Guide to Buying a Home in One State Versus Another

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Whether you’re looking to find a home for retirement or you need to move because of a new job, moving to another state isn’t as difficult as it may seem. There are advantages and disadvantages depending on the target state you are looking at. If you are looking to relocate or buy a second home in another state, there are many factors to consider.

Realtors will most likely say the phrase “location, location, location” when buying and selling homes. They aren’t wrong. Location is a significant factor when considering moving. Whether you want an easy commute to work or a beautiful view each night, the location of your home is going to determine this. From state to state, climate, community, and values might change. If you’re looking for a busy city or easy access to nature, location will play a critical factor in where you decide to put roots. Even if you purchase a second home, that might be determined by what is lacking in where you currently have a home. If you are looking to be closer to family, enjoy a friendlier climate, or be in a community that shares your values, the location and proximity to these things will play an important role. 

Many people want to move for tax purposes. Taxes can take up a considerable portion of someone’s budget, depending on where they live. Residents of states like Tennessee, New Hampshire, Alaska, Florida, South Dakota, Nevada, Wyoming, Texas, and Washington benefit from zero state income tax. Even though some states make up for it in sales tax, like Tennessee, which slaps 9.53% each time you purchase something, it can still be nice not to file state taxes each year. Property taxes can also be a factor. Those that live in states like New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Texas have to pay up to 2.49% in property taxes. On the other side of the spectrum, Colorado, Hawaii, and Alabama have the lowest property taxes, all under 0.51%. Each state determines many taxes for its residents, sending them either fleeing to other places or flocking to their towns.

Since the United States is a federalist country, we have both a national government and state governments. Depending on your values, one state’s governmental policies might align more with your ideals than another. If you want your children to have the best public education in the country, the state’s budgets and rankings will play into where you decide to move. If you want to start a new business, state grants and tax breaks might incentivize you to look at operating in one place over another. These laws and regulations can play huge factors in how your life would be in that state versus another.

Many people move because of the cost of living and home values. California is known for its high price for buying a home, and it is starting to drive people away. States like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Indiana have very affordable home prices, which have become attractive options to jaded California residents. The cost of living in these states has become too expensive, so people are looking elsewhere.

Buying a home in one state versus another can be a tricky challenge to overcome. It isn’t simply a question of where you want to live. It is also a matter of values, money, and proximity to what matters to you.

Make sure to talk to one of our Loan Advisors if you’re looking to move this year.