1. Visit multiple times.
Movie directors have you thinking that everyone in big cities has amazing panoramic views, splashy sun-drenched condos and anything-can-happen nights every night. Most people do not live like that. Most people live “regular” lives in “regular” apartments. Visit your city of choice multiple times before you commit to moving. Get a feel for the energy, pace and options of the place. See how you feel there. Can you imagine your life in that city?
2.Research housing you can afford.
New York, LA and other big cities have a much higher cost of living than other places. While you are visiting, be sure to tour apartments that are in your price range. Have a good idea of how much space and what kind of amenities you should expect for an apartment within your budget. Know your non-negotiables (no roaches) and things you’d like, but aren’t essential (hardwood floors).
3.Become an expert on the cost of living in that city.
How much does it cost to get into nightclubs? How much is the rent for a decent apartment? How much does it cost to ride public transit? Go to the websites of government agencies, talk to people who live there and find other reliable sources to give you accurate answers to such questions.