If you’re relocating to another neighborhood, another city, or another state, you’ll need to know a thing or two about your new surroundings. For home buyers, that includes digging up data on real estate prices, home values, and real estate agents – in addition to school districts, crime rates, etc.
To help our buyers who may be considering relocating, we’ve compiled a brief list of some great online resources. Take a look at each one and bookmark your favorites. And as always, these are just jumping off points; you may find that they lead you to other resources that can be just as valuable.
Let’s get started.
Did you know there are whole businesses revolving around relocation? These relocation specialists are usually hired by large companies to help move their employees who are being transferred to other locations. For example, if you’ve been offered a promotion to go manage one of your company’s corporate offices in another state, your employer may use relocation service to help organize and execute your move.
However, relocation services are not exclusively for employee relocation. Many of these relocation companies offer what is known as individual relocation, which refers to people who are moving without corporate benefits. Allen Tate, Howard Hanna, and Earth Relocation are a few businesses that offer individual relocation services.
Finding the Right Real Estate Agent
If you’re not working with a relocation specialist, you’ll most likely have to find a real estate agent on your own. This can be a lot easier and less intimidating than you think. You can either ask friends and relatives for advice (only helpful if they happen to live in the area you’re relocating to), or you can browse the National Association of Realtors database to find a licensed REALTOR serving your target area.
A piece of advice: Find a real estate agent you like and trust well ahead of your move. That way they can go ahead and begin scouting out homes with features you like. Also, by getting a head start, your agent may be able to help you avoid having to live in a hotel or sign a short term lease once you arrive at your new location.
Investigate Different Neighborhoods
While you’re perusing the Realtor.com site, you might as well use their Local Info search feature to study popular neighborhoods in your new hometown. Simply click on their “LOCAL” tab on the top of the homepage and type in a neighborhood to get some basic stats.
Not sure what the best neighborhoods are in your new city? Type in the name of the city instead and you’ll see a list of neighborhoods and ZIP codes about halfway down the page.
Here are a few other sites that are great for researching neighborhoods and demographics:
Neighborhood Scout: http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/
Zillow’s “Local Topics” forum: http://www.zillow.com/advice/US/local-topics/question-discussion-guide/
Keep in mind that you can also use local government and tourism sites to get a real feel for your new community. These sites can help you find fun things to do in your new area, connect you with important resources, and more.