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An apartment might be the ideal spot to live when you’re first starting your life on your own. Over time, however, the space might start to feel small and cramped. If your family is growing, if personal belongings start to turn into unmanageable clutter or if you just want more room, a house could be the next step. So, how do you know where to settle?

There are a plenty of ways to approach a big move. Many people make a list of their needs, such as proximity to transportation, recreation and the office. Some might choose their location based on their job, but if you are working remotely there may be some additional flexibility. If there isn’t a person, place or idea tying you to one area, consider opening yourself up to farther move. Other factors — such as the neighborhood, school district, medical facility accessibility, safety and cost of living — may also tip the scale on a decision.

Once you’ve visited a couple of homes, how do you know when to make an offer? Though a house may appear aesthetically pleasing and check all the boxes on the priority list, consider any renovations or updates that may be needed. Unforeseen expenses in the restoration process could put a dent in your long-term budget that might otherwise have been handled by a landlord.

Overall, there are many reasons someone might choose a house over an apartment or condo. As a big investment, buying a house requires research, time and effort. As long as you stick to the basics and cover all the bases, you should be able to find a forever home. Get more tips for finding a great neighborhood with our resource.

AUTHOR BIO: Brian Slater is the founder and President of New City Moving, a moving company in Chicago. Slater has more than 10 years of experience in the industry and focuses on providing top-notch customer service as well as a stress-free moving environment.