Relocating to a new city, whether for work or personal reasons, is often an anxious time. Not only do you have to uproot your family and leave behind friends, jobs, and a community that you’re familiar with, but there’s also the challenge of finding a house. How can you possibly select a place to live when you don’t know anything about property values, schools, taxes, amenities, and all of the other factors that come into play?
And because you need a place to live when you move, most people have to buy a house – or at least get a house under contract – while living in another city or state. That makes things even more difficult. And while it isn’t the most ideal situation, it’s still possible to find the house of your dreams. You just need a plan of attack.
6 Tips for Selecting the Right House
If you’re relocating to the Houston area and are looking to buy a house, you’re probably overwhelmed by the options. There’s downtown Houston, the Energy Corridor, Katy, Pearland, Sugar Land, Richmond, The Woodlands, and dozens of other cities, municipalities, and communities. Plus, there’s a lot of variety within each of these individual areas.
We get it…you’re feeling overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to be some impossible challenge or painful thorn in your side, though. With the following tips and techniques, you can find the perfect house for your perfect family.
- Figure Out a Timeline
The very first thing on your to-do list should be to figure out a timeline. Practically, this will help you ensure your search for a home stay on track. Emotionally, this will allow you to get yourself together and prepare for what could be a complicated and draining process.
When figuring out a timeline, there are some basic dates, objectives, and steps you’ll want to account for, including (but not limited to):
- The date you plan on moving
- How much you’re looking to spend
- Determining the area, you want to live in
- When you’d like to have an offer accepted by
- How much time it’ll take to sell your current home
These are a few of the biggest issues and stages of the process. By figuring out a rough timeline for handling these steps, you can rest easy knowing that you have a plan in place.
- Do Some Online Research of the Area
The truth is that relocating has never been easier. Thanks to the internet, you have access to thousands of resources about your new home. For example, if you’re looking to move to Katy, we have a robust area guide that will give you the basics. You can find even more information with a simple Google search.
Before you do anything else, start researching the different areas that seem practical. Pull up Google Maps and calculate things like driving distance to work. Use a site like GreatSchools to figure out which school zones are best for the kids. With some basic tools, you can zero in on a handful of areas that are worth a second look. If nothing else, you can eliminate areas that you don’t want to call home.
- Speak With Multiple People
Internet research isn’t enough. In order to really understand the city, you’ll want to talk with people who actually live and work in the area. This could mean getting in touch with someone at your new job or finding an old friend or relative in the area.
The key is to talk with multiple types of people. You want to get as many different perspectives as possible. Ideally, these views will be objective, but they’re always tainted by personal preferences and experiences. Thus, the more opinions you get, the less likely it is that one positive/negative review will throw you off.
- Begin Your Online Search
Next comes the online search. Partner up with a local real estate agent and ask them to send you listings that meet the criteria that you’ve outlined together. You can also do some research yourself using various online listing sites. If you see something you like, send it to your agent and ask for their input. This process can be fun and tiring at the same time.
- Schedule a Time to Visit
The hardest part about searching for a house while out of town is that you have to find time to see the listing before putting in an offer. If at all possible, try to schedule three to five showings on a Saturday and travel to the area for the weekend. Hopefully, you’ll get some offers in on properties you like. If you don’t, at least you can use the time to get more familiar with the area.
- Don’t Get Pressured Into Buying
Finally, make sure nobody – including yourself – talks you into buying a house if you aren’t ready. While you might be used to owning home, there’s no rule that says you have to buy a house before relocating. It’s okay to rent for a while until you get the lay of the land.
“Buying real estate is not only a huge investment; it’s a commitment to the home and the area. You can’t be an informed buyer unless you’ve spent some time exploring the neighborhoods,” real estate professional Brendon Desimone explains. “Take a year to learn the different parts of town and the characteristics of the various neighborhoods.”
Another added benefit of taking your time is that you don’t feel rushed in the days and weeks leading up to your relocation. So, instead of stressing over moving into a new house and getting a bunch of things done, you can relax a bit and enjoy the transition.
Green Residential: 30-Plus Years of Experience
At Green Residential, our family-owned business has been in operation in the Greater Houston area for more than 30 years. We were born here, have raised our families here, and have spent decades working and playing in the area. If there’s any real estate company that knows Houston, it’s Green Residential. For more information on how we can help you make the right home buying decision, please feel free to reach out!