Let’s say you’re looking for the perfect place to live: somewhere with cheap rent, plenty of sun, and legal weed. With MoveMap, a free, interactive tool that lets you sort locations by everything from the cost of living to median age, you’ll actually find a few cities that fit those criteria.
MoveMap Puts You in the Driver's Seat
What separates MoveMap from "bests lists" — we’ve got plenty of those — is that it puts you in the driver’s seat. If you want to live somewhere with progressive politics, mountains, low humidity, and cheap homes, you can punch your criteria into the website, and the map will light up with potential locations.
It’s all thanks to data pulled from up-to-date, reputable sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Tax Policy Center, and Zillow.
According to a post on a Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) subreddit, the site’s creator came up with the tool to help find where they could “achieve a low cost of living with a high quality of life.”
“My hope is that it can be a useful tool for others who are looking to move,” they added in another post.
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Finding the Perfect City
Here are a few examples we came up with while using the app:
Cheap Rent, Temperate Weather, and a Lot of Sun
Del Norte County, California
Humboldt County, California
Jackson County, North Carolina
Cheap Homes, Low State Taxes, and Low Unemployment
Autauga County, Alabama
Baldwin County, Alabama
Bibb County, Alabama
Cheap Homes, Good Schools, and a Well-Educated Population
Hamilton County, Indiana
Johnson County, Kansas
Los Alamos County, New Mexico
The tool also provides detailed information for each county, including a short summary from Wikipedia, a few photos, and a detailed list of statistics. And for folks who want a less involved approach, the site also offers a quiz that lets you narrow down your choices without having to fuss with precise sliders.
The Bottom Line: Geoarbitrage Can Save You Money
If you want to retire early, shore up your savings account, or live a more lavish life, you can use MoveMap to practice geographic arbitrage. The basic idea behind the term is that you can maximize your earnings by moving to a lower-cost-of-living city. And if you work remotely and can move pretty much anywhere, MoveMap can help you find a compromise between cheap housing, perfect weather, and top-tier amenities.