Relocation offers exciting opportunities for a new lifestyle. But, as the saying goes, location, location, location! Knowing how to research homes effectively saves time and sets you up for success elsewhere. Discover the best ways to find your dream home in another city or state.
Map It Out
Get to know the layout of the land before you get there. Research locations on Google Maps to determine everything from the climate to the proximity to necessary places, such as shopping and medical facilities. Also, visit WalkScore.com to find out the walkability of local businesses. Once you know the overall neighborhood better, you can research homes in your preferred areas near schools, parks, or shopping.
Take a Tour
A personal tour is the most effective way to learn more about neighborhoods. Walking around the local areas during the day and night tells you a lot about the place – from garbage removal to where everyone likes to unwind. Also, talk to the locals to get their opinions and visit sites such as Nextdoor.com for more info. If you cannot make the trip, try joining local Facebook groups and YouTube to watch videos. Real estate agents often provide video tours so you can shop around from your armchair.
Review Property Values and Cost of Living
Before buying a home, check out the area’s property values and cost of living. Sites such as AreaVibes.com provide recent statistics about the market and how much it costs to live in the neighborhood. Then, ensure the area you choose has homes that fit your budget. Also, getting a mortgage pre-approval lets you know your purchasing power.
Consider the Crime Rate
Real estate agents cannot discuss crime and neighborhood statistics under the Fair Housing Act. This means buyers must research themselves to ensure they move to safe areas. Visiting sites such as NeighborhoodScout.com can help determine the crime level in the new location.
Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent
The best way to research homes when relocating is to find a reputable real estate agent with access to the Multiple Listing Service. Buyers can have agents represent their interests when relocating, as the listing agent typically represents the sellers. Ask your agent to send you listings that meet your criteria, so you can start surfing for homes from your smartphone or laptop.
Think About Renting First
Think about renting before you make a final move to a new location. Services such as AirBnb.com provide temporary rentals so you can stay in the area for a week or two. Also, your agent can help you find a rental until you buy a home in your new neighborhood.
Look Into the Schools
Buyers with children should find the ratings of the local school districts to find homes in the best areas. The GreatSchools.org website provides ratings and reviews from locals, so buyers get a feel for the schooling in the neighborhood.
Consider Professional Opportunities
Some people relocate because of their employment, and others need to secure work in a new location—research job opportunities on sites such as LinkedIn.com and Indeed.com to find out what exists in the area. In addition, licensed professionals may need to obtain licensing if moving to another state, so find out the requirements to be ready to work when you get there. Also, find out where jobs in your profession are to find a home nearby.
Check Out the Chamber of Commerce
The local chamber of commerce location or website provides a wealth of information about the neighborhood. Research local events, establishments, recreational facilities, and businesses to discover what the place offers.
Read the Local News and Traffic Reports
One of the best ways to research homes when relocating is to read the local news and traffic reports. Consider practicing your commute or studying the routes to find typical traffic patterns. The news reports indicate neighborhoods where issues may exist, or housing values are fluctuating. Also, follow social media accounts to get the latest updates from residents to see what’s happening in the new location.
Knowing how to research homes makes relocating faster and easier. Work with a licensed real estate agent to find the best homes in your preferred neighborhoods. With modern technology, you may find your dream house from the comfort of your current one!