Rent before buying a house in a new city?

16 06 2010
I had this question buried somewhere in my last post, but I wanted to have more discussion on it:

If you’re moving to a new city where you aren’t completely familiar with the area, do you jump right in and buy a house and hope for the best, or do you rent for the short-term while you figure out all your options?

It does take a little while to find a house and have it inspected and deal with closing n’at. So you’ll have to live somewhere and a hotel probably ain’t gunna cut it.

Last year, we moved to an apartment across town for a few reasons. It was cheaper, it had a washer/dryer, and it was in an area that we thought we might want to buy someday. We wanted to give the area a test drive.

Sure, we could make the trip across a few rivers (Pittsburghers, gasp with me!) to visit, but that’s annoying.

Turns out, we love this part of the city. It’s really nice and has a lot to offer. It’s also really expensive. Bummer.

Whenever we move to Indianapolis, we will almost certainly need to rent a place for at least a short time, if not a year or more. The only way I see that not happening is if one of our relatives will be vacationing somewhere exotic and will want us to housesit. Heh! Not likely.

So I want to hear from you. If you’ve picked up and moved to a new city, did you buy a house right away? Did you get a rental for awhile?



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