People relocate to other areas of the country for a wide range of reasons, including job opportunities, family relationships, school districts, cost-of-living adjustments, and more.
According to a February 2022 research report by relocation and transport company North American Van Lines titled “Where Are Americans Moving in 2021?’ the amount of those deciding to pick up and move is rising. The survey reports 56 percent of those queried did so that year, compared with 35 percent in 2020. Analyzing states with the highest inbound or outbound relocation rates, this drastic increase was the outcome of several changes, such as remote work shifts, lower cost-of-living requirements, and cultivating extended family relationships.
While it can already be daunting to secure appropriate financing and an accepted real estate offer, relocation includes additional challenges. However, working with a reputable mortgage banker is the first step in this important journey.
Below we’ll discuss relocation considerations, such as cost of living, school districts, access to transportation, employment prospects, and more.
1. Cost of Living
With money often the deciding factor on home purchases, those living beyond their means will literally pay the price with loan defaults leading to possible foreclosure. Therefore, many homebuyers are relocating when factoring listing price, mortgage payments, taxes, and monthly utilities. An experienced mortgage lender can help determine how much you can afford for long-term financial stability.
Oftentimes, people will move to areas traditionally considered less expensive when compared with larger, urban locations. However, with the current real estate market and inventory, this might not always be the case. Do your homework, and research where you think you might want to live, and what you can actually afford.
2. School Districts
If you currently have school-age children, or are planning to start a family, choosing an area with a sought-after school district is also a top priority, with many variables. These include test scores, student/teacher ratios, extracurricular activities, care programs for working parents, bus transportation, and dismissal procedures and times.
3. Proximity to Extended Family
Many Americans moved closer to parents, grandparents, and siblings during the coronavirus pandemic. Whether aiding an elderly loved one, or cultivating relationships, many realized the importance of their extended families.
Others might return to hometown areas for childcare assistance from nearby family and friends. Such a support system can go a very long way in achieving peace of mind when relocating.
4. Employment Opportunities
Since the pandemic, employers across the country have been providing more flexibility for employees regarding remote and hybrid work—as well as bonuses and other incentives. Some even cover relocation and moving expenses.
It’s best to have everything in writing from your new employer prior to starting your home search, to avoid miscommunication or disappointments. Ensure everything: salary, responsibilities, start date, and more.
5. Public Transportation
If you’re moving from a suburban area to a large city, public transportation access is key for several reasons. If you do not have a personal vehicle, it’s a must to live within walking distance from bus and train depots or subways. Commuting factors into your monthly expenses, so ensure you budget appropriately.
This applies to suburban residents relying on commuter rail and bus lines to and from city-based jobs. While you’ll need to drive your vehicle back and forth from a local commuter station, ensuring there’s ample parking so you don’t incur costly tickets or fines should also be explored.
6. Access to Major Highways & Roads
While living in a small, tight-knit community away from major roads and highways might sound serene, it might not be practical for those with busy jobs and families. This could also add travel time to leisure and recreational activities, and grocery shopping and other household tasks.
If you and your family frequently travel for business and/or vacation, it’s also advisable to live near airports and other transportation hubs.
7. Entertainment & Culture
Those valuing live concerts and performances or fun outdoor activities should search for an area boasting an active cultural scene replete with theaters and performance venues, as well as access to pools, beaches, parks, and nature preserves.
If winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating are important to you, look for neighborhoods with close proximity to ski resorts and mountain lodges. Foodies requiring diverse cuisines should research area restaurants and culinary options when scouting their new homes.
8. Neighborhood Type
What one person might consider their ideal neighborhood might be a no-go for another, depending on lifestyles, job situations, and other factors. Retirees seeking a quiet adult community likely won’t want to relocate to a big city area with a bustling, post-college scene. On the flipside, those commencing professional journeys might require an active downtown for quality socializing with friends and colleagues.
The same could be said for families settling into suburban areas, where parents and children can meet and develop lifelong friendships through school communities, youth sporting activities, and other social events.
9. Public Safety
Property crimes such as break-ins, theft, and vandalism can occur even in the safest neighborhoods. When exploring a new area, it’s recommended to research local and regional crime rates and public safety measures. Consult your real estate agent and speak with home security companies on how to best protect your loved ones and property. Local law enforcement agencies can also furnish area crime rates and statistics.
10. Climate & Weather Conditions
If you’re not interested in shoveling snow and navigating icy roads during the winter months, stick with year-round warm regions. The same is true for homebuyers requiring a better quality of life in cooler climates. It’s also important to factor health concerns amplified by extreme temperatures.
Whether you’re looking for a fresh start in a new city or relocating for new employment opportunities, a reputable lender such as Contour Mortgage is your first step toward navigating the best location and financing for your dream home.
Contact Contour Mortgage to learn more about how we can help guide your home search and relocation process.