So you’re relocating to West Chester, PA, huh? Congratulations! You’re going to love it here.
But you’re probably feeling conflicted. Moving from one city to another is hard. It can be exciting and scary at the same time.
How to Relocate to West Chester, PA
Between then and now you’ll need to find a West Chester real estate agent, a neighborhood, and a home – all in a town that may be thousands of miles away.
Relocating doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Let’s make a plan and get you into your new town, neighborhood, and home—without too many hassles!
1) Finding the Right House in West Chester
Step 1 in your West Chester relocation process is identifying which type of home you want. Single-family? Multi-family? Condo? Townhome? You’ll need be clear on exactly what you want.
Here’s a list of homes for Sale in West Chester Area School District, for example.
The Philadelphia Inquirer called West Chester “one of the world’s most perfect small towns,” and these homes show you why.
Then, decide on how much room you need – both in living space and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
And, don’t forget the exterior. With a condo, you may not have much of a choice about outdoor areas, but if you’re in the market for other home styles, determine what you require outdoors.
- Do you need a garage? If so, how big?
- Is a backyard important?
- Do you need outbuildings?
- Is a swimming pool on your wish list?
- If you garden, how important is an existing irrigation system?
2) Choosing a Neighborhood by Vibe
Your preferred home style may help narrow down your choice of neighborhoods.
- Condos are mostly only available in downtown West Chester.
- If you want the high-end, check out luxury homes in Byers Station.
- If you’re bringing the horses, you’re going to need more space.
In general, you’ll need to answer some questions to figure out where you want to live:
- What’s your priority?
Quick commute to work, great school district, public transportation access, recreation amenities?
- What’s your vibe?
Urban living, suburban lifestyle, or rural digs?
- Who’s your crowd?
Do you love the sound of kids playing outside our window or does it grate on your nerves?
3) Research Cost of Living
If you don’t know yet how much you can afford to spend on your new home in the Chester County area, please see a lender.
When you have a handle on your budget you’ll find the homebuying process immensely more manageable.
But, you must also take into account that the cost of living where you are now may not look at all like the cost of living in your new hometown.
- How much do groceries cost in the new town?
A gallon of milk here in West Chester costs $3.92. In Phoenix, AZ it’s $2.20, according to a AOL.com’s Emily Rella.
- What about utilities?
In Las Vegas, a $300 monthly power bill is standard in the summer. Here in West Chester, it’s more like $125/mo.
4) Choosing a Neighborhood by Location
Now you have an idea of how much you can afford to pay for a mortgage every month so it’s time to check out what’s available in your affordability range.
If you’re moving for a new job, go to a Google map of the area surrounding your new workplace and find the neighborhoods with a tolerable commute. Then, do some research on each one.
A good place to start is City-Data – the folks who hang out in the forums there have lots of good information.
Let’s assume you’re moving to Downingtown and you want to live within 30 minutes of your new job in West Chester. You’ve checked out a Google map of the area and determined that Dowlin and Millford Mills look like cool neighborhoods to explore.
With your list of must-haves in a home in hand, navigate to City-Data and click on “Pennsylvania.”
You’ll be taken to a new page with a list of cities. Let’s click on “Downingtown.” The page is full of information about the city but, if you scroll down the page, you’ll find a listing of the latest posts in the Downingtown forum.
This is where you’ll find the nuggets of wisdom that will help you decide whether or not it’s the city for you.
5) Get Help from a West Chester Expert
That help will come in the form of a real estate agent—obviously that should be one of us! If you are selling a home in your current city, we can refer you to an agent near you to help with the sale.
One final tip:
Don’t rely on the information about homes that you find on Zillow! Much of it is unreliable.
Although they’d like you to think that they have all of the active listings in any given area, they don’t. Neither do Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, or any other big aggregator.
The only accurate listing of homes available is in a region’s Multiple Listing Service database, which can only be accessed by licensed real estate agents here in Chester County.