There are so many things to take into consideration when looking for a new city or neighborhood to move to, and there are also so many wonderful places to live in and around Bryan and College Station, TX. If you’re having a hard time choosing a city that fits your budget, lifestyle and professional needs we’ve put together some guidelines to help you narrow down your options. Things like employment opportunities, weather, local schools and crime rates are always at the top of everyone’s lists, but there are a few additional items to keep on your checklist when looking for a place to buy a new home.
- First thing’s first, job prospects are high on the list of priorities when moving to a new town or city. Whether you are choosing to live in a small town outside the city and willing to commute for work, or if you prefer to live as close as possible to your job, it’s important to be familiar with the job market and what type of work is available. Try to plan long term as well, nowadays it’s more common for individuals to switch jobs every couple of years instead of working at the same company for 20+ years. To figure out the job prospects in and around the city you are interested in you should take some time to do thorough research on the companies in the area that offer jobs in your field.
- Pay attention to the local demographics, if you are married with children you probably would prefer a more suburban destination versus a city area dominated by young college students. And on the other hand, if you are young and single you might prefer a more exciting place to live where there are more people your age versus older couples and families. Before you settle on a new city or town do your research on the local demographics to find out more about the local residents so you can figure out if it’s a good fit for you.
- A city’s cost of living is an extremely important factor when picking a new place to live. This should include everything from real estate prices, transportation, average cost of groceries and dining out, gas and even entertainment. If the cost of living is high, then you will need to earn more in order to live comfortably without stressing and feeling overwhelmed. Cities that have a higher cost of living tend to provide greater job opportunities, but residents often have to sacrifice living space when renting or buying a home, and owning real estate is much harder.
- Speak with a local real estate professional about the housing market so you can determine if you can afford to buy a home in the neighborhood you’d like to live in. The realtor can help you find the perfect property to rent or to buy and also connect you to an experienced lender who can assist you with securing a mortgage loan.
- If you are choosing to buy a home and expect it to be a longer-term investment, it’s important to explore the local schools and learn more about the education system. Whether you have kids now or plan to in the future, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the options that are available. There are various websites you can look into like Great School Ratings for school rankings, or you can check out this comprehensive report about Bryan and College Station school information.
- Not everyone is cut out for cold winters and not everyone can handle hot and humid summers, which is why it’s important to look into the average temperatures and climate of the area you are looking to move into. Bryan-College Station enjoys a wonderful climate with an average of 40 inches of rain per year and 215 days of sun. The summers tend to run hot with the high around 95 degrees and August being the hotter month of the year with high humidity. The most pleasant months of the year are March, April and October, and the winters are mild with temperatures in the 40s-50s.
- Unfortunately, crime is unavoidable no matter where you live or move to. There will always be some type of crime, whether it’s mail theft, vandalism or something serious like violent property crime. You should definitely look into a city’s crime rates before you move and speak to your real estate agent so you can learn more about the specific neighborhood that you are interested in.
There are many other things to think about and research before you make the decision to move to a new city, but these are our top recommendations as you get started on your search. Bryan-College Station is a wonderful place to visit and to live in, but there are also some outstanding towns just on the outskirts of the city that are worth looking into. Somerville, TX is a city in Burleson County that is just a short 30-minute drive (25 miles) into College Station. Somerville is a small town with a population of nearly 2,000 residents, mainly families. Somerville was established in 1882 when the Santa Fe Railroad created a strategic switching yard and railroad tie plant. Today the city is a major recreational resorts that is nestled between the Hill Country and Piney Woods, and you can find some wonderful Somerville real estate opportunities for a primary residence or a single-family home you can use as a weekend getaway should you want to escape the city.
If you’re interested in buying Somerville real estate, you may find some incredible opportunities on “fixer-upper” properties that are priced very well but will require some TLC to turn them into your dream home. The perfect fixer-upper home is one that you can invest some cash into that will not only retain its value but will appreciate and will become a highly desirable property should you choose to sell it in the future. Some homes that the average homebuyer classifies as a fixer-upper are properties that others would consider turnkey and ready to be occupied. Small cosmetic issues like peeling paint, worn carpets and dated fixtures are a turn-off for a lot of buyers, but these imperfections are very easy to fix with minimal investment. A true fixer-upper is a home that needs a little bit more work than cosmetic upgrades – you may need to upgrade the plumbing, electrical work and HVAC system, you might want to put in new floors, create a new kitchen plan or knock out some walls to create an open floor plan.
The most important thing when it comes to fixer-upper projects is the location of the property – you want to find the worst looking house in the best neighborhood and most desirable location. Once you find your ugly duckling it’s time to work with your real estate agent to submit an offer and officially make it your own before you begin any type of renovation work. The process of buying a fixer-upper can be different than buying a regular home – because the price is lower to make up for the condition of the property you may have to forgo a home inspection and buy the home “as-is.” This means that if there are any more serious issues that aren’t visible to the naked eye you won’t know about them until you begin your project, which can end up being expensive, but it is the risk you take with a fixer upper.
Once you close escrow on your fixer upper, the real work officially begins. The most important thing when rehabbing a home is to be realistic about your abilities and to know when to hire a professional. It’s important to always work with a licensed and insured plumber and electrician if these are items that you will need to fix in your new home. Patching walls, painting or replacing fixtures are easy enough to do yourself even if you’ve never done any type of home project before, you could probably even do some tile work if it came down to it. But if you need to fix broken windows, refinish the floors or any other type of extensive work it’s best to get help or hire a professional – there’s nothing worse than investing time and money into resources only to do it poorly and have to start from scratch.
Finding a new town or neighborhood to live in takes time and research, as does finding the perfect property to purchase. From start to finish the real estate process takes patience, time and money – so it’s important that you have professional help and guidance through it all. For more tips and tricks to finding a home, investing in a fixer upper or to learn more about popular neighborhoods in and around Bryan-College Station make sure to contact our team. We have more than 25 years of experience assisting buyers, sellers and investors and we look forward to helping make your real estate dreams a reality.