The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, August 27, 2018

How to Find a Home in a New City

Relocating to a new city is a scary and exciting time. If you’re making the move on your own, it’s easier to narrow down your personal wish list. When moving as a family or couple, there’re a few more considerations to account for. It’s smart to have an idea in mind of what kind of home you want and in what kind of area in town. We know relocating to a new city isn't an easy task. We’ve developed the best tips for how to find your dream home and be set for success, even in an unfamiliar place.


Start Your Search Online

Once you find out the city you’re relocating to, it’s best to start your research online. Google is sure to become your best friend throughout your home search. Begin by researching the city, neighborhoods, and the location of your work. It’s extremely beneficial to look at a map of the city in order to plan effectively what area you would like to relocate to. You want to be close to work, but probably also value other criteria such as schools, public transportation, parks, dining options and more. Online research helps you narrow down your options of what part of town you want to live in.

Do research online and take notes of what you find, what you like, and what you don’t like. These notes are important once you find a realtor and help start your relationship in the right direction, to the neighborhood of your dreams. You want to become fully knowledgeable about the city you will soon be calling home. Other helpful sites to look at when moving to a new city are their tourism website, the local Chamber of Commerce, and major newspapers published locally. All of these helps give you a better feel of where you’re going and what to expect. The more research you do, the more it will assure you get the results and home you want.   


Select a Neighborhood

Narrow down the area you want to live in based on your criteria. It’s a good idea to have a few options of neighborhoods in mind. It’s okay if you don’t have one specific location, that’s expected when relocating to an unexplored city. Try narrowing down your list to a few neighborhoods and it will be beneficial when selecting a realtor

It’s also helpful to take neighborhoods into consideration so you can further research them to know it’s where you want to call home. Another resource is the local police department’s website where you can find crime statistics to ensure the neighborhood is both safe and convenient for your needs. If you are relocating with children, it’s helpful to research schools and universities near your neighborhood. You want to make the smartest choice for both you and your family. Since realtors and agents usually specialize in neighborhoods, it’s helpful to have a few in mind before beginning discussions.


Find a Realtor

It’s okay to be picky. You want someone who can be your eyes and ears, especially while you’re not located there. It’s a good idea to ask your new employer, or any friends in the area if they have a recommendation of a realtor or agency. You want to find someone who understands what you want and where. Especially when relocating, find someone you can trust. It’s recommended picking an experienced realtor who has dealt with relocating before.

Interview a few different realtors before making your decision. This person is going to be the most helpful tool in finding your dream home, so don’t rush the process. Wait until you find someone you’re comfortable with and who understands your needs. They quickly become your biggest asset in understanding and moving to a new city.


Ask Questions

Ask questions about things you don’t know the answer to. Don’t be embarrassed to say you don’t understand all the terms of the contract, or details from the inspection. Ask about the deposit, or earnest money, as it varies greatly depending on state and location. Take into consideration budgeting and overpaying. Research recent comparable sales to ensure you’re not overpaying and are getting your money’s worth. It’s beneficial to know the average per-square-foot cost and average list-to-sales-price ratios to keep your budget on track. There are tons of questions during this process, speak up and get answers to find the home of your dreams.

Relocating to a new city doesn’t have to be stressful if you’re well-prepared. Do research ahead of time to feel confident in the neighborhood and realtor you select. Be hands-on during the process and ask questions. The more research and knowledge you have about the area, the more successful your search will be from the first step in a new city.

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