Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Research Mode

Well my brain is in overload.  With the job offer from Maryland Josh and I have been doing a lot of research about the area and the offer.  I came out of the library the other day with a big arm load of books on job offers, credit scores, morgages, house hunting, etc.  We've also been doing a lot of research online.  I have learned A TON but I know there is so much more we need to figure out before we dive into anything. I've got a lot of reading still ahead of me.

Some of the websites that I have found very helpful include:

http://www.zillow.com/ is a real estate website that gives you the values of surrounding houses and lets you search a map for homes for sale in your price range.  It also gives a simple overveiw of the area.  It is a very user friendly site.

http://www.homefair.com/ I have yet to explore all that this website has but today I used their salary calculator which showed me what the median salary was for a job nationwide compared with a specific area. (I was able to compare salaries between here and baltimore).  They also have a cost of living calculator and school reports.

http://www.city-data.com/ has a webpage for most every city in the country.  Includes statistics about the residents, cost of living, income, schools, etc.  There are a lot of graphs and charts.  They also have a helpful forum.

Are there any resources you have used and would suggest to hlelp with buying your first home, relocation, etc?

5 comments:

Susan said...

We very heavily used ziprealty.com in searching for homes (in addition to the help from our realtor... who also happened to be a friend from our ward). Good luck with all the big changes you have coming up for your family! I'm so excited for you!!

Jessica said...

When Trav and I moved to Houston Exxon paid for a realtor. She showed us all around Houston and recommended an area that she thought we would like. We got our first apt in a different area. 1 year later . . . we moved to the area she recommended and have stayed here more or less for 9 years. I wouldn't buy a house until you've been in the area and been able to ask around - especially about schools. The ratings on school districts are good, but there's nothing like the advice from other parents.

Kristen Strong said...

The federal government has a really informative home buying web site: http://www.hud.gov/buying/

I also recommend moving to an area for a while prior to buying a home. We are both from Utah, but had no idea about life in Kaysville, we thought we would like living in Kaysville, but didn't know for sure. We also had know idea where in Kaysville we would be happy. We learned a lot about our "city of distinction" in the 1 year prior to buying our home. For example: 1) commute time (work, family, air-port, places of interest, etc); 2 )schools and commute to school(this was a HUGE factor on where we moved-- you can walk to our elementary, middle, and high school and they are all top rated. Some areas we looked at required a driving on busy streets, high ways, and even free way); 3) accessibility to shopping (i.e. grocery store, wal-mart, etc.); 4) neighborhood dynamics (are the yards taken care of, how many cars are parked in the front, how many rental properties- homes and apartments- are in the neighborhood, etc); 5) ward dynamics, 6) safety and crime (you can get this from the city search site); 7) sale-ability of homes within neighborhoods of interest (we would watch our neighborhoods of interest and see how long houses sat on the market and how many houses were for sale at a given time-- obviously the neighborhoods that rarely had a house for sale and sold houses fast were better for re-sale potential-- you never know if you will have to re-locate), 8)and so much more.

Charis said...

my suggestion would be to rent in a place before you buy. especially since you are moving accross the country. we love our ward, but when we buy our next house it will not be in granite school district. I hate granite school district. I wish I would have known that before we moved here. However, I dont' know that it would have made a difference, the Lord told us to move here, and when the Lord says to do something, you do it. But I would still recomend renting. We were going to buy up in davis school district, because I could get hud homes for 50% off because I was a teacher, however we rented aunt emma's basement, and discovered that if Craig was going to be the main bread winner we needed to move closer to his work, we were both going insane with Craig's commute. So I would recommend renting for a while. However, if the Lord tells you to do something, I would recommend doing it, even if it makes no sense. . . I think that your best resource is the Lord. Good Luck.

My-Garden of Eden said...

Sara,

Sounds like you guys are making the "BIG" decision. It is a hard one and life changing! It is fun though to see what choice you make unfold! So, I saw you went to Minnesota to get family history. ALL of my one line comes from Minnesota and so I thought I would ask if be some small chance any of your family married into mine. What part of Minnesota are they all from? Mine are usually from Morrison I believe Swanville county?? I may have that backwards. If either of these towns sound familier and you have record I would love to share names!! Thanks so much.
(Abbi Penn)
my e-mail is abbs underscore stamps at yahoo dot com. Cant wait to hear!