If your clients are looking for a change of pace, they're not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average person moves 11.7 times throughout their life. Many are setting their sites on up-and-coming cities or states, such as North Carolina. The Tar Heel state saw an 8.9% growth in population from 2010 to 2018.
Whether these people are looking for a fresh start, want to pursue a different career or want to set down roots, moving to an up-and-coming state is a good way to start anew. Understanding what potential clients think about when planning these moves can help them make a well-rounded financial decision.
Here are five things buyers should consider when moving to an up-and-coming state.
1. Home affordability
When most buyers consider home affordability, they focus on the sale price of the property and the monthly mortgage payment. While monthly mortgage costs are important, there are other factors to consider before purchasing a house, such as property and school taxes. Buyers should research the tax laws in a few cities to see what's affordable throughout the state.
When homeowners pay more than 30% of their income toward taxes, the U.S. Census Bureau considers them cost-burdened. While North Carolina is generally tax-affordable, the percentage of income spent on housing varies across the state. Cary, North Carolina, is considered the most affordable city, where 15% of homeowners' incomes, on average, goes toward housing costs. Compare that to Monroe, where 24% of homeowners' incomes typically goes toward these costs.
2. Quality education
Education is another critical factor, especially if buyers are starting families. If public schools don't rank high enough, buyers may want to enroll their kids in local private schools, which adds more costs to their budgets.
North Carolina only has 115 public schools as of 2018. Comparatively, Texas and California each have more than 1,200 public schools. The Education Week Research Center recently ranked the state 37th in terms of educational opportunities.
3. Potential for earnings
The average salary in North Carolina varies according to industry and experience, so your clients should consider how their salaries may change. Not every city offers the same earning potential or opportunities. The average household income in North Carolina was $52,752 in 2017, which is $7,584 less than the national average.
4. Auto insurance changes
Auto insurance rates vary by state — and so do the minimum requirements. In North Carolina, the average auto insurance premium for minimum coverage is $542 annually. However, the carriers all have different average premiums. GEICO has the cheapest option, at $236 per year, and Allstate has the most expensive at $1,282 per year.
5. Cost of living
Finally, buyers should understand the cost of living in their new area. The costs of food, household supplies, gasoline and utilities vary from state to state. Louisiana residents pay $2.24 per gallon of gasoline, for example, which is a bit cheaper than the $2.40 per-gallon price tag in North Carolina. That price difference can add up over a year.
Moving to an up-and-coming state gives many people a chance to follow their dreams. However, moving to a new state is about more than finding the perfect house to call home. Buyers should consider home costs, including mortgage payments, property taxes, cost of daily needs and insurance expenses, in addition to the potential of the community. As their real estate agent, help them consider these factors so they can make the best choice possible.