How to make your MOVE
By Debra Wishik Englander

(MONEY Magazine) – Maybe you are considering moving to one of the top 10 places on our list. Or maybe even to No. 300: Waterbury, Conn. A little clever research where you live now, followed by a serious scouting trip to the new area, can help you assess whether the city would be a good fit for you and your family. Relocation professionals interviewed by MONEY offer these four tips:

-- SUBSCRIBE to the weekend edition of the city's daily newspaper so you can review the classifieds for jobs and house prices and get a sense of the community. You can get the name and phone number of the paper at your library in the monthly Standard Rate & Data newspaper directory.

-- CALL the area's chamber of commerce and ask for help arranging your visit. Some chambers will even set up appointments for you with local business people and school officials.

-- CONSIDER paying a private research firm to help you investigate a big move. For $190, Right Choice, a Derry, N.H. firm (800-872-2294), will send you a customized analysis of what you could expect to pay in the new city in such major budget categories as taxes, commuting and food, based on data you provide about your current living costs. Parents might use SchoolMatch (800-992-5323), which will send out profiles of up to 15 public and private primary or secondary schools in an area, including pupil/teacher ratios and how students perform on scholarship exams. Cost: $97.50.

-- TAKE along a camcorder when you make your visit to the city. ''That way, you won't have to remember everything you see,'' says Saralee Rosenberg, co- author of the forthcoming book 50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family (Career Press, $17.95). -- D.W.E.