I figure if ya'll are comfortable making life-changing decisions on the word of a computer, you are probably in the perfect state of mind to hear my opinion. There are so many things to consider in the decision of where to live (there must be -- why else would you turn to Google instead of just asking your local hairdresser?) -- cost of living, quality of schools, amenities, housing market and so on. But I find myself looking at this decision from a slightly different outlook: from the vantage point of the back fence.
"We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbour. Hence he comes to us clad in all the careless terrors of nature; he is as strange as the stars, as reckless and indifferent as the rain. He is Man, the most terrible of the beasts." (G. K. Chesterton)
The key here is not to thoroughly investigate each individual within a 5 mile radius of your prospective abode. Neighbors change. Heck, for all you know, they are googling how to decide when to move away from you upon first introduction! No, the key is to know what type of neighbor you are. For example: a car pulls up by your mailbox and sits there for 20 minutes. Do you notice? Do you wander out and strike up a conversation? Do you tell your kids to get to the back of the house and stay quiet until the creeper moves on? Do you call the police? If that last reaction is yours, word to the wise -- skip apartment living. It won't be as romantic as Doris Day makes it look in the movies.
Check out The Deciding Factor's recent conversation about disaster preparedness to get a compelling picture of neighbors and what a community can look like. And then, accept the inevitable and move to Texas.