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Relocation Advice: Make Your Next Move Your Best Move with These Tips

Aug 17, 2007
Moving can be one of the most stressful times in your life, so how does the average buyer do a good job of finding the best place to live in their dream locale?

If you don't already know the area, then research, research, research! Make sure you know the good areas and the bad area before you end up buying the right house in the wrong neighborhood. Remember, don't go on looks alone. Identify trends because an area that looks iffy may be on its way up while a nice looking area may be in decline.

It's too late when the closing has happened and you get the keys. Realizing that you have made a big mistake at this point is no good. You end up wanting to sell or you put up with something that had you known about it from the outset, you wouldn't have bought the place.

20 years ago, the library was "the" place to get information. In some communities it is still a useful resource for local publications. Now we have the Internet--available 24/7 from the comfort of your living room or kitchen.

However, like a big library the Internet contains a huge volume of information and figuring out the wheat from the chaff is very difficult. A number of websites are now relating all the information into useful data that people can easily compare places with which they otherwise might not be familiar.

Using one of these websites (e.g., Best Places, Neighborhood Scout, My Dream Locale) to narrow down your search for the place of your dreams. Find a locale that you and your family can be happy, will save you valuable time and allow you to be very pro-active with your Realtor.

Just as with buying a car, use the Internet to get the facts before engaging with a salesperson. To be informed is to be in control.

You will be able to tell them exactly which zip code or neighborhood you have identified as being the best match for you. They can then give you details of houses in this area only, rather than trying to direct you into a great house in the wrong area. This will save you time by only looking at houses in the areas you already know are right for you.

Once you have the area figured out, here are tips to make sure that the house is the right house for you:

Shared drives--often look OK to start out with but can turn into resentment as your neighbor parks their cars/deliveries/friends inconsiderately so that you struggle to get to your own house.

Primary roads--may look quiet but after you have moved in you find out that they are bus or commuter routes, or used by emergency vehicles who blast past your house in the middle of the night with their sirens going.
Adjacent to part-time businesses or parking lots--ensure they are not a hangout for people who may cause damage, reducing the value of your house and causing you to incur maintenance cost.

High Power Lines or electricity substations--many people have the perception that they are a health or safety risk, which may impact your ability to sell when you're ready to move.

Near restaurants, night clubs or bars--can subject you to unwanted smells or noise.

Flood plains or coastal areas--in addition to the distress of coping with flood or storm damage, many insurance companies will either not offer coverage or will charge very high premiums. Make sure you can obtain the coverage you want before entering into a purchase agreement.

Doing the right research beforehand and keeping these things in mind when looking for your dream house can shorten the moving period and avoid you making any costly mistakes in what may be your biggest purchase.
About the Author
Glen Franklin is a partner in Community Insight LLC, which operates www.MyDreamLocale.com. MyDreamLocale.com helps you find best places in your price range, compare cost of living and get real estate, school, demographic statistics for locales across the US. Relocation advice you can use.
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