When life brings you to a new city or state, it can be tempting to buy a home and put down roots right away, especially if you have children. Even if you foresee yourself being in the new area for the long haul, it is smart to hold back and rent for the first year. Yes, renting can be uncomfortable in some ways and for many, it can sting to pay the rent each month without building equity, but renting first is generally the pragmatic real estate choice if you are not familiar with your new city or state. Why? Because you cannot accurately assess the area and what you want and need from it without living there long enough to know it. By renting first, you can avoid locking yourself into a mortgage on a house or in a neighborhood that turns out to not be the ideal fit for you.
What You Learn in the First Year
There is a lot to learn during your first year in a new city, such as:
- Local and state laws;
- Its geographical layout;
- The different neighborhoods and their amenities; and
- How the city compares to others in the area.
During your first year, you might find that the schools in the next town over are rated higher and choose to send your children there. Or you might find that with your work schedule, a commute from your first choice of neighborhood would be extremely difficult and choose a house closer to your job.
Renting First can Save You a Lot of Money
Buying a house is expensive. Even when a home is a great deal, you have to consider closing costs and any inspections or upgrades you need in order to move into the new home. Now consider having to do it all over again in two or five years if you find that buying the first house that came up landed you in the wrong neighborhood or the wrong house for your family. When you rent, you simply sign a lease and move in.
Use an online rent vs. buy calculator to determine the point at which it makes more financial sense to buy than rent in your new area. Research the home prices, rent prices, and market trends in the area to get a better sense of the financial commitment you will be making with your move.
Work with an Experienced Real Estate Lawyer
When you are planning to buy a new home, there are a lot of moving parts to the transaction that you have to consider. If you are not familiar with your new area, do not even think about these moving parts yet; get a feel for it by renting first so you will be better equipped to work through the house buying process if you do decide to make it your long-term home. Contact our team of experienced real estate lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd today to schedule your initial consultation with us to talk more about selling your home, buying your next home, and all the issues that arise in between.