120 Questions to Ask Before Moving to a New City

Moving to a new city is an exciting adventure! But it can be a bit overwhelming, too. There are so many things to think about, from finding a place to live to understanding how things work in your new home. 

Before you pack your bags, take a moment to ask some important questions. Knowing the answers will help you settle in more easily and make your big move a success. Let’s dive in!

Cost of Living and Financial Considerations

  1. What is the average cost of rent in different neighborhoods?
  2. How do grocery prices compare to where I currently live?
  3. What are the average utility costs in the city?
  4. Are there any local taxes I should be aware of, such as income or property tax?
  5. How much does public transportation cost on a monthly basis?
  6. What are the average prices for dining out and entertainment?
  7. Is there a significant difference in healthcare costs?
  8. What are the most affordable areas to live in with a good quality of life?
  9. How expensive are childcare services and other family expenses?
  10. What is the typical cost of car insurance and maintenance?
  11. Are there any unexpected costs I should budget for?
  12. How do gym memberships and health club fees compare?
  13. What’s the cost of local amenities such as internet, cable, and cell phone services?
  14. Do I need to change my shopping habits based on the cost of living?
  15. Are there cost-saving benefits for residents, like bulk trash pickup or discounted city services?

Housing, Neighborhoods, and City Amenities

  1. What types of housing are most prevalent in the city (apartments, townhouses, single-family homes)?
  2. How do the prices and availability of real estate compare across different neighborhoods?
  3. Are there any development plans that could affect where I choose to live?
  4. What is the typical process and timeline for renting or buying a house in the city?
  5. How safe are the neighborhoods I am considering?
  6. What are the pros and cons of living in the downtown area versus the suburbs?
  7. How accessible are essential amenities like supermarkets, hospitals, and parks?
  8. Are there any zoning laws or regulations that might impact my residence?
  9. What is the reputation of the local school districts if I have or plan to have children?
  10. What community services, such as libraries, community centers, and public pools are available?
  11. Are there any neighborhoods known for their historic or cultural significance?
  12. How do residents feel about the cleanliness and maintenance of the city streets and public areas?
  13. What are the noise levels like in potential neighborhoods I’m considering?
  14. Are there community groups or associations that can help new residents settle in?
  15. Is there a particular area that aligns closely with my lifestyle, such as a vibrant nightlife or a quiet, family-friendly environment?

Employment Opportunities and Economic Health

  1. What industries are thriving in the city?
  2. Are there any major companies or startups headquartered here?
  3. What is the city’s unemployment rate compared to the national average?
  4. Are job opportunities in my field of work extensive in this city?
  5. How competitive is the job market for newcomers?
  6. Is the city experiencing economic growth or decline?
  7. What is the typical commute time to major business districts?
  8. Are there networking opportunities or professional groups I could join?
  9. How do businesses support work-life balance in this city?
  10. Are there opportunities for continuing education and professional development?
  11. What is the average salary for my profession in this city?
  12. Are there well-known career fairs or events for job seekers?
  13. Are work benefits and protections in line with what I’m used to?
  14. How resilient is the local economy to fluctuations and downturns?
  15. Is remote work common and supported by local businesses?

Education and Health Facilities

  1. What are the top-rated schools and universities in the area?
  2. How does the quality of education compare with other cities?
  3. Are there specialized programs or schools for particular talents or needs?
  4. What are the options for early childhood education and care?
  5. How accessible are healthcare services throughout the city?
  6. What is the availability of specialists and general practitioners?
  7. Are there any renowned hospitals or medical research facilities here?
  8. How long is the waiting time to see a doctor or specialist?
  9. What health and wellness programs do local institutions offer?
  10. Are alternative medicine and holistic health services available?
  11. How do educational institutions integrate technology and innovation into their curriculum?
  12. What are the average class sizes in schools and universities?
  13. How do schools perform in terms of standardized testing and academic achievement?
  14. What are the opportunities for adult education and lifelong learning?
  15. Does the city provide resources for individuals with special educational or health needs?

Transportation and Commuting

  1. What modes of public transportation are available, and are they reliable?
  2. How long are the average commute times?
  3. Are there bike lanes or trails for safe cycling throughout the city?
  4. Is the city walkable, or would I need a car to get around efficiently?
  5. How congested is the traffic during peak hours?
  6. What is the cost of parking in the city, particularly in downtown areas?
  7. Are there car-sharing services or ride-hailing apps widely available?
  8. How are the conditions of roads and infrastructure maintained?
  9. Is there an efficient transportation system to the nearest airport?
  10. Are there any initiatives for green transportation or reducing carbon emissions?
  11. How does the city handle snow removal and road salting in winter?
  12. Are public transportation fares affordable, and do they offer discounts or passes?
  13. What are the safety measures in place for nighttime commuting?
  14. Are there reliable services for those with disabilities to move around the city?
  15. Does the city plan to improve or expand transportation in the near future?

Safety and Public Services

  1. What is the crime rate in the city, and how does it distribute across areas?
  2. Is there a visible police presence in the city, and how responsive are they?
  3. Are emergency services readily accessible and timely?
  4. Does the city have a system for alerting residents about emergencies or disasters?
  5. What public safety initiatives does the city have in place?
  6. How does the city handle waste management and recycling?
  7. Are water and air quality monitored and reported to the public?
  8. What community resources are available for personal and family support?
  9. Are there neighborhood watch programs or community policing efforts?
  10. How does the city deal with issues of homelessness and drug use?
  11. What is the local government’s approach to crime prevention and community safety?
  12. Are fire departments well-equipped and located strategically throughout the city?
  13. Is the disaster preparedness plan comprehensive for earthquakes, floods, or other potential disasters?
  14. What are the reputation and credibility of public service agencies in the city?
  15. Are there any areas prone to natural disasters, and what preparations should I consider?

Social, Cultural, and Lifestyle Fit

  1. What cultural attractions does the city offer, like museums, theaters, and live music venues?
  2. Are there regular community events, festivals, or fairs that bring people together?
  3. How does the city celebrate diversity, and what multicultural resources are available?
  4. What is the city’s food scene like, and are there local specialties I should try?
  5. Are there clubs, bars, or nightlife venues that suit my interests?
  6. How active is the local arts community, and are there opportunities for participation?
  7. What types of sports and recreational facilities are available to residents?
  8. Can I find social groups or clubs tailored to my hobbies and interests?
  9. Is the city known for its friendliness and openness to newcomers?
  10. What opportunities are there for volunteering and civic engagement?
  11. How does the local government encourage community development and participation?
  12. Are there local markets, boutiques, and shopping centers that cater to my lifestyle needs?
  13. How pet-friendly is the city, including parks, restaurants, and public spaces?
  14. Are there natural parks or green spaces for outdoor activities?
  15. How do locals balance work and leisure, and what’s the overall pace of life in the city?

Climate and Environmental Comfort

  1. What are the average temperatures during summer and winter?
  2. How frequent is extreme weather, and what kind is most common?
  3. Is there a lot of rainfall, and does it affect daily activities?
  4. Are there any concerns about air pollution or environmental health issues?
  5. How does the city manage environmental sustainability?
  6. Are there seasonal activities that are popular among residents?
  7. Is it easy to find clothing and products suited to the local climate?
  8. How do buildings and homes accommodate the climate (insulation, air conditioning, etc.)?
  9. Are there allergies or health concerns I should know about due to the local environment?
  10. Do days tend to be sunny, cloudy, or foggy, and how might that affect my mood or activities?
  11. How does the climate impact local agriculture and the availability of fresh produce?
  12. Is the city prone to natural resource scarcity, like water restrictions or energy blackouts?
  13. How are streets and public areas designed to handle common weather conditions?
  14. Are there community support systems in place for extreme temperatures, like cooling or warming centers?
  15. How might the city’s climate affect the maintenance and running costs of a home or vehicle?

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I plan the move itself?

Planning the move is a big task. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make it easier:

Create a budget: Understand what you can spend on moving.
Hire a moving company or DIY: Depending on your budget and needs.
Pack carefully: Sort and pack your belongings, remembering to label boxes.
Notify important parties: This includes your current employer, banks, or any subscription services.a

How can I find a good place to live in the new city?

Finding a place to live is one of the most critical tasks. Here are some tips to help you:

Online research: Websites like Zillow or Craigslist can help you find homes for rent or sale.

Real estate agents: Consider hiring a local real estate agent to help you find the right place.

Visit in person: If possible, visit the area and explore different neighborhoods.

How can I connect with others and build a social network in the new city?

Building a social network can help you settle in. Here are some tips:

– Join local clubs or hobby groups that interest you.
– Utilize social media to connect with local community groups.
– Volunteer for community service to meet like-minded people.
– Attend local events, festivals, or meetups.

How do I deal with feelings of homesickness or adjustment challenges?

It’s normal to feel a bit homesick or face adjustment challenges. Here are ways to cope:

Create familiarity. Bring or introduce things from your old home to make the new place feel more comfortable.

Stay connected with loved ones. Regular communication with friends and family can help.

Consider professional support if needed. Therapists or support groups can assist with more significant adjustment challenges.


Asking the right questions before moving to a new city can turn a confusing experience into a smooth and exciting journey. It’s all about knowing what to expect and being prepared. 

Remember, every city has its unique charm and challenges, and a little research goes a long way. Happy moving, and welcome to your new adventure!

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Robby is a multimedia editor at UpJourney with a journalism and communications background.

When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.