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Across America, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted some serious lifestyle changes.
With companies offering an increasing number of options for remote employment and schools transitioning to virtual classes, many people are reevaluating their living situations. In addition, mortgage rates have reached historic lows, encouraging potential homebuyers to enter the market.
The result? City dwellers are flocking to the suburbs in record numbers. If a move to suburbia is on your radar, here are five important things to consider.
- What will your job look like in the future? With so many companies implementing work from home policies, flexible work experiences have become the norm. Proximity to the office may no longer be necessary. If you’re contemplating a move, start by checking with your employer to understand what remote work may look like for your position in the months and years to come. Do they anticipate having a long term remote work policy or will office activities eventually resume as usual? Will you need to come in on a semi-regular basis, such as weekly or monthly? Will your role, responsibilities, or compensation change if you opt to be fully remote? Have this conversation early on so you’ll know what’s expected down the road. This information can help guide your decision about where to move.
- Is it a sound financial decision? When mortgage costs and property taxes are factored in, living in the city is generally more costly than living in the suburbs or rural areas. While some rents have dropped recently in hot urban areas like New York and San Francisco, home prices remain high in cities across the country. That means home shoppers may be able to economize by moving to a more affordable area. And because mortgage rates have plunged to historic lows, potential home buyers can save even more if they take advantage of this opportunity. Could you upgrade your home by having increased buying power in a less expensive location or simply reduce your overall cost of living? If so, a move the suburbs in the near future may be a smart financial decision.
- How much room do you need? One big reason the suburbs are so attractive is the ample amount of space to be had! But remember—the bigger the home, the more furnishings you’ll need to fill it. The maintenance will be more time-consuming and costly, too. It’s important to consider the amount of space you and your family require. Do you need extra bedrooms, more storage, or a larger yard? If so, it’s time to check out the real estate listings. Pro tip: Start saving for furniture and decor now so that you won’t have to wait months or years to properly outfit your new home.
- How far outside of the city do you want to go? Do you prefer a bustling suburban area or is the slower pace of rural life more appealing? Do you want plenty of space between you and your neighbors or would you be happier chatting it up when you get your morning newspaper? Cost is another factor. As you move farther away from the city, the lower the average home price is likely to be. So, for example, a smallish suburban townhouse might cost about the same as an expansive two-story home in the country. Keep in mind that living in a more rural locale will require longer commutes for shopping, dining, nightlife, and access to healthcare. Public transportation may be largely non-existent, too. The key is to evaluate what matters most to you and determine which living environment best responds to those priorities.
- Is the vibe right for you? Making the move to suburbia requires more than simply choosing an affordable single family home and calling the moving company. Suburban life is known for its community spirit and residents tend to be friendlier than they are in big cities. You’ll likely be putting down roots down in your neighborhood for some time, so make sure it suits your family’s needs and lifestyle. As you narrow down your choices, visit each community and assess the atmosphere. Check out the parks, schools, libraries, restaurants, and shopping. Attend some community events and chat with the locals. This kind of “casual research” should provide a good sense for which locations are the most appropriate for your lifestyle preferences.
Relocating to the suburbs is a major life milestone.
It’s wise to consider all of your options and take your time making a decision. Asking yourself the key questions outlined above can help you understand your current priorities and make the best choice for your unique situation.
The Certified Title team is here to offer helpful insights and valuable resources that enhance all types of residential and commercial real estate transactions. To make your next move its most successful, please contact our knowledgeable professionals.
About Certified Title Corporation: Since 1994, attorney-owned Certified Title Corporation has been furnishing residential and commercial real estate stakeholders across the nation with robust title insurance, settlement, and escrow services. Renowned for industry-leading reliability and exemplary level of service and quality, the Maryland-based company helps clients from all walks of life achieve their asset goals. To learn more, call (888)486-5511 or visit https://www.certifiedtitlecorp.com/.
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