Moving to Another City with Less Stress
Whether you are being transferred to another city by your employer, or moving for a change of scenery, relocating can be a harrowing experience. Moreover, long distance house hunting can be very difficult if you are not familiar with the area to which you are moving.
However, by doing a little extra planning beforehand to familiarize yourself with the new city or town and to ensure that you purchase a home in a desirable neighborhood, you and your family will feel a lot more comfortable in your new home and have peace of mind knowing you made the right decision.
Research the New City
Before you move, you'll want to learn as much as you can about the city to which you are moving or being transferred. Try to find acquaintances or friends of friends in the new area and get their opinions on various neighborhoods.
You can also obtain community information from the local Chamber of Commerce, city hall, visitor's bureau, or local library, by reading newspapers from the city, or by browsing on the Internet. Your local Realtor, who is helping you sell your current home, will also be able to help you obtain information through his or her network of Realtors.
It is also helpful to read about the population and income trends, taxes and zoning and local history of the city. Gather detailed maps indicating parks and shopping areas too. If you have children, you'll also want to know about schools and recreation centers.
If you are moving because of a job transfer, many companies provide special services for their transferred employees. Talk to your Realtor or colleagues about securing the services of a reputable real estate company with referral and relocation services. If you are moving on your own, keep in mind that most real estate companies have cross country referral services which will be helpful to you when it comes time to sell your current home and buy your next one in your new city.
Finding the Right Neighborhood
It is a good idea to try to arrange for a couple of lengthy house hunting trips allowing enough time to drive around the city so that you are satisfied with your choice of neighborhood and home. Your current Realtor can refer you to a colleague in your new destination. He or she will be glad to show you around the area and provide you with average prices of homes.
Ideally, you want to purchase a house in a desirable, well-maintained neighborhood. You should also look for a house near public transportation, schools, shopping and recreation. In areas where you know improvements are coming, such as widening of roads or the development of a new shopping center, such neighborhoods are worth looking as you can expect the value of the properties to rise. The extension of bus lines or transit services, which create new transfer points, usually results in new business centers and an increase in property values as well.
Furthermore, the location of an important industry in a new section of a city often brings with it a demand for home sites. Districts changing from homes to apartments sites, where it is possible to house 15 families on a lot where one family has normally resided, often results in increases in land value as well. And even if you don't have children, keep in mind that quality schools also increase property values.
You can also visit the police station for records of neighborhoods with high crime rates. In addition, find out which areas have high traffic and which ones generate a lot of noise and pollution.
You'll want to stay away from neighborhoods with too many cars parked on the street and areas in which the homes are being used as rooming houses. Other areas to avoid include those with public utility substations, broadcasting towers, salvage yards, auto shops and dealerships, chemical plants and ball fields where night games are played.
Do a Day and Night Check
Once you have decided where you want to live, visit the neighborhood during the day, night and weekend. If you have time, visit the local supermarkets and attend a community meeting or church service. Practice a rush-hour commute too, or use the public transportation system. It's also a good idea to visit the local schools and talk to the principals if you have children.
If you will not be returning to your new home until the moving day, you may want to take care of a few things while you're in your new city. For example, you can arrange for property insurance, and choose a bank near your new home and arrange to open new accounts. You can also call the telephone company to request service in case there is a waiting period and have your new telephone number assigned even before service is started