Adjusting to Life in the Big City: Tips for Urban Relocation

Adjusting to Life in the Big City Tips for Urban Relocation

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If you’ve seen just one movie montage about a pie-eyed small-towner moving to the big city, you’ve seen them all. They invariably include scenes of wonderment, confusion, elbowing alongside the after-work crowd on the subway, etc. Obviously, they don’t tell the whole story.

Moving to a big city is a process. Gathering your possessions for the move, connecting with experienced realtors to find the right place, landing a job, and getting acclimatized – these are the experiences that moving to a large city actually entails.

If you’re considering a move to Toronto, New York or LA, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, explore straightforward tips for your transition to big-city living.


The first thing to note about moving to a big city is that – in most cases – you will be downsizing. Urban real estate often features lower square footage for your dollar. So, while you may pay a monthly mortgage of $2,500 for a four-bedroom in a town or small city, you can expect to pay the same for a two-bedroom in a bustling metropolis. (This estimate varies widely, place to place).

All that said, know two things. First, yes, this is still a great investment (probably even a better investment). And second, prepare to downsize by decluttering your belongings. Before the move, sort your belongings into clear piles of what to a) keep, b) sell, c) donate and d) discard.

Find a Reputable Realtor Who Knows the City

Your realtor will be your lifeline throughout the home-hunting process. They will be your guide on various neighbourhoods. They will be your champion through tense bidding wars. And they will be your coach throughout the different administrative hoops, agreements and condition fulfilments. Find a great one!

For instance, if you’re house hunting in Toronto, skip the Yellow Pages perusal and head straight for the best real estate agents at Harvey Kalles. Like all the best realtors, they know the city like the back of their hand, and have a proven track record of placing people in their dream homes.

Secure a Job

You might notice that the dollar amount attached to consumer goods looks slightly higher in the city. This isn’t true across the board(for instance, several ethnic food purveyors keep their prices well below the mean national standard). But it’s still essential to hit the ground earning in a big city.

Before signing the papers on a new place, do some intensive research into the median salary for your role in your chosen city. Then, budget at least a month for sending resumes and fielding interviews.

Explore a New Neighbourhood Each Weekend

A big city can seem daunting at first because of its sheer size. There’s a seemingly limitless supply of interesting neighbourhoods, intersections and attractions.

Our advice? Don’t worry about getting to it all at once. That will just overwhelm you. Instead, parcel out time each weekend to explore one new neighbourhood or point of interest. Over a few months, you will feel like you know the city well enough to proudly call it home.

Good luck with your move to the big city. With some pre-planning and the help of the best realtors, the transition should be as smooth as a subway track.

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