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How to Buy a Home in America's Hottest Cities

< Back to Articles | Time to Read: 5 minutes

What do you look for when relocating to a new city or buying an investment property? For most of us, it’s a combination of quality of life and cost of living. As we look toward 2023, we wanted to find out just where the best place was to live in 2022, and what made it so great. Want to know what we found out? Keep reading!

Topping the list at number #1 was none other than Atlanta, Georgia and the reason was surprising. It wasn’t just the decent cost of living, but the amount of employment opportunities available! It turns out that no matter what phase of life you’re in, there’s a place for you to make your mark in the Peach State. We looked at the other cities on the list:

  1. Tempe, Arizona
  2. Kirkland, Washington
  3. Raleigh, North Carolina
  4. Rogers Park, Illinois
  5. Columbia, Maryland
  6. Somerville, Massachusetts
  7. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  8. Tampa, Florida
  9. Jersey City, New Jersey
  10. Boise City, Idaho
  11. Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  12. Irvine, California
  13. Fort Lee, New Jersey
  14. Arlington, Virginia
  15. Naperville, Illinois
  16. Milton, Massachusetts
  17. Fremont, California
  18. Carmel, Indiana
  19. Rockville, Maryland

We noticed all these locations had certain things in common. Higher paying jobs in a time of economic uncertainty, coupled with reasonable cost of living, and real estate prices. This isn’t to say real estate isn’t pricey, but that the average salaries paid align with the average costs of homes in the area.

The most popular areas to live right now tend to be the Midwest and Northeast. With plenty of employment opportunities and the ability to enjoy all four seasons, we can see why many people are looking to live there.

Other regions, such as Irvine, California, come with a higher price tag for homeownership. But, with great schools and a reputation as the safest city in America, we can’t blame anyone for wanting to settle down or buy an investment property there!

Many people are nervous to relocate, invest in property, or change jobs as we move through a recession, and we completely understand that. Right now, stability feels even more important, especially after the past couple years. However, it is possible to find that stability, even with a recession. It just takes some planning.

If you’re buying an investment property, don’t be too concerned about interest rates. To be perfectly frank, renting out a home is a lucrative industry right now. Rent in most areas continues to increase, so as a landlord, investors have the opportunity to pay the mortgage payment, and potentially make a profit.

Yes, mortgage rates may seem high right now, but why not start to build equity and passive income as quickly as possible? The option to refinance when rates level out is always going to be there.


Here’s what to focus on if you’re looking to invest:

  • Location: Buy in an area you can afford, but also in an area that will attract renters.

  • Maintenance: If you live in the same area, you can handle maintenance yourself. However, if you buy in one of the hot spots listed, and you live in another state, you’ll need someone to manage the property. Look into the prices of property managers, etc. before committing.

  • Development Plans: Is this area up-and-coming? Will there be plenty of restaurants and nightlife or will it be more residential? All of this will impact the type of renter you attract, so you’ll want to know the future zoning plans before buying (if possible).

  • Area Metrics: Are there a lot of places for rent in the area? If so, you’ll want to understand why. This will affect how much you can charge for rent and if it’s even worth making a purchase there.

Here’s what to focus on if you’re relocating:

First, if possible, have your job lined up before you move. Not only can employment impact your ability to buy a home, but it will help you to feel more connected when you relocate. If you work remotely and are planning to move, speak with your current employer to make sure moving out of state is a feasible option (basically, make sure you won’t need to commute to an office).

Second, work with a Realtor you trust. Your real estate professional can help you buy a home before you even move. With virtual open houses and remote closings, you can do most everything with little to no hassle. Of course, we always recommend checking out your new space before signing on the dotted (or digital) line! (This goes for investment properties, as well!)

Sit down and decide what your list of non-negotiables are for your new house and what sacrifices may need to be made. For example, if you’re working from home, you may need extra room for an office, but you won’t have to factor in a commute. It’s all about what’s best for you and your family!

Third, know all your options when it comes to your mortgage. Working with a Churchill Home Loan Specialist can give you the security and stability you’re looking for to make relocating as stress-free as possible.

From working with your budget to making sure everything is lined up with your employment, our mortgage experts are located across the country, ensuring that they’re familiar with the area you’re moving to and are part of the communities they serve!

Once you’ve gone over your short-and long-term financial goals with your Home Loan Specialist, you’ll be able to look for your new home or property with ease. One of the ways we do this is by getting Rate Secured. This allows you to cap your interest rate for 90 days while searching for your new place. You won’t have to worry about rising rates, but you will have the opportunity to lower your rate if possible.

Another way we set you up to win is with Certified Home Buyer. This program gives you the boost you need in a competitive real estate market. Not only will you have a top tier pre-approval, but you’ll have advantages similar to a cash buyer. Your offer will be more attractive to home sellers, and you’ll be able to close quickly since most of the paperwork and approval of finances will be done upfront.

Both of these Churchill benefits are part of our Home Buyer Edge program. Home Buyer Edge provides a plan of action from beginning to end of the home buying process. Not only will you have strategies necessary to win a bidding war, but you’ll have a $5,000 Seller Guarantee to sweeten the deal. That means if your purchase falls through due to financing issues, the seller will receive $5,000 in addition to earnest money provided.

Relocating can be exciting without being exhausting. And buying an investment property doesn’t have to be a hassle. It all depends on who’s on your team along the way. Whether you’re transferring for a new job or just exploring a new part of the country, we want to be on your side.

So, if you’re looking for a smarter mortgage plan and an easier home buying experience, get in touch with a Churchill Home Loan Specialist. We even have Realtor partners we can set you up with.

Find out how enjoyable the mortgage process can be and click here to get started!

The Churchill Certified Home Buyer program is not a commitment to lend funds and is not an approval but is a conditional approval subject to your acceptance of the terms and the conditions being fully satisfied prior to closing. All conditions are subject to final underwriting and final investor approval. The certification is subject to the financial status and credit report(s) of everyone on the application remaining substantially the same until closing, an acceptable contract of sale on a suitable property, collateral (the appraisal, title, survey, condition, and insurance) satisfies the requirements of the lender and loan selected is still available in the market. All closing conditions of the lender must be satisfied including the clear transfer of the title, acceptable and adequate title and hazard insurance, flood certification, and any inspections that are required by the real estate contract.

Rate Secured is available on 30-year conventional conforming and high-balance fixed-rate loans. Rate Secured is not available on investment property home loans.

Seller Guarantee is for qualifying borrowers and select loan types only and are not available in all states or locations. Offer only valid on home loans closing on or before December 31st, 2022.

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