You can probably imagine that finding a new home in a new city can be a very difficult and stressful task if you’re unable to spend a lot of time there to look at properties and neighborhoods. You want to choose the best option for you and your family but you also need to check certain boxes on your wish list. We want to help you get a plan in motion so you can find a home that meets yours needs and will make your stay in this new city a great one.
Let The Adventure Begin!
If possible, you should always consult with someone in the new city as to best neighborhoods before you start browsing the Internet for homes. This is where a realtor comes in handy. Your quality of life is much more than just the walls of your house, so planning is a must.
Beverly Solomon, Creative Director of Beverly Solomon Design, says that running her international art and design firm near Austin, Texas, allows her to talk to people who often need to move because of their business.
“In the process of working with many clients over the years, I have heard them speak of the mistakes that they have made in connection with moving to new cities and how they would have done things differently,” says Solomon.
She shares the top tips her clients have shared with her.
Even if you’re unable to visit the city you’re headed to, it’s imperative that you research the areas and things around your new town. If you have children, be sure to research schools.
Solomon adds that researching about traffic, pollution, taxes and even crime rates is recommended.
“You need to try to get information on such things as which neighborhoods are improving and which are deteriorating?” says Solomon. She also says to research any plans to build freeways or any other projects that may be noisy and in your area for a while.
“You can get this information from the city planning office. This also comes under zoning, so know what is allowed in your area. Some cities are notorious for allowing anything to build next to anything else,” explains Solomon.
Along those same lines, Solomon says that checking for proximity of the preferred neighborhood and noisy factories, pollution emitting industries, sewage plants, etc. is a must. And, overall, you must find out the general reputation of the area.
“Some areas within major metropolitan areas are incorporated and have their own taxing. Often a house that is only a block from another will have much higher taxes,” says Solomon.
Do a Drive-By
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few places, if you can– do a drive by and get a feel for the places. If you’re not able to do so but have a friend you trust in the area, ask them to do so and take some pictures for you.
“Another way to get an idea of what you might be in for is to visit at 1 or 2 in the morning on the weekend and see if the “party” is over or just getting started. The number of houses with burglar bars on the windows and doors might also be big red flag,” adds Solomon.
Take advantage of Google Earth to look at aerial views of the area and get some perspective of what is near your potential new home, good and bad.
Solomon believes that location really is everything and says that more than the actual home, furnishings and landscaping you have, you should always be careful as to what kind of social environment into which you are putting your family.