Will it Really Be Cheaper To Buy a House in a Cheaper City?

Man and woman carrying moving boxesIf you’re a homeowner in an expensive city, you may have been amazed when you learned what your home price could buy you elsewhere. The price of a studio apartment in Manhattan may well pay for a mansion in a mid-sized town in Minnesota.

Have you ever considered moving to a cheaper place so you can afford a bigger or nicer house? If the job you do can’t be done elsewhere, the idea’s a nonstarter, except if there are cheaper areas you could commute from. But if your job is the kind you can take to other cities, you may wonder whether you’d be better off a few towns—or states—over.

Don’t act too fast, though. The calculus may not be as simple as it first appears. Yes, it’s true that the same money will buy you more—or less—house depending where you are. But there are quite a few other factors that may impact how much you can really afford in the new locale.

First, consider heating and cooling costs. If you are moving to a colder or warmer climate than your current one, you’re bound to pay more for one or the other, especially if you’re moving to a big place.

Then there’s the question of property and income taxes, which vary widely from place to place. If you’re moving somewhere with higher taxes than you currently pay, that’s a bite out of your buying power.

It’s a similar story with interest rates, which vary from place to place and time to time, so you can’t count on getting the same rate on the new house as you did on the old one. Of course there’s the chance you’ll get a better rate, but if you don’t, you’ll be paying more for a house that costs the same as the former one.

A lot of people dream of living somewhere cheaper so they can get someplace bigger. But consider the costs that come along with owning a bigger house: more maintenance, lawn care, cleaning, furniture, and energy use. These things cost money, again reducing how much you can afford.

There’s also the question of the age of the new home. Older homes typically end up needing more maintenance and more expensive fixes and remodels. They also tend to be draftier and less well insulated, which translates to higher heating costs.

When you take all these factors into consideration, is a new home in a different area such a good deal? Each situation will be different, so it’s worth thinking carefully about your plan before you hire the moving van.

Are you thinking of moving to a cheaper city? After considering all these factors, is your decision still the same?

House Hunting Warning Signs

It’s here! The big day where you have gotten all your savings together, your mortgage pre-approval set and now you and your realtor can head out searching for houses.

While it all seems pretty exciting when you’re watching House Hunters, there are a few key things that you are going to want to watch out for during the home buying process that can lead to trouble later on. Continue reading

Tips for First Time Home Buyers: Saving for the Down Payment

Mini Storage, Storage Facility, Storage Unit, StorageFor most people, the most expensive thing you will ever buy is a home. At hundreds of thousands of dollars, it can be very intimidating to think about where to even start saving for home ownership.

But, the important thing is to start.

Here we are going to go over a few steps that you can take in order to make your future home buying that much easier. Because, let’s face it, if you have a nice tidy sum sitting in a bank account for a down payment, the options you are going to have for a house really open up. Continue reading

Improve your House Hunt with these Amazing Apps

Storage, Self Storage, Storage Facility, Storage Unit, Mini Storage

Searching for a new home is certainly one of the more exciting times in your life. Everything seems so rosy and new, visions of hardwood floors and stainless appliances dance through your head. Gone are the days where the savvy house hunter simply relied on their realtor for the best information.

Now, the power of the search is right at your fingertips!

In the digital age, we all want information, and we want it now. How much quicker could your search for your new dream home go if you could pre-screen everything before you saw it? Continue reading