How To Choose a Place To Live if You Love Music, Entertainment, and a Social Scene
nkats, Mar 7, 2022
People who are active socially are often better off mentally and physically. According to Psychology Today, both online and real-world social interactions are essential to the overall quality of a person’s life. However, the publication points out that there is no substitute for being out among other people, engaging in activities, and interacting face to face.
Studies have shown that people with active social relationships enjoy better mental and physical health and are even more likely to successfully live with serious health issues. So it is hard to overstate the importance of having an active social life.
It is much easier to have an active social life and get outside if you live in a place with a full cultural and entertainment calendar, places to socialize, and a good infrastructure for outdoor activities. If you buy a house in a new area, the local social, music, and entertainment scenes can be an important factor in your location choice.
Here are some ideas for researching the quality of a local social and entertainment scene before you purchase a home in the area.
Peruse Social Media
Social media is a good source of information when you’re researching social scenes in an area. However, you need to be careful about where you get your information. Businesses, visitor’s bureaus, and real estate agents use Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms to advertise. These marketing-oriented posts typically try to create a positive perception of the location, which is not helpful if you are trying to find out what an area is really like.
With a little legwork, you can get past these idealized images and see a more realistic version of the local social scene. Take advantage of hashtags and location features on social sites to find different posts on an area. By searching hashtags and location tags for a specific city, district, or neighborhood, you can see posts from residents who actually live in the area or spend their time socializing there. This approach will give you insights that aren’t influenced as much by marketing.
Plug the City Into Your Maps App
Another starting point for researching the scene in an area is to use a map app. Google Maps, for example, allows you to search for nearby businesses by category. You could enter the address of the home you are interested in purchasing, and then check what restaurants, music venues, or performance spaces are nearby.
This approach can be useful if you plan to live in the suburbs, where things are more spread out. Map apps will also give you transportation options and drive-time estimates, so you can see how to get to your chosen entertainment spots and how long the trip will take. It can also help you figure out how long it will take to get to central districts, which typically have more nightlife and culture venues.
Consider Capital Cities
The world’s state, provincial, and national capital cities are often excellent places to live. WalletHub looked at quality-of-life metrics for U.S. state capitals, and found that places like Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina, offer similar benefits.
Capital cities have unique qualities. Because they are the center for decision-making and governance, they have good infrastructure and security. These are important traits for people who are seeking a higher quality of life.
Many capitals also have major universities and attract large businesses, who want to take advantage of the talent pool, easy access to government decision-makers, and existing infrastructure. The universities and major employers mean that these areas have a high population of professionals and young people, and there are concentrations of nightlife, dining, music, and cultural venues to provide social settings for them.
Austin is an excellent example of the capital city dynamic. Home to Dell, Oracle, and Tesla, the Texas capital also boasts one of the country’s largest universities. It is no surprise, then, that it also has a world-famous live music scene and a full calendar of cultural events. Capital cities like this, and others that have a similar dynamic, provide excellent entertainment options.
Don’t Discount the “Touristy” Towns
Capital cities have residents who value a lively social scene. Touristy towns have a similar entertainment and nightlife setup, but they focus on catering to visitors rather than residents. However, if you are looking for a lively social scene with a full calendar of live music and events, touristy towns often deliver.
Other advantages of touristy places are that events happen throughout the week, not just on the weekend, and you always have a stream of new people to socialize with if you want.
Again, Austin, Texas provides an example. The city is a popular tourist spot known for its live music. It boasts more than 250 concert spaces and draws over 400,000 to the South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW).
Plenty of people come to the city as tourists to experience the music, and the number of visitors enhances the entertainment and social scenes rather than detracting from them and making them too touristy.
Lavish in Lake Life
Another option if you are looking for a place to find music, entertainment, and a social scene is the lake. Urban and suburban lakes are attractive for a couple of reasons. First, they provide chances for boating and other watersports, and there are often areas for recreation along the shore, as well.
Second, the leisure activities often give rise to the lively restaurant, bar, and entertainment scenes on the shore. Places like Lake Austin and Lake Travis have laid-back lakeside eateries and venues with docks, so you can visit by boat if you want. If you prefer having a more relaxed atmosphere for socializing, lakeside districts are often ideal. Urban waterways also allow you to be next to the music and nightlife venues of the city.
Follow Your Favorite Artists
If you aren’t sure where to start looking for a home near entertainment options, you can check where your favorite musical, comedy, or performing arts acts perform. Look for any cities that overlap on these tour schedules. While many of the country’s largest cities have a full range of event schedules, others are also popular stops for nationally touring acts. Non-coastal cities like Austin and Nashville are well-known stops for touring music artists.
Work With a Real Estate Company
After you’ve done the basic research, you should seek a real estate company that has local knowledge of your chosen city. A skilled real estate agent can help you find neighborhoods that are near music venues, social spaces, or entertainment areas. They may even be able to recommend locations based on your preferences for specific types of restaurants, musical genres, or other forms of entertainment.