5 Tips for Buying a House in a New City

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Picking up and moving to a new city is exciting, but also comes with a variety of concerns and worries. Making a rushed decision can leave you in the wrong neighborhood or far from the city amenities you wanted to live near. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of a successful move. Follow these tips if you are buying a house in a new city so you can find the home of your dreams even if it's in an unfamiliar location.

#1) Research the Cost of Living

You might be financially comfortable where you live now, but that doesn’t mean you can function on the same budget in your new town. Most people realize that moving to cities like New York or San Francisco will be more expensive, but they might not realize that moving a few hours away can have a financial impact. Use on online Cost of Living Calculator to determine what you can afford if you are buying a house in a new city. It will help you choose a house within your budget and still have enough saved for groceries, transit, and other expenses.

#2) Consider Renting a Home or Apartment First

It may be tempting to rush and buy a house for an easy transition, but you could end up in an area that you dislike – or at least wouldn’t have picked if you had to do it again. If you decide to rent a home or apartment for the first seven months (pro-tip: many apartment communities will allow a 7 mo lease), you'll have time to venture around and see where you fit best.  Over a few months you'll be able to explore neighborhoods, the commute, the culture, and the community. Then, you can decide where you want to buy. Renting at first will also make it easier to work with your Realtor®. You will be educated enough to make a proper decision, knowing neighborhoods that you'd like to target is critical. If you are leaving a home behind, renting for a short period will give you time to get through the process of selling a house before you start the process of buying a new one.

#3) Research the Local Housing Market

There are some national trends that affect the housing market. For example, during the recession, home sales across the country will tend to decline. However, the markets in individual states and cities vary considerably, which means that a buyer’s market in one city might be a seller’s market in another. Tap your Realtor® for their perspective.  Most agents have access to proprietary market research and housing demand data. If it is a buyer’s market, then you might be able to get a home for a more attractive price (especially if the market in your old town favors the seller.) However, if the market you are moving to favors sellers, and homes are receiving multiple offers or are selling for more than the list price - you may want to rent for a few months and just save up.  Never rush to buy in a hot market, it's an easy way to lose money.

#4) Test the Commute to Work

We live in at an amazing time - you don't even have to leave your couch to accurately determine what your commute time will be.  During rush hour log onto google maps and test commute times to/from your target neighborhood to your new office. You may discover that a 10-mile commute in your home town only took about 20 minutes, while a 10-mile commute in the city takes more than an hour. Studies have found that people underestimate the stress their commutes cause, which can impact your personal life and take away your free time. You may decide to look for homes in a different area if you realize your commute is worse than you thought.

#5) Find a Realtor® That Knows the Area

When buying a house in a new city, an experienced, local Realtor® can be immensely valuable. They know the area, can advise you on top neighborhoods, can recognize the best deals, and help you navigate the closing process. Finding a Realtor® in a new area can be a challenge when you’re just relying on web searches and online reviews -- so don’t waste your time doing generic searches for realtors in the city you’re moving to. Instead, consider using Effective Agents to find an agent based on their actual sales performance. Through our system, you'll answer a variety of questions about your needs, and then we match you with Realtors® who are likely to produce the best outcome for you. There are probably thousands of licensed real estate agents where you're moving, we are able to cut through the marketing noise and help you find a top Realtor® based on an unbiased, data-driven methodology.

Use Effective Agents When Buying a Home in a New City

Buying a house in a new city is a lot less intimidating when you work with a professional Realtor® who has experience in buying and selling in your location. Whether you’re moving one city over or across the country, Effective Agents can help you find the right Realtor® to help you buy your home in your new city.

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