Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.
Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. Does the city match your lifestyle? What are the tax rates for sales and property taxes? Will moving to a big city be in line with your income? If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.
Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment or house that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a real estate professional to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.
Get involved. Meeting people in a new city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often busy and lively. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.
Mind your wallet. City life can be expensive. Many things costs more: food, taxes, insurance, rent. Be careful determining how and where you want to spend your money. Track your expenses and review them periodically.