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Things To Consider When Moving To A New Home

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When you’re thinking about moving to a new home, there’s a lot to consider. Your mind may already be thinking about redecorating or the perfect kitchen, but first, there are more practical matters to consider. What is the overall community like? If you have kids, what are the district schools like? What size home do you need now versus three years from now? Running through these considerations before you decide to move will help you focus your search and make everything a little bit simpler.

School District

According to the Washington Post the quality of the school district is a major factor for families with kids as they move from one community to another. It makes sense; research shows that kids who go to good schools early in their life tend to do better throughout their work careers and into the rest of their lives. Parents want to get their kids into the best schools that they can.

Whether you have kids now or you plan to have kids in the near future, looking at the quality of the school district is important. But parents should remember that online scores for schools don’t tell the whole story. Those scoring systems generally only focus on test scores, discounting the diversity of the school, the vibrant afterschool programs, or the passion of the teachers and support staff.

Community

The overall feel of a community is also important. Most people would prefer to live in communities where crime rates are low, the sidewalks and other facilities are in good repair, and there are local opportunities for arts, culture, and entertainment. Some people would like to live very close to these amenities; others would prefer to live farther away and be in a more rural setting day to day.

Knowing what you want in this area will help you make sure that you are looking for the right home for yourself, not just what’s trending.

Upgrades

When you consider a home, you need to decide how much money you’re willing to put into that home right away. For some people, buying new construction is the right choice, because then everything is working properly, and you don’t have to worry about immediate remodeling or design choices. For others, spending less money up front on a fixer-upper can be a great choice, especially if they can do a lot of the work themselves.

One factor you should always consider is alarm systems. Even in the safest neighborhoods, break-ins and other thefts can happen, and having a robust alarm system can help protect your home. If the house has an older alarm system, you may want to upgrade it, either upon moving in or shortly down the road.

Upsizing or Downsizing

One detail to consider is whether your family will be upsizing or downsizing in the near future. A couple who is planning to have a couple kids in the next few years will probably not want to buy a one bedroom condo; a couple that is about to be empty nesters are probably not interested in a four bedroom house.

A single person might choose to get that one bedroom in order to save on money, or that luxurious house so that they can have lots of visitors.

There’s no right answer to what size home is right, just what is right for you. As you consider how big of a home you need, think about what’s likely to happen with your family – or yourself – in the near future, and choose what fits you.

Pricing

Of course, one thing to consider when buying a home is how much you can afford – but there’s another piece involved. You need to consider what the price of your potential home is versus the average price of the homes around it. If the price is much higher or lower, think about why that may be. Perhaps the house has some repairs urgently needed; perhaps the other homes don’t have the same amenities (like central air, a backyard pool, or a large yard) already in place.

But if you can’t see why the price difference exists, it’s a good idea to ask the seller or realtor what’s going on. It should give you some insight into the status and quality of the home.

Do also consider how much home you can afford. Sometimes people determine how much they can afford to spend, go to the bank, and get a much bigger loan than they expected. If this happens to you, remember that you don’t automatically need to spend more on a house. The pre-approved loan amount is an upper limit, and if you’ve determined that you only want to spend $500,000, for example, you don’t need to go looking for a $600,000 house just because that’s how much the bank will loan you. Keeping your mortgage within your budget will help support your financial planning for years to come.

When you’re looking to purchase a new home, there are many different factors to consider. Make sure you’ve looked into as many as possible before you make your final decision.

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