When you're moving to a new city, finding a place to live becomes
slightly more difficult. You don't know the neighborhoods, you don't
know what the asking prices are, and you don't know what it's like
to live and work in your new city. The essential information that
only comes with living in a place is missing and it's easy to make
a major and costly mistake in finding the right place to live.
Of course, some things are a given. You want to live in the nicest
and safest neighborhood possible, with the best schools, the most
convenient commute to work and shopping, and the friendliest neighbors.
All this, while keeping your housing budget well within your means.
In moving to a new city, you really have to make the same decision
twice: Where do I want to live? (meaning community and neighborhood),
and Where do I want to live? (meaning what type of house, which
builder, and which individual house).
Some people prefer an urban environment, with a short commute and
plenty of cultural activities. Others are willing to put up with
a longer commute to gain a larger house, more suburban serenity,
and more open space.
In making the first decision, it pays to have some unbiased help.
Some companies support an in-house relocation service to assist
new employees moving to the area. And some will assign a sponsor
- a family who lives in the area who can provide advice and assistance
to new families moving in. Making the second decision is up to you
and your budget. Relocation specialists can help, provided that
they understand your housing needs, lifestyle, and budget. Once
you narrow in on your neighborhood and the type of house you're
looking for, real estate agents are great at finding what's available
at any given time. Some companies may even assist in selling your
existing home, and finding financing to bridge the transition from
one home to the other.
Don't plan on making a quick visit and buying a home in a hurry.
Plan on several trips to scout out the area, get a feel for the
neighborhoods, and narrow your decision. If you have time, subscribe
to a local paper or city magazine. Then when you do go shopping
you won't waste as much time looking at inappropriate choices.
Buying a new home is always an adventure. But doing it long distance
requires lots of planning, communication, and all the local help
you can get.