Relocating? 5 Things to Research Before Buying a New Home

When it’s time to move, there can be a lot to do. You have to find the perfect neighborhood, home, real estate agent, and mortgage lender. Plus, you have to consider all the factors of moving to your new location while also packing up your entire life. If you’re stressed about relocating, here are the top five things to look into before you buy your new home.

The Neighborhood

Research the neighborhoods you’re considering. If you plan on living in your next home for a while, you want it to be perfect. Look into the home prices in the neighborhood (that’ll give you a good idea of what you might have to pay for the home you’re interested in), the taxes, the crime rate, and the area’s demographics.

Consider who you’ll be living near and rather than taking a trip to the courthouse, do a mugshot search to make sure you’re living near good people. The search results will be especially important if you’re moving with kids. You want your children to be able to play outside without your having to worry about the people nearby. The best way to make sure the area is safe is by doing a little research and knowing whether there are any arrestees in the area.

The Mortgage

Whether you’re buying your first home or your next home, take a look at mortgage 101. Learn your credit score, what you can afford for a down payment (if you put down enough, you can avoid getting private mortgage insurance) or monthly payment, and the loan type you can get. Talk with your loan officer and lender to find out what the mortgage rates are.

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Your mortgage payment is one of the most important things to consider when buying a home, so make sure you know everything you can about the type of mortgage you’ll get and what your monthly payment will be. Shop around for a lower interest rate and see if you can decrease your loan amount. Know what you’re getting yourself into as a buyer when you make a home purchase and you’ll be okay.

The Healthcare

Healthcare options around your new home should be one of the first things you research in the home buying process, especially if you’re often sick or need to visit a specialist. If you’re moving nearby your current home, map out how long it would take you to get your doctor’s office.

If you’re moving too far for it to be feasible to stick with your current healthcare providers, ask them for recommendations in your new neighborhood. Your doctors can refer you to similar practices in your area. You’ll also want to know where the nearest hospital and urgent care centers are. Write all this information down so that when you move to your dream home you have a list of the providers in the area.

The Schools

Schools are one of the biggest factors to consider when planning a move, whether you have children yet or not. Families want to live in a good school district, so if you’re not planning to have kids you can at least improve your ability to sell your new home by picking a great neighborhood.

If you do have kids, research their new district. Look up public records about the demographics and basics like dropout rate. Knowing you’re moving into a good district will help you feel better about your children switching schools.
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The Employment Opportunities

If you’re moving for work, you don’t need to worry about finding employment opportunities, but if you’re moving for other reasons you’ll want to consider the jobs in your new area. If you’re moving close by, check how long your commute will be from your new home.

If you’re moving to a new state, look at the employment opportunities you’ll have. You won’t get a mortgage loan approved if you’re not employed, so you might need a new job before you even find a new house.

Take the time to research your new home and neighborhood before you move. Learning everything you can about your community will help you feel ready for this next step in your life.