Maybe you’ve decided to retire in another city. Or maybe your employer is transferring you or it’s PCS time and bags need to be packed. Should you begin your search for a new house? It’s easy enough in these times to log onto the internet and peruse listings from a faraway town. And there will certainly be no shortage of real estate agents wanting to help you find your next home. But should you? Should you buy in a city you’re really not familiar with? Yes, you can tell your agent your requirements such as being near downtown or maybe a rural setting is more your style, but there’s nothing like being there. At the right time, that is.
You can gather as much data as you can hold but nothing will replace visiting areas where you may want to buy. A neighborhood might seem attractive online and the pictures are nice and of course the agent says it’s really a good deal, but imagine this scenario. You go ahead and buy the place, move in and the next day you morning you see a school bus drive by your house. 10 minutes later you see yet another. Then another. It seems your road feeds into the high school, the one you wanted to live near.
You get ready for work and hop in the car. After about five minutes, you hit the onramp which will take you to your job downtown. But it’s backed up. There’s an accident perhaps, you think. But there’s no accident—it’s a typical commute and traffic is bumper to bumper for miles. You’re 30 minutes late for work. Sure enough, it takes 45 minutes to get home later that day and your job is only five miles from your house. Your husband calls to tell you there’s not a dry cleaner in the area so you need to take your laundry with you tomorrow or else call one of those places that picks up your clothes at your house. For a fee, of course.
You see the trend, right? You can pick out a home online that has all the features you want at the right price but until you actually live and work in the area you can only imagine what really goes on each and every day. For most people this scenario never really plays out but for others they prefer to rent short term to get a feel for the city before committing to buy a home. Something to think about.