Even though buying a home in a different state may seem complex and tricky, it’s perfectly doable, and it can even be stress-free. You will have to take care of many details from afar, but if you have reliable help and strong organization skills, everything should go smoothly. To assist you during this endeavor, here are a few out-of-state home buying hacks.
Research the desired location
If you’re not familiar with a community you’re moving to, you’re probably under a lot of stress. To make the whole home buying process more enjoyable, you must do your research. You can find a lot of information online; just make sure that it is regularly updated. You can discover important details about your desired community, such as:
- Number of residents
- Economic stability
- Costs of living
- Community’s employment potential
- Safety and local crime rates
- Healthcare options
- Education opportunities
- Available outdoor activities
- Entertainment opportunities, etc.
Once you become familiar with the area you’ll soon call home, the following steps will be much easier.
Find an experienced real estate agent
Make sure to start the house-hunting process as early as possible to avoid any rush when making such a big and important decision as buying a home, especially when it’s from afar. If you look at houses online, you’ll probably find the listing agent’s contact info. They represent the seller’s best interest that can go against your best interest. Out-of-state home buying will be much easier if you find a real estate agent who will be legally bound to represent your interests to the best of their ability. They will work for you and search only the properties that match your criteria. That’s why it is essential to have a home buying wish list that you’ll share with your agent. Make sure to mention the desired location, home size, property type, and must-have amenities. It will help to narrow down the search and save valuable time
Take a virtual tour of few homes
Even if you can’t go to showings in person, you can ask your real estate agent to provide a virtual tour of each home that meets your needs. A virtual tour will allow you to see the outdoor and indoor areas as if you were there yourself, and you’ll be able to ask important questions as well. You can also have a virtual tour of the neighborhood and all essential nearby amenities.
If you’ve found a perfect home that stands out from the rest and you want to make an offer, take some time to see it in person, if at all possible. No matter how good your agent might be and how phenomenal your virtual tour was, the best impressions are always made in person. Homebuying is a significant and long-term investment. So, opt to take a quick trip to make sure that there are no deal-breakers and that the house is really what you saw, what you expect, and what you want.
Schedule a home inspection
Out-of-state home buying requires a professional home inspection. A good home inspector should check all vital aspects of your home – everything from the roof and the foundation to the HVAC system, plumbing, and wiring. They will also check appliances, conditions in the garage, attic, basement, and much more. All of that is extremely important for ensuring safety and comfort in your future home. Even though inspections are not cheap, they can save you a lot of money in the long run. Maybe the house has some hidden problems which only professionals can discover. Those potential problems could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs and updates. If there are any significant issues in the house noted by an inspector, you can drive down the price and save a substantial amount.
Make an e-offer
When you’re finally ready to make an offer, you can do it online with the help of your real estate agent. An e-offer with a digital signature is valid to seal the deal, and your paper copies will arrive afterward.
When it comes to the closing, digital signatures are also valid, so you’ll be able to sign all closing documents virtually in no time. Luckily, with all the innovations in real estate and technology, almost all closings are done online. So, you being far away won’t slow down or delay the process.
Hire a professional moving company and prepare your belongings
Moving to another state requires a systematic approach and a lot of planning. So, make sure you have enough time to organize everything and hire a professional moving company as soon as you can to ensure that they are available for your moving date. Whether you’ll pay additionally for packing services or pack alone, you need to have enough time to purge unnecessary clutter. The weight of your belongings will affect the moving price. So, don’t take anything useless, broken, or damaged to your new place and instead use this opportunity to get rid of those items.
The bottom line
These out-of-state home buying hacks will help ensure that everything goes according to plan. Even though all of the mentioned steps are equally important, a home inspection should play a significant role in your decision-making process. With all of this in mind, you’re almost guaranteed to end up buying a home with confidence, the one that you’ll be proud to own. Good luck!
Jennifer Atkins has been working as a consultant at Zippy Shell Louisiana for the last five years. She is also a freelance writer and a passionate traveler. Most of her free time she spends enjoying outdoor activities with her family.