The home buying process can certainly be a stressful time and process. Not to add insult to injury, but there are even more things to consider when moving to a new area. You are not just looking for the right home, but you are looking at the community, cost of living, and a number of other items. Keep reading to learn additional things to look for when moving to a new area.
Do Your Research on the Community and Surrounding Area
It’s important to gather information on the neighborhood you are considering moving to. You will want to research using tools such as CrimeReports, AreaVibes, and Family Watchdog. These tools will show you the crime reports, livability, and sex offenders in your area respectively. AreaVibes is a great tool to use to get a full report; it is basically a report card for the area.
If you have children, you will want to look at surrounding schools. To really get a feel for the schools in the new area, make an appointment and take a tour or meet with the staff. This is the new place your child will be spending a lot of his or her time and it’s important for you to feel that they will be comfortable and engaged here.
While the purpose of moving to a new area in the first place might be due to a new job, your spouse could also be in need for a job. It would be unfortunate for you to move and later realize that the area has a poor job market available. MuniNet has a very useful tool on the right side of their website that allows you to enter a state and metropolitan area and it will provide job market data on that location.
Know Your Costs of the Area
The cost of living varies from area to area, but going in blindly searching for a home in a new area might shock you and your wallet. If you are moving from the south to the north, you will notice that rent and mortgage skyrocket to much higher for much less. This is fine so long as you did your research and go into house hunting with this information.
Many people skip this step, but it is important to shop around and see how much healthcare costs and differs from your current cost. Why do healthcare costs differ by state? The answer is unclear but the fact is, they do and you need to understand what you will be paying if you are moving to a new area.
Are you moving from the suburbs to a major city? You need to consider transportation expenses. Chances are that if you move from Greensboro, North Carolina to New York, New York, you will be taking taxis, subways, Ubers, etc. This means more costs on a regular basis. On the other side, if you are moving from a big city to the suburbs, you might need to go car shopping after this.
Taxes, nobody enjoys them but everyone has to pay them. They differ from state to state and there are different taxes to pay. There are property taxes, incomes taxes, and sales taxes. Moving is a big event when it comes to your tax returns as well. For instance, did you buy a home? Did you sell a home? Did you move to a new state? These are all important factors when it comes to your IRS documents. If you moved for work, you might even qualify for a tax deduction.
Other Things to Consider When Moving to a New Area
Now that you have some solid insight on the area, it’s time to go exploring. You are going to be living here, hopefully for a few years. It needs to be a place where you feel comfortable, safe, and as though you fit in. Whether you are moving to a neighborhood or not, you should get a feel for your community. Think about things that are important to you such as HOA’s, if the surrounding area seems dog friendly, if there are many places you would like to go or could see yourself hanging out at regularly. You don’t want to move to a new area and later discover that the vibe just isn’t right or there’s nothing nearby that you like to do. A great experiment to do would be to take a weekend and spend some time in your new potential area.
How’s the housing market in the new location? Is it a buyer’s or a seller’s market and where does that put you? Looking at the housing market will show you what is available, how quickly new homes become available and it can give you insight to your situation when it comes time to sell your home. A few things to help you determine the housing market would be to perform your own research through looking at the economy and statistics, or ask your realtor.
People and Neighbors
The people who surround the area, including within the community and your neighbors, will become an influence to you, maybe even friends. Taking sight of how they interact and their interests will allow you to determine how you would mesh and if you could see yourself building valuable relationships here. You will want to have an idea of the age group for most of the people within the area and see if that falls within your range, as well as meet a few of your potential neighbors. Introduce yourself and let them know that you are interested in moving to the area. People who are willing to share things about the community can be a good sign that they enjoy where they live and that will make you feel better too.