Dear Lifehacker, I currently live in a rather remote location, and wish to move across the country to a more built-up, urban environment, buying a house in the process. My question is how do I facilitate this? With freight costs and travel expenses so exorbitantly high, I feel trapped here for the most part. Should I be looking at a pre-approved home loan before moving, or would it be best to move, rent and then buy? Thanks, Get Me Outta Here
Moving picture from Shutterstock
Without knowing your current location or financial situation, it's difficult to provide any specific advice. That said, unless you're willing to sell everything you own, it's usually a better idea to move first and buy later.
While this will require more money in the long term, it massively reduces the upfront cost of moving and is also a lot less stressful. Buying a new house and moving interstate are two hugely complex endeavors — attempting to tackle both at the same time will probably take a few years off your life. If you can afford it, start off by renting.
Moving before you buy will also give you more freedom to attend property viewings and check out various neighbourhoods in person. In addition, you'll still have the option of returning home if life in the city isn't everything you hoped for. Once you buy a property, you can't just pack up and leave if things don't work out. Concentrate on moving, then take a few months to scope things out.
You can find plenty of additional advice via our Moving tag. If any readers have been in a similar situation to GMOH let him know which route you went down in the comments section below.
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