Ahh Dallas. The jewel in the ten-gallon hat that is Texas. Big open spaces, big dreams and big hair. But is it right for you, and if it is, do you rent or buy a home when moving here? This can often be a divisive issue for newcomers relocating to Dallas, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the area and the neighborhoods. One the one hand you don't want to rush into a home purchase that may turn out to be a bad decision, but on the other, neither do you want to have to move twice, especially if you have children entering the school system. So what do you do? Flip a coin?
Definitely not. According to Christian Adams, Relocation and Marketing Director with Dallas Luxury Realty, "Every situation is obviously unique, but being stuck in a new home in a volatile market would definitely be the worst situation imaginable for a newcomer to the area. Even in times of strong and steady growth it will normally take 3-5 years just to accrue enough equity in the home to offset the cost of selling it if you decide you have made the wrong decision." So, what are your alternatives?
"My advice is to spend as much time as possible in your new city BEFORE you arrive at the decision making time. Obviously due to economic and time restraints especially for those with children, this is not always possible, but even a quick vacation with the kids will allow you some time to tour neighborhoods, attend open houses and just get a feel for the city. In 90% of cases however I would definitely recommend renting for the first 3-12 months after your move, just to be sure. Some Realtors disagree with me, but I believe this is motivated more by financial reasons than any other. Commissions for agents on short-term or corporate rentals are non-existent, and a few Realtors in this climate would rather make a quick sale than look after the long-term goals of their clients. That's why we've setup our own corporate rentals in Dallas, which we lease to our relocation clients at a discounted rate on a short-term lease. It allows them to take their time when deciding where to purchase their new home, and also save a large amount of money over renting at the market rate."
So there you have it. If you can afford it, or if your company is prepared to help financially with your relocation, then renting at least in the short-term is definitely the best option. And if that's not possible, at least spend as much time as possible in the city before your move, and meet with a Realtor and appraise them of the situation before you come to town!