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You Ask, We Answer: What Do I Need to Know About Relocating to the Suburbs During COVID-19?
Our new reality during the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted in myriad ways: From distance learning and working from home to a premium value placed on living space, life under the coronavirus is shaping our present and helping to determine our future. With so many variables at play, it’s not surprising that many of us are considering options to make our lives more manageable and enjoyable—and why we’re seeing an influx of city dwellers seeking a new life in the suburbs of Connecticut. Whether you’re in search of more square footage, a yard or a general lifestyle overhaul, we’ve got tips on what you need to know about safely relocating to the suburbs during COVID-19. Read on for more.
Consider Your Top 5 Non-Negotiable House Features
According to Realtor Magazine, “nearly a third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas due to the coronavirus.” And Antonio Liguori, president of Calcagni Real Estate, agrees. He believes, as he told Connecticut Builder, that “Gen Y millennials age 25-39, who loved apartment living, are going to start moving out of dense rental communities and purchase homes.”
If you’re now looking to make a move from the city to a more spacious home in the Connecticut suburbs, having a plan for the type of home you’ll purchase can make an overwhelming task feel much more sane and streamlined.
There’s no doubt that a move from an apartment in a crowded city to a quiet home on a suburban street will take some getting used to, but having a vision for your new life will help you communicate with your Realtor so they can help find you the right home in the location that best suits your personality and lifestyle.
If you’re someone who loves to drive, for instance, buying a home that’s tucked away from the closest retail hub or grocery stores may be appealing to you; you may welcome the time it takes to drive from one destination to another. Those city dwellers who prefer walking to the best restaurant in their neighborhood may need to feel more connected to their new town’s center. If your company has an indefinite work-from-home policy in place or they’ve decided to shutter their office permanently, having a dedicated work space may be at the top of your must-have list. Ditto for those with children or pets who are seeking a yard; does it need to be a sprawling lawn, or will a smaller, fenced-in yard work best for you and your family? Consider your top five non-negotiable house features, and relay them to your Calcagni agent. This will help them narrow down the houses that not only best suit your budget and family life, but will make settling in to your new life that much more seamless.
Make Sure You’re Pre-Approved
With so many homebuyers looking to make the change to suburban living, the housing market has been busy, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of increased demand, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for your mortgage so when you find a house you love, you’re ready to make an offer. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than falling in love with a house, only to discover the finances don’t make sense. Additionally, according to Connecticut Magazine, “a lender will be able to tell you whether you can afford a specific home and give you, your agent and the seller peace of mind.” Lenders will also be able to help you decide what makes sense financially in these uncertain economic times, including what to budget should you or a loved one get laid off.
Lastly, keep in mind that during COVID-19, both buyer’s and seller’s agents may restrict in-person showings to only those who are pre-qualified, even as Connecticut begins to open up. Once you have your pre-approval, your Calcagni agent can tailor your search, ensuring the houses you see make sense for you now—which leads to much less stress along the way, for everyone involved.
Consider Your New Community In Its Entirety
While your list of top features in your dream house is an important part of your real estate profile, researching the community where it’s located is a must. For many buyers, school rankings can be an important consideration, but knowing how the school district has evolved over the last decade or so can give you a more comprehensive understanding of the town’s resources, how they’re allocated and what the district’s priorities are. If you do have young children, take into account what childcare will look like, because even if you’re telecommuting during the pandemic, you may need childcare to make sure you can get your work done. And don’t forget to look forward: When the coronavirus pandemic begins to ebb, what will your life look like in your new community? Does it have a history of town-wide events you’ll enjoy? Does the neighborhood have an active block association? Are there families nearby for your children to play with?
Wherever you decide to trade your city life in for a suburban one, your Calcagni agent can help you navigate this major life shift, providing you with a 360 degree view of the best place for you to begin anew—and that will make all the difference in making your new house feel like home.