Real Estate RELOCATION!
How to Successfully Buy a Home in a new City.
This year, I have had the pleasure of relocating several sets of new clients from Toronto, to our beautiful city of Hamilton. All clients were young families who, quite simply, could not afford to buy a home in their city, and in doing their own research, found Hamilton to meet their needs of affordability and proximity to their current location.
The actual relocation process is very daunting if you are just starting out or not well prepared. It does involve some initial prep work even before you begin the planning process. And timing is vital. You should have an idea of when you would like to move, which will reflect the closing date on the home you plan to purchase. If you’re currently renting, it is much easier to be a bit looser on the moving dates, because it’s a simple call to your landlord. But if you must sell prior to moving, it can be stressful trying to line up those dates, and often times it requires a hotel stay for a few days or a rental property for a period of time in between if it doesn’t all fall into a straight line.
First things first, research your new city. Become familiar with it. Visit it and play tourist for a day! The internet makes this much easier now, and while you’re at it, research and find a REALTOR®, because having someone you have established a solid rapport with in your soon-to-be-new-hometown is vital during the difficult process of learning about the city, managing to get around, searching, and finding, your new home. Next, figure out your commute times, especially if you are maintaining your employment in your current city. Will you take a train, a bus, drive to and from work daily? How much will it all cost? What is the best method to get to and from work once you move? Will you change jobs? If so, is it a transfer or an entire new company? Have you begun job hunting? Get familiar with the new city and its many resources. Look up local media outlets online and get to know them. Seek out shopping centres and restaurants, night life, child care, everything you currently require or enjoy.
Once you have some initial ideas and research under your belt, and you’ve found a REALTOR® you are truly comfortable with (and are confident they can assist you, not just in finding a home, but connecting you to your new city’s resources and such) it’s time to plan it all out and get moving. Literally! Have them find you a good mortgage broker, or you can go to your bank, and get yourselves pre approved for a mortgage. This is absolutely vital as it sets up how much you can afford and what your overall moving costs will be. It saves everyone a huge amount of time and effort all around. Then they will begin to send you listings in areas they know well, that match what you are seeking. This is difficult at first, and the best way to get this all understood is a few visits together getting to tour the city and its neighborhoods. Once you’ve established where you would like to live, it’s time to assess taxes and utilities and make sure you know basic amounts of everything you will be paying for. This includes movers, and transportation costs. Remember, cost of living varies in different cities. Your REALTOR® is a valuable resource so use them to your full advantage! I am here to make this easier on you!
Lastly, you will work together with your agent to prepare a plan of action. With my clients, once we have the fine details (mentioned above) all ironed out and we are ready to forge ahead, we go over all properties they feel they would like to see, and we generally start by booking an afternoon on a weekend to take our time and enjoy the first round of viewings. I make sure our pace is slow and steady, and not to book too many homes to see, as it can become overwhelming to do so, especially when you don’t live in town. Once they begin to get a feel for the market, and they start to filter their “wants and needs” down somewhat, we narrow things down even further. Often schedules are cleared, or left flexible, to make sure that when a great property pops up in a search matching their criteria, we can jump that day or next day to see it. This is extremely important in a hot seller market such as the one Hamilton has been experiencing the last year or so. It can become exhausting, and as their agent I watch for tell tale signs of buyer fatigue. When that sets in, depending upon how fast they need to move, I slow it down to taking a few days to a week off, resuming fresh later on. Eventually the right home presents itself, and the offer goes in. Again, a good agent is there every step of the way, and beyond this process, to facilitate a smooth move long after the home buying process dust has settled.
A solid plan, lots of preparation before anything is started, and a good REALTOR® with whom you have created a good rapport and relationship with, that communicate back and forth with, is what you need to make relocating a success. Yes, it is stressful and difficult, but I work very hard to make sure my clients stay focused and calm. They know that they have at least ONE solid connection in their new city, to count on, always!