List price by itself can be an ineffective or incomplete way of comparing homes in different metro areas. That holds even if you adjust list prices for the cost of living and the different salaries you might earn in various areas. When assessing properties, consider factors such as commuting distance and availability of amenities.
5 Metrics to Compare Homes in Different Areas
One critical factor is the expenses associated with that neighborhood or metro area. These are not always expenses tied to the cost of living.
1. Whether Your Expenses Will Be Higher or Lower
Some metro areas come with increased security risks. You might need to pay for a security system and shell out more money in car and home insurance rates in one area than in another. Other common areas in which expenses differ include taxes, gas, food, and even private school tuition.
2. Your Income
If you work for your company at a branch in a certain metro area, will your income differ from if you worked at a branch in another area? Many times, employees doing the same jobs in different cities get paid different salaries.
The difference might be enough to compensate for any higher expenses, but run the numbers to make sure. Ensure that you have a comfortable monthly budget for your new home and enough funds for a down payment.
3. Your Commute
What is the traffic like in one metro area versus another? Ideally, you’ll be able to test-drive your commute in each area a few times. Whether you are able to test-drive or not, it’s worth taking the time to research commutes, public transportation options, gas costs, and similar factors.
Keep in mind that commuting can get expensive with long trips, high gas costs, and vehicle wear and tear. If you are gone from home a lot, that can also decrease your quality of life. You have less time for personal activities.
In other words, a cheaper or bigger house farther out from your job could end up being a bad deal if it chews up your wallet and your free time. However, if you work from home as many people do, it could be the bargain of the century.
4. Amenities in the Area
Shopping malls, dog parks, and mental health resources are just a few of the essentials many people compare when exploring different metro areas. It can be worth paying more for a home with access to lots of amenities and resources.
Mental and emotional health issues are important, as is convenience. Sometimes, people move and find themselves isolated when a bit more research would have directed them to a different area.
5. Your Support System
Where do your trusted friends and family members live? Proximity to them could give one metro area an edge over another.
Let Real Estate Specialists Help
Real estate agents can be valuable sources of data and other information on properties in various metro areas. Get in touch today with Chapel Hill Realty Group at 919-740-0884 to find out more about houses and regions in North Carolina.