What to do when buying a home out-of-state
What to do when buying a home out-of-state
Congratulations on your move! Your imagination is probably running wild with the endless possibilities of where you’ll live, what type of house you want to buy, what furniture you need and what cool restaurants you’ll want to visit.
But there is much more time and effort that goes into planning to move to another state, more than just imagining what it will be like. There are generally two different kinds of people when it comes to moving. You’re either the planner who loves to be prepared or you are able to wing it and wish for the best. Given that you’re reading this right now tells us that you’re a planner! And, well, planners are our kind of people.
Buying a home from a distance can be tricky and confusing, but rest-assured, it CAN be done!
What are some key factors to remember and know when you are purchasing a home in another state? What are helpful things you should be aware of? We have you covered.
1. Establish your top priorities and concerns
In order for you to do effective research, you need to know what you’re looking for! Jot down a list of your top concerns in regards to moving to a new place. Some examples would be--What are the schools rated? Do you know how safe the city is? Is traffic a problem? Where is the best area to live in? Once you have those written down (yes, written down!) you can start your research into different cities and states and see which ones will align with your priorities and which ones fall short.
2. Do your own research
This seems self explanatory and almost unnecessary for this list, but it needs to happen. Google, and then google some more. Call up the Chamber of Commerce in that city or the local library to ask questions that will give you insight to that area. Some questions you could ask would be, is the city family friendly? How well are the streets and public areas maintained? What types of community events are there? And any other questions that you wouldn’t be able to find the answers to in a statistic on the internet.
Make a list of your favorite things that you’ve found and then you’ll be able to keep that in your back pocket for the other items on this list. Also consider making a list of family, friends, colleagues you know that live or have lived in that area. Your own personal network can provide great honest feedback about the area, living situations, school options, safety concerns and overall quality of life.
3. Talk with a Certified Relocation Specialist or Certified Relocation Professional
These individuals are not just Real Estate Agents, but they have specialized in helping those relocate to new and foreign places. A Certified Relocation Specialist is actually the highest credential that is awarded to residential sales agents, managers and brokers (NAR), and are highly trustworthy.
A certified Relocation Professional is typically more well versed with employee relocation and demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge of the principles and practices of U.S. employee relocation across all facets of the industry.
If you made the list we talked about in the previous section, you’ll be able to ask those questions to this person and verify whether or not the location in mind is what will be best for you and your family.
4. Visit the state and city that you wish to move to
There have been many instances where our clients have moved to a city sight-unseen. This leads to many frustrations and confusion once you are actually there. There will be learning curves that may be unexpected and the standards for quality of living may be lower than what is expected.
Book a flight, stay in a hotel near the area you are looking to live, and try to have a few days-in-the-life, drive the streets you think you’ll be driving every day! It's always great to visit a place, but when you live there every single day, it can be a different experience.
Think about how different the weather conditions are in this new state compared to where you are moving from. Does it have substantially higher temperatures or perhaps much colder temperatures than what you’re used to? Try visiting that place in the season you are unfamiliar with so you can really understand if it’s something you will enjoy or dislike.
5. Create a realistic budget
It’s easy to underestimate how much things will cost. So make sure you look up prices, call businesses for quotes and estimates, and consider creating a living document that you update regularly.
If you need additional help with setting yourself up for success when buying a home, take a look at eHome America’s Homebuyer Education Course!