Moving from a small town, suburb, or large city to a new 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, if appropriate, neighborhoods and developments, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to our area. If you can, visit us numerous times before moving and connect with someone who’s lived here 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 or an apartment 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, and other critical information ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a new rural area doesn’t need to be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: country life is often more laid back and easy going. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the country. Try new things. Volunteer. Our area offers many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.