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Location, location, location: Things to consider if you're moving out and moving on

Jan 2, 2012, 6 a.m.

Moving out? The wrong way to approach the retirement move is to think that this is where you're settling down. Retirement isn't about settling down. Retirement is about just getting started, and buying and selling homes is a great way to facilitate the lifestyle you've always fantasized about.

If you're moving out of your home and ready to explore new horizons, the first thing you need to know about a private real estate sale is that every purchase is an investment. Even if you don't plan on ever moving out of your new property, even if it's your dream home, you're still investing in the future of the home and the neighborhood.

It's important to look into still-growing neighborhoods, whether buying a home to live in permanently or buying a home to later resell. When there's a lot of development going on around the home, you generally see the property value go up and up and up over time. You see the quality of the neighborhood improve as jobs are created and more people move in. In short, it's better to be on the ground floor of a neighborhood that is always improving than it is to jump into a neighborhood that has nowhere to go but down.

So when shopping for location, forget finding the perfect neighborhood. Things change, and it's better to set up shop in a neighborhood that is rapidly growing and improving than in one that is already established, pricey, and depreciating in value.

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