Finding A Home In A New City
Your 1st Visit To Your New Location
Moving is an experience that can be like having a new beginning in life. Go into your move with a positive attitude and it could possibly be the best thing that ever happened to you! You will probably make at least one house hunting trip to your new community. Carefully prepare for this adventure.
- Read books and travel literature about your new community
- Look at local maps
- Read about and visit landmarks and local attractions
Get in the car and drive! Check out downtown, neighborhoods, shopping, etc. Consider the areas you like versus where you will work. How far are you willing to commute to get the lifestyle you want?
Visit the Chamber of Commerce, or City Hall. Strive to learn details you might not find out about from simply driving the area.
Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage. A pre-approved buyer is the same as a “cash” buyer and puts you in a stronger negotiating position for purchasing a home.
Stick to a Budget. Don’t look at houses you can’t afford. You may be tempted to stretch your dollars and be unhappy after the move. However, remember to account for future variations in income.
Keep a Low Profile. View properties with a minimum of distractions. Be friendly, but don’t try to force conversation when you are inside someone’s home. Something you say could influence the seller to hold out for more money . . . let your agent do the talking!
Ask for an Estimate of Closing Costs prior to signing the offer. Once you have a baseline established, it is very easy to adjust the calculation if a counter-offer is made by the seller.
Think Resale. Select a house that is consistent in the neighborhood. If you think you may be transferred in the next 2-5 years, choose a home similar to others surrounding it. It is sometimes difficult to sell the “largest” home for a strong price in a short amount of time.
Keep Negotiating. Frequently, contracts are sent back and forth between buyer and seller several times before all the issues are addressed and solved. Be patient and keep things moving towards a successful transaction.
Remain Calm. One of the most difficult and stressful times of the entire purchase process is during negotiations. Try and remain calm, unemotional and keep focused on the logic.
Insist on a Home Inspection. Make sure what you see is what you get. The request for an inspection can be made a part of the contract, or the contract may be contingent upon your approval of the results of the inspection.
Keep Stress Levels Low. Your agent will plan full days for you to look in your new community. During breaks/lunch, relax a little and share with your agent what you have liked about the experience so far.
Turn on the Excitement. Enjoy the adventure of the move and the prospect of your new home and neighborhood. It is a special time for you and your family, and you should feel special!
Choose a Buyers Agent
Choose a real estate agent who will represent you as a buyer and ask them to sign a Buyers Agency disclosure. Your agent should be representing only you in the transaction. This will assure you that they are working with your best interests in mind.
Inquire about credentials, licensing and areas of expertise. Ask your agent about their knowledge of the community in which you’re interested. Make certain they have the experience to answer your questions about the values and other factors which may influence your decision to buy.
Use the services of an agent who is a member of the local Multiple Listing Service. This means they can show you all homes on the market, not just those listed by their company. Look for an agency that provides more than just house-hunting.
They should be able to provide:
- School & Community Information
- Customized relocation packet with information about the City Housing Market
- Mortgage Financing Temporary Housing Help
- Rental property help
- Day Care
- Elder Care
- Activities, etc
An agent who is internet savvy will be able to communicate with you quickly via email. When purchasing a home, time can be of the essence. Make sure your agent will be available at all the times you are. If you are moving to a new city and have a tight schedule, you need accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.
Ask your agent to provide a copy of all legal documents you will be asked to sign so you may review them well in advance of the actual offer. If in doubt about verbiage, ask questions. Remember your sales contract is a legal, binding document.
If possible, your agent should go with the listing agent when the offer is presented. They are better able to communicate to the sellers about certain aspects of your offer.
Ask your agent about a Home Warranty. If the listing company cannot provide one, ask your ERA Real Estate Agent how you might get protection from unexpected repair expenses.
True commitment comes naturally to a real estate professional, who often feels the most rewarding aspect of their work is the chance to help people. Work closely with your agent and share information so they can work hard to help you find the home that matches all your needs – and your dreams.
- Home selection guides / floor plan grids
- New home & neighborhood profiles, etc