10 Things to Consider Before Moving to a Big City

Where are you going to live?

Obviously this is one of the most important questions to answer when moving anywhere. In a big city, the answer will likely come down to what you can afford, your preference for condo renting vs owning, and what the city’s various neighborhoods are like.

Is the job market promising?

Just as important as where you’ll live is how you’ll pay for it. If you’re moving to the city specifically to take a job offer, that’s one thing. Otherwise, you should research what the area’s job market is like and try to find employment as soon as possible.

What is the climate like?

Is it humid and hot or cold and windy? How bad are the winters vs the summers? These questions might seem minor in the age of air conditioners and space heaters, but even those who aren’t sensitive to temperature changes would do well to consider the consequences of blizzards, earthquakes, and tropical storms.

Is transportation affordable?

Living in a big city usually means forgoing private transportation for public transportation, but not all transit systems are created equal. Consider where you’ll be living vs where you’ll be working, and how easy and affordable it will be to get to and fro. Research the availability and reliability of local buses, subways, taxis, and other forms of mass transit.

How pet-friendly is the area?

Easy to overlook is how accommodating your new home may be for the furry members of your family. Ask yourself, are pets allowed where you’ll be living? For larger animals, is there a convenient place for them to get regular exercise? Where you move affects their life too.

Do you know anyone there?

Moving anywhere can be a jarring, even alienating experience. Luckily it can be made easier if you have friends or family members living nearby. Think about who you might be able to turn to in case of an emergency. If you don’t have anyone, really ask yourself how comfortable you are being on your own.

How bad is the crime rate?

An unfortunate but unavoidable question to consider, any place with so many people packed so tightly together is going to have some degree of crime. Before moving anywhere, you should find out how much and what kind of crime is prominent, not only in the city as a whole but also in the individual neighborhoods. Know where to go, and more importantly where not to.

How good is the education?

If you’re raising a family or are a student yourself, looking into a city’s educational opportunities is a good idea. How many school districts are there and where are they in relation to where you’ll be living? What is each district’s reputation like? Are there private school options available? For colleges, what are their costs, acceptance rates, and specialties?

What’s there to do for fun?

Moving considerations aren’t all crime statistics and job markets. Knowing how you’ll spend your downtime is something to think about, too. If you like live music, find out where the local bands play. If you like sports, look up the local major and minor league teams. If you like the nightlife, make sure you know the hottest clubs.

Why do you want to move there?

More than any other, this is the single most important question you’ll ask yourself. For some, it will be the easiest to answer. For others, the hardest. Either way, put a lot of thought into it. Moving anywhere is not a decision to be made lightly. It’s crucial that you make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.