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4 Planning Tips for Buying a Home in a New City

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Moving to a new city is a big deal, but when you add to the equation buying a home — the stress level increases. You can purchase a home in a new city and have your happily ever after, but it requires some planning. Learn some tips you can apply as you begin the buying process.

1. Start Early

As soon as you determine you want to be a homeowner, start the preparation process. In some areas, houses stay on the market for weeks, and in other areas, they go within a matter of days. Do not wait until the last minute and assume local inventory will be unlimited. The earlier you begin the process, the more opportunities you have to find a property that meets your needs and timeline.

2. Create a Demand List

Sit down and prepare a demand list. If you are buying with a partner, you two should sit down together. The demand list should have two sections: a deal-breaker column and an acceptable column. The deal breaker column is for things the home must or must not have, such as a gourmet kitchen or a home that is not on a busy street. The acceptable list is for items that you would tolerate or accept but are not necessarily ideal. 

3. Secure an Agent

Find a local realtor where you plan to move. After you have interviewed the realtor, set up a virtual chat so that you can ask questions about the local market. For example, ask about areas with a good reputation, high-performing school districts, or neighborhoods with great commute times. You can also use this session as an opportunity to provide your demand list. Once you two talk about the area and you provide the list, the agent can get to work.

4. Tweak Your Budget

Tweak your budget based on the market where you plan to move. When you speak with the agent, they'll describe the typical trends in the local market. For instance, in your current market, earnest money deposits might be as low as $500, but in the new area, 2% of the home's listed price is customary. The same is true about closing costs, in your current area it might be easy to negotiate credits from the seller, but in the new market, it is rare. Whatever the case, tweak your budget so you are prepared. 

The road might be rocky, and it might have some unexpected turns, but with these helpful planning tips and a trusted agent, you can buy a home.