Moving from any city to another area 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. 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 a home that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer 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 to start with.

Get involved. Meeting people in another city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: Bigger cities are harder to get to know neighbors typically than small towns. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do before, find ways to do those things in the new city. Try new things. Volunteer. Larger cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.

Mind your wallet. Bigger cities tend to cost more. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent, housing. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going. But just because you moved to a smaller area doesn’t mean its super safe or cheap either. A few tourist towns can be pricey and have pick-pocket thieves too, just waiting to spot an out of towner!

Lastly. Top Agent can help you find a good real estate agent Match for you in you new location if it is out of our area!! Please ask us and we will do the research and background references for you! (they typically will give us a referral fee when you buy/close on your new place, so it’s a win-win!)