Moving to a new home is an exciting new chapter. You may be expanding or downsizing, moving to a whole new province or country, or giving up the big city for life in the suburbs. No matter what your move entails, it’s a fresh start.
If you’re making the move from the city to the burbs, you may be worried about navigating an unfamiliar real estate market, or about how your life will change once you officially leave the city.
Here are a few considerations to make before you make the move to the suburbs, for city-dwellers:
Get Familiar with the Neighborhood Vibe
Leaving the city is a big change; undoubtedly, your lifestyle will change once you make the move. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing; but it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. So, don’t decide to move to the suburbs and then choose a neighborhood on a whim.
Get familiar with your potential neighborhoods, and spend a few Saturdays hanging out at your local coffee shop, or walking through your local stores. You don’t want to unpack the last box and realize that the neighborhood isn’t a good fit.
Plus, the suburbs may not be viewed as busy as the city, but the vibe varies from town to town. If you’re looking for something with a little bit more to do socially, don’t choose the super quiet retirement town you visited once and thought was adorable!
Brick Underground says a great way to familiarize yourself with the area is to attend some local or seasonal events. Introduce yourself to some of your potential neighbors, and see how you like the vibe.
Consider the Town Itself
In the suburbs, the town you move into will have an impact on your daily life, especially if you have kids. Make sure you take the time to research the school districts if necessary. Plus, check out local crime rates. What are the utilities services like, including garbage and electricity? What’s the cost of living in that particular town? Think about things like traffic, ease of getting to a grocery store, and being near public transit if you need it.
Once you know the answer to these things, you’ll be able to confidently choose the town that’s right for you.
If you’re relocating for a job, you’ll want to have an easy commute. Chances are you may be putting in some crazy hours while you’re getting up to speed.
Give the ride to work a test drive a couple mornings and evenings during rush hour, and see how you feel about the traffic or ease of public transit. Factor this into your choice when it comes to the neighborhood, as it’ll impact your everyday life—twice.
If you’re moving out of the range of public transit, you may need to purchase a car. When you’re thinking about your housing costs and budget, don’t forget to factor in a car payment, car insurance, and gas money. Hopefully, you’re still getting a better deal on your home than what you may have paid in the city, but a car payment can make a big impact on your monthly bottom line.
Property taxes can vary quite drastically from town to town in the suburbs, and you may be surprised to hear that it could actually cost more money in taxes to own a home in the suburbs than it does to own a home in the city. Make sure you do your research with your broker to make sure you won’t end up with an unexpectedly high homeowner’s tax.
Choosing the House
You may find yourself easily overwhelmed with the housing market in the suburbs; it may be hard to buy an apartment in the city, but the suburban housing market is no joke either. Lots of people are settling down and buying homes in well-prized neighborhoods, so be prepared for a bit of a stressful search. Make sure you choose the home based on location and ease of access to things you need, as well as the interior of the house itself.
Don’t write off a fixer-upper if you’re handy; the way home prices are soaring in some suburban neighborhoods, if you put a little bit of sweat into your home, you could end up walking away with a nice chunk of change when you sell in a couple years.
Remember that your considerations for your home will be different than your apartment; but some things may remain the same. For example, if you paid common charges at your old apartment, you may be excited to cross that item off of your budget spreadsheet—but some homes in the burbs have homeowners’ association fees that need to be paid monthly or yearly. Don’t forget to ask your broker if there are any other fees you should be aware of before you put in an offer.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
And lastly, remember to have fun with the process! Starting over in a new neighborhood, with a couple extra bedrooms to fill your things with, is an exciting change of pace. You may miss the 2am Chinese takeout in the city, but you’re trading it in for a whole new lifestyle, and we think you’re going to love it.
When you’re ready to make the move, give Dowell’s Moving & Storage a call at (250) 361-9866. With professional moving, packing and shipping service at your side, you can move freely to any area without worrying!