8 Tips on Relocating to a New Neighborhood

Moving to a new neighborhood can be daunting. There’s unpacking a ton of moving boxes and doing chores related to the move. Add to that learning about the schools, commutes, and local hangouts.

To make the process easier for you, our expert realtors made a list of tips for relocating to a new neighborhood.

#1. Pick a Good Neighborhood

Before moving, the first step is to decide where you want to relocate. Do your research to find the right area for you.

  • What are the housing prices? Can you really afford to buy a home in one of the best neighborhoods? Use the 28/36 rule. “Your mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 28% of your monthly pre-tax income and 36% of your total debt.”
  • How long is the commute? If you work hybrid or full-time in the office or have kids, consider how far away the new neighborhood is from where you’ll work or take the kids to school.
  • Does this place have a lot of crime? Search online for crime statistics. You’ll want to live in a safe neighborhood, after all. Once you move in, you can also install a home security device for added security.

#2. Change Your Mailing Address

Continue receiving mail without interruption by contacting the United States Postal Service (USPS) to change your address. This can be done online, in-person by visiting a USPS office and filling out the PS Form 3575, or over the phone by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS.

#3. Transfer the Utilities

Find your local providers to transfer or change the utilities, including electricity, water, gas, Internet, and cable TV. Of course, there are some utilities you may not decide to keep, like if you decide to remove cable TV to save money or switch to streaming. 

#4. Make the New House a Home

Unpacking takes time, but you’ll feel more comfortable in your new space when your familiar belongings are in sight.

  • Maximize your storage space in each room.
  • Use closets to store clothes, linens, or food.
  • Set up kitchen appliances.
  • Place bookshelves for books, frames, and knickknacks.
  • Hang up the TV and connect to the video game system.
  • Arrange plants.

#5. Secure Your New Home

It’s essential to keep your home a safe space. This includes:

  • having a fire extinguisher on each floor,
  • installing fire alarms, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors,
  • changing the locks of all outside doors,
  • checking to make sure the windows and doors close securely,
  • having exterior lighting,
  • and adding, if desired, a home security system.

#6. Meet Your Neighbors

Now that you’re all moved in, it’s time to explore the area and meet new people! Start by meeting your neighbors. They can be a tremendous help by giving you advice or useful information on how things work in the community.

Walk over and introduce yourself and maybe ask a few questions about the neighborhood to carry on a conversation. In time, you may even become good friends.

#7. Scope Out the Best Local Establishments

Whether you’re into visiting museums, seeing musical performances, or trying new restaurants, you’ll want to find the best hangouts in your new community.

Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Yelp can give you the location and reviews. If you’re feeling social, talk to your neighbors to see where they like to go for fun. Visit nearby shopping centers, landmarks, coffee shops, and diners.

If you have kids, seek out local recreation spots, like parks, swimming pools, roller skating rinks, and libraries. These locations offer several benefits, from keeping kids active and engaged to coping with boredom and helping them adjust to a new home.

#8. Join Local Organizations

Joining local nonprofit organizations is a great way to foster a sense of community. Volunteering

  • improves the lives of others.
  • makes the community a better place.
  • lets you make a direct impact.
  • can teach you new skills.
  • develops close relationships with others.

Plus, many organizations host meetings and events where you mingle with others and enjoy food, drinks, and entertainment.

Make Moving Easier With The Massey Team

The experienced realtors at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties will help you find the right home in the perfect neighborhood! We have extensive knowledge of the area and market local to St. Louis and the Metro East.

Get started by browsing our listings or talking with a member of our team at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

There are several TV shows about people restoring run-down, outdated, or abandoned houses for a living. After watching a bunch of episodes and seeing houses beautifully transformed, it’s easy to feel you can do it yourself.

This could be the chance to buy your dream home. Still, it’s important to note that buying a fixer-upper is a significant investment in time and money. So, here are the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper.

What Is a Fixer-Upper?

A fixer-upper is a house that requires major maintenance work. The buyer has to restore the property to a comfortable living condition. As such, the price is lower than the market rate.

Pros

Buying a property that needs work can be appealing, and with good reason. Here’s why people are drawn to this option.

Lower Purchase Price

Buying a fixer-upper is certainly cheaper than purchasing a house that’s move-in ready. It’ll come with a lower listing price and down payment requirement.

Since no two houses are the same, there’s no direct comparison as to how much money you’d save. Still, this could be your way of joining a neighborhood that’s typically out of your budget.

Less Competition

There’s typically less competition when it comes to purchasing a fixer-upper. Many people are looking for a move-in ready home or they don’t have the time, energy, or resources for renovation projects.

Luckily for you, that means you’re less likely to be in a bidding war, and the deal could go quicker and more smoothly.

It’s Customizable

Once you own a home in need of repairs, you have the freedom to truly customize the space. Meet your wants and needs by remodeling the kitchen countertops, changing out the bathroom tiles, building a deck, or expanding the living room.

While it’s a lot of work, it’ll give you a sense of accomplishment.

The Value Will Increase

By choosing specific upgrades, the value of your fixer-upper will increase. If done correctly, you could flip your fixer-upper and make a significant profit. Know the value of renovations before starting, so you can be aware of what will add the most value to your house.

Cons

Also consider the pitfalls of buying a fixer-upper. While you’ve learned this strategy can be profitable, the drawbacks listed below could impact your success.

Unforeseen Problems

Fixer-upper homes often come with unforeseen problems that lead to extra costs. While setting a budget is necessary, it may not be realistic depending on if extra repairs show up along the way.

Costly Repairs

Look at the renovations required. Cosmetic repairs include replacing the windows, refinishing the kitchen, and updating the floors, paint, and siding. This minor work has the biggest return on investment.

Structural repairs, on the other hand, include fixing the cracking foundation, updating the electrical wiring, and putting in better roof support. These renovations are costly and don’t provide much of a return.

Cost of Building Materials

Lumber prices have been inconsistent, with record-setting spikes and periods of decline. According to the National Association of Home Builders’ latest estimates, the price changes between April 2022 and July 2022 are enough to add $14,345 to the price of a new single-family home and $5,511 to the market value of a new multifamily home.

This price increase in lumber, in turn, also affects the cost of renovating older homes.

Long-Term Construction

This is not a fast endeavor. Home renovations are time-consuming and it could take months or years for everything to be completed. Plus, unless you have somewhere else to live, you’ll be living in a construction zone, which isn’t necessarily feasible.

More Stress

Fixing up a house is stressful. Doing all the work yourself will easily eat up all your free time. So will finding and hiring contractors and supervising their work.

To reduce stress, ask your contractor, lender, and realtor any questions you have to make sure you understand what’s involved and that repairs are being done properly.

Work With an Expert at The Massey Team

Is buying a fixer-upper right for you? Find out by talking with the professional realtors at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties! We don’t just sell homes; we help others make positive life changes.

Our goal is to make the process of buying or selling your home as stress free as possible. Simply give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to talk with a member of our team!