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Old 03-14-2007, 04:12 PM
 
Location: UK but on the way to NJ!
239 posts, read 725,494 times
Reputation: 86

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My husband has been offered a job with an excellent relocation package. Part of it includes a house-hunting trip. We live in London, UK and will be relocating to the US. The start date for the job is beginning of July.

We pretty much have decided on the area we most would like to live, and on previous visits to the states have viewed several homes in the area. We get the MLS updates emailed to us. Right now there is so very little for sale that we like. I honestly couldn't even "make do" with any of the properties in our price range, let alone even fall in love with them.

I imagine that more people will be putting their houses up for sale towards the end of the school year. What time would be best to visit and see the most houses for sale--we have a week in the US. Ideally we would like to find a house and put an offer on it during our one-week visit, but if this doesn't happen we will have 2 months temporary housing provided by the company when we arrive.

late April (around Easter)
mid May
late May
early June

or should we plan on more houses being available during the summer and wait until:

July
August

Also--is it even feasible to start the whole buying process during our househunting week, and move in by early July?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Nine Mile Falls/Spokane, WA
864 posts, read 2,995,129 times
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This question would best be answered by the realtor you're using in the area you're moving to, depending on the market conditions of that area. Different areas of the country, and even within the same state, will have fluctuations on inventory and activity levels at different times of the year. If you haven't already established a working relationship with a realtor, I'd recommend finding someone who is willing to help you with the relocation, who knows the inventory trends of the area you are moving to who can answer these type of questions.
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:29 PM
 
8,322 posts, read 22,481,894 times
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Generally, most families place their homes on the market to coincide with their children's school year and school breaks. So that means the months leading into summer are the time to be looking.

That's not an absolute situation, because there's a lot of other reasons why folks have to sell a house or plan on a move.

My analogy would be planning to visit some of Britain's coastal tourist towns on a holiday time frame, say Whitsunday. Bet the places are crowded as can be, and you'd be better off vacationing another time if you could. The school schedule dictates the families travel times ....

IMO, I'd get in touch with a realtor in your target area specializing in long-distance relocations. If they're not able to find houses in your price range and target area, then it's unlikely that will change just because you've come on over to see what's available. You'd best get very comfortable with the realtor about what you require in advance and then adjust your price range or location or house features well in advance of your trip.

I wouldn't want to try to close a deal if financing is required any quicker than 45-90 days. So a July close would require a buying trip in the next month or so, given the time it will take to locate a house, get an offer accepted, and line up all the details. Of course, if you're a cash buyer, you can close much more quickly since many details of the transaction may be waived ... an appraisal, for example.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:23 AM
 
473 posts, read 1,577,531 times
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You may want to request allowance for 6 months of rental accomodations in an apt. complex that understands corporate relocations in the area you want to live in. This will give you the freedom to look around while getting to know the area; and will be easier on your husband who needs to start the job in July which is closer than you think at this point. It will also give you the advantage of taking care of all the details of financing etc. once you have chosen a home, and allow you flexibility on a move in date with the sellers which is to your advantage.

I remember handling two international relocations, and they can be a big adjustment for the buyers, so try and give yourself a reasonable time cushion.

We are cheering for you Ducky !
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: UK but on the way to NJ!
239 posts, read 725,494 times
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Thank you for your responses. WendyK I had no idea that the best inventory would vary by area. I have a realtor already and we have already chosen the town we want to live in. I am American and my British husband, son and I will be moving back to my homestate. It will be the first time in 18 years that I will be back home (I have been abroad most of my adult life.)


Sunsprit--I had to ask my husband what WhitSunday was--he told me it's the May Bank Holiday that's always rainy! Never heard of it before you mentioned it, in fact. The relocation package requirements are very complicated...and very precise. They will help get us a mortgage and pay all of the related house buying fees. The househunting trip needs to be booked very soon if we're going in April, so I am thinking mid-late May is more realistic. We can still keep looking when we arrive too if we haven't found anything.

Apple Annie that would be great if we could get 6 months instead of 2--but that would mean living without our shipment (furniture, etc.) for all that time UNLESS we wanted to pay to move it all again. They will pay to ship it from the port to our residence, but if we move again, we are in charge of moving it all. FIngers crossed that everything will work out timing-wise.

Thanks again for all of your help--anyone else have any ideas? In a family-oriented area, is it usually the case the properties will be more abundant around April-May-June or during June-July-August? My guess is April-May-June since based on the closing dates people with kids would want to be in their new homes by the start of school--but I guess it's a guessing game.

Anyone know where I can get a crytal ball? It would be so helpful!!
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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tiggywink ... I can tell you from firsthand exprience that the WhitSunday holiday is terribly crowded with families vacationing along the coastal resort towns around Cornwall. Some towns are completely sold out many months in advance.

It's almost impossible for a tourist to get in anywhere at the last minute b&b'ing travel in the region.

Attractions such as Tintagel are very crowded, and Nat'l Trust sites around Exmoor are mobbed with throngs of families and school kids.

We'll go back to visit again, but will be careful to select travel when the Brit and European schools are all in session. Next time will be to motorcycle through Cornwall and up through the Lakes District for a few weeks.

I'd be looking April-May-June ... the sellers with school age families will be needing the summer months (July-August) to do their relocation and settle in by the start of schools at the end of August.

It wouldn't hurt to contact another broker that specializes in your long-distance relocation. They may have other ideas that will help facilitate your move.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:41 PM
 
473 posts, read 1,577,531 times
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Tiggy, if you can wiggle just another 2 mos. of furnished corporate housing such as a Marriott Residency Inn -- a 4 mos. time frame would still be better. Two months is just not enough. It's going to take at least 3 weeks for your goods to be shipped over here. Many folks, if they don't have a purchased home to move into, will have their goods delivered directly to easily accessible storage, and the same mover will bring it to your new home at a discount. That is a minor cost to gain another 2 months of freedom to make the transition smoother. Everything will be tightly crated and storage areas in the warmer months you are talking about are reasonable.

Otherwise, you have to get over here asap and start looking and be limited to what is available at that time. Say you find a great house, but the sellers need to buy another house ... there is a domino effect right there. Paperwork will also have to be rushed through the bank. (On that note, it's very important to make sure you gather your financial papers and tax returns now, and either send them to a relative here via insured FedEx, or to your husband's H.R. relocation coordinator at his company, so there is no loss of documents. Keep a full set of copies too.)

On the other hand, you can always rent for a year on a month to month basis possibly, while you wait for something you want, rather than settle for what is available.

The corporate relocation companies hand pick the Realtors that they hire, and may not allow you to change Realtors.

Keep us posted !
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:29 PM
 
Location: UK but on the way to NJ!
239 posts, read 725,494 times
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Annie, you obviously know about this process (much more than I do). And they do have to approve our realtor. I don't know if they will or not, but it would be a shame if they didn't because we really like and respect her.

Yes the furnished housing for an extra month or two would be much much better, I will ask about that. There is a limit to our relocation and every single item has to be approved before it goes through.

The storage tip is good too, the air freight comes right away (if we use it) and the sea shipment will be stored by them for some time...and delivered and unpacked at our residence. I don't want to do that until it is our FINAL residence because that would mean packing, moving and unpacking again. Of course you're right that even if we pay for this out of pocket, having the best house (rather than settling for an "okay" one) would be worth it.

Our relocation must be final in 12 months (july 2008)--so we would have to be in our new house by then or else lose the benefits related to that part of the relocation---which would be substantial.

You've given me a lot of food for thought so thank you again.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:47 PM
 
473 posts, read 1,577,531 times
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You're very welcome ... I understand that you have a lot of complex decisions to make. It would be difficult enough if you were living here already, and planning a move so quickly. From abroad, there are so many other considerations. The air freight is a ton of $$ more isn't it ? I'd go with the freighter to save money, but that's just me. I had folks who relo'd from Germany, they had been there over 30 years. They had so much heavy furniture that the freight shipping line did it in two sailings. When the first load arrived at the house, the movers uncrated everything and took away all the wood; and we cracked a bottle of champagne over the edge of the first one and yours truly swept up the glass. So at least you can look forward to that big bad chore being taken care of, hopefully. and your Realtor should remember the champagne and a broom.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:56 PM
 
Location: UK but on the way to NJ!
239 posts, read 725,494 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
tiggywink ... I can tell you from firsthand exprience that the WhitSunday holiday is terribly crowded with families vacationing along the coastal resort towns around Cornwall. Some towns are completely sold out many months in advance.
How did I miss this sunsprit? We're going to Cornwall for Easter--we booked the place in July of last year!!! So I guess I wasn't that crazy after all to do it so soon. I've never been, I hope it's as beautiful as I've heard.

Annie--yes to the sea rather than air--we are bringing as much as we can in suitcases both on our househunting trip and when we come--and paying for extra baggage--just to avoid the airfreight. I sure do wish we could fast forward to that champagne smashing moment!
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