Deborah McLaughlin's Blog
There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.
Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.
Cost of living
Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.
Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.
Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.
How’s the weather?
Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.
To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.
It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.
Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.
When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.
160 Purchase St, New Bedford, MA 02740
22 Grape St, New Bedford, MA 02740
An offer to purchase represents a key milestone in the homebuying journey. Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead to ensure you're ready to submit a homebuying proposal. Because if you know what it takes to put together a competitive offer to purchase a house, you can boost the likelihood that a home seller accepts your proposal.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to submit an offer to purchase.
1. Study the Housing Market
The housing market fluctuates frequently. As such, you may enter a real estate market that favors buyers but slowly shifts into sellers' favor, or vice-versa. But if you examine the real estate sector closely, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and submit an offer to purchase that accounts for the current housing market's conditions.
If homes are selling quickly at or above their initial asking prices, you may be working in a seller's market. Comparatively, if houses linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months before they sell, you may be operating in a buyer's market. As you start to craft an offer to purchase a house, you should analyze the real estate market. By doing so, you can submit an offer to purchase that matches a seller's expectations.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Entering the housing market with a budget in hand usually is beneficial. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can narrow your house search and stick to a budget as you pursue your dream residence.
Banks and credit unions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. Perhaps best of all, lenders employ mortgage specialists who can respond to your mortgage concerns and questions. If you collaborate with a lender today, you can get the financing you need to buy a house. Also, you can conduct a search for homes that fall within your price range and reduce the risk of submitting an offer to purchase that surpasses your budget.
3. Avoid a "Lowball" Offer
Submitting a "lowball" offer to purchase a home may seem like a good idea at first. Yet submitting a homebuying proposal that falls short of a seller's expectations is unlikely to help you acquire your dream house.
In most instances, a seller will instantly reject a lowball offer to purchase. And if you receive an immediate "No" from a seller, you risk missing out on the opportunity to purchase your ideal residence.
Allocate time and resources to craft a competitive homebuying proposal – you'll be glad you did. Otherwise, you run the risk of putting together a lowball offer that will miss the mark with a seller and force you to look elsewhere to purchase a house.
Lastly, if you need extra assistance as you perform a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. By employing a real estate agent, you should have no trouble crafting a competitive offer to purchase any home, regardless of the housing market's conditions.