By Kara Masterson
You're exploring life as a new employee in a city of which you know little. The last thing you want to do is blindly choose a house out of necessity. Here are four tips that can help you in your quest to find the perfect new home in your new city.
Understand Your Personality and Desires
Your personal characteristics, for the most part, remain the same regardless of where you reside. It is important that you have an honest conversation with yourself before contacting a real estate professional. The most skilled REALTOR® cannot assist in your home search without first having a scope of your wants and needs.
Research before Looking
Do a quick search of the region and identify three to five neighborhoods that intrigue you most. Take into account nearby schools, recreational facilities, crime rates, and cost of living in your communities of choice. Keep in mind your price range and start searching for properties that fall within those bounds. There is no need to set your sights on the house on the hill if you cannot afford such luxury.
Thing Long-Term Instead of Right Now
Yes, it is true that you need shelter now, but you want to consider more than your present needs. You may decide to extend the family one day and living in a neighborhood with sub-par schools may not be in the best interest of the kids. Consider where you may find yourself in the next 10 years career-wise and family-wise, and plan accordingly.
Hire a REALTOR®
Even the most detail-oriented books about real estate cannot provide the knowledge that you need to navigate the ever-changing world of homeownership. You need a real estate professional who knows the complex parts of the industry to help you find the ideal home at a reasonable price.
Selecting the right REALTOR® is not merely a matter of choosing the first candidate that you meet. You should inquire about a potential agent's success rate as well as their perception of buyer representation. Asking family members and friends for referrals can be the first step in your quest for the right agent. Researching candidates is another fundamental element of the selection process. You always want to make sure that your salesperson of choice knows the city well, since you are new and still finding your way around town.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah.
This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.