The cost of buying a new house is more than just the listing price. In fact, it is unlikely you will know the true cost of buying a home until you've lived in it for a certain period of time. This is one factor that makes it difficult to compare houses that are located in different metro areas. If you focus on the list price only, you may fail to notice the other cost implications of choosing a particular house. How can you compare houses located in different metro areas to get a better idea of how much value you are actually getting for your money?
What Is the Rest of the Neighborhood Like?
One of the most accurate measures of the real value of a house is the neighborhood in which it is located. You may find two similarly priced houses in different neighborhoods, but are these houses the norm or the exception? If you spend a fortune on a home in the wrong neighborhood, you may not be able to sell it for a profit later on. This is why you should consider the cost of similar properties in the same neighborhood or whether it is the only property of its kind in the area.
Will Life in a Particular Metro Area Come with Greater Expenses?
In the beginning, buying property in a low-cost metro area may seem like a good way to pay less and still get a good home. However, if the neighborhood has security issues, for example, living there can be more expensive. Your home and car insurance rates will likely be higher due to the increased likelihood of theft or vandalism. You may also have other additional costs such as higher transportation, private school, taxes, or food costs. In the long run, the money you save by choosing a particular neighborhood could end up being money spent on unforeseen living expenses. That's why it is important to evaluate the differing costs in each metro area.
Another important factor is your commuting situation. Will you be driving a longer distance to work or perhaps using public transportation? Commuting can cost you a lot of money in fuel expenses, car insurance costs, and transportation fares. A long commute can also have a negative impact on your career and home life. A great house with a longer commute may end up being a bad deal.
Access to Amenities
When you need to go shopping or walk your dog, having certain amenities close-by will be very convenient. Many homeowners pay extra for this access. If you need easy access to a school, a park, or any other amenity, you should consider which of the two properties offers what you want when you're looking at homes for sale.
As you can see, comparing homes in two places is not as simple as just comparing the sticker value. It's wise to consult a real estate agent in each area who can help you get acquainted with the pros and cons of each property you are considering. This will help you make a well-rounded and thoughtful decision.