Getting to know the amenities, finding a new favorite eatery, new parks, new people and a new lifestyle is exciting!
The most challenging aspect of house hunting in a new area is finding a place to live, especially if your new town is a significant distance from where you live now. It is a challenge that is, thankfully, not insurmountable, especially with help.
House Hunting Tips in a New Area: 1. Secure the Services of a Real Estate Agent
Your number one source of neighborhood information will be your real estate agent. It’s extremely difficult to navigate a new area without help. Not knowing where the best neighborhoods, schools and shopping are in relation to your new office and home is a huge task. Trying to keep it organized is time consuming – more time than you may have or want to devote.
Let’s take a look at some quick tips for finding an agent in a new area.
Be aware that when you do an online search for “real estate agents in your new city,” the first page of results may be filled with the big real estate aggregator sites, which are useless for your purposes because although there’s a lot of homes to look at they’re not going to offer local insights like events, where to shop, the best restaurants, local transportation options – information that only a local expert can provide.
Scroll down until the actual agents’ sites start appearing in the search results. You may have to view several pages of search engine results to find a handful of agents to consider.
Take a deep dive into the websites, looking for someone who offers lots of local and neighborhood information to help you with house hunting. Since you’ll be new in town, this information is vital in helping you find your ideal neighborhood and your ideal realtor.
Call the agents
Calling the agent for the first time is an important step in the process as it presents the first “test” of whether or not to work with the agent. You’ll find that most of the time you’ll get an agent’s voicemail.
If you find a realtor that answers right away, give him or her extra points. That’s tough to do in real estate when so much of our time is spent with clients. Leave a concise voicemail telling the agent that you will be relocating to his or her area and need help finding a house. Remember to leave your phone number and the best time to reach you.
If you don’t receive a prompt call back, the agent isn’t someone you communicate well with or the information isn’t helpful, you’ll have to decide whether or not you’re a good fit to work with this realtor in your new home search.
House Hunting Tips in a New Area: 2. Get to Know the Area
The problem with being an “outsider” is that it’s difficult to know which neighborhoods suit your lifestyle.
Sure, you can go online, do a Google Earth search and check out the surrounding areas, but that really tells you little about what it’s like to actually live in the different areas of any town or city. That type of information is best obtained by asking folks who actually live in the area.
Visits to the area before moving present the best opportunity to get a feel for what it will be like to live there. Even if you can’t visit, however, you can use the Internet and your real estate agent to research the following items, if they are important to you, of course:
Remember to determine commute times from the neighborhoods you’re interested in and the cost of parking if you’ll work in a downtown building. These outlays can add significantly to the cost of living in a new area.
House hunting when relocating to a new area can be stressful, but with the right real estate agent to guide you, it should be adventurous and exciting – and save you time!
Call us if you’d like a referral to a realtor in your new hometown. We know agents everywhere and can guide you to someone who will be a good fit for your future homeownership needs. We’re happy to help.