There are many reasons why one would resort to buying a home out of state – a new job, a need to be closer to family or a loved one, a desire for adventure, etc. But, no matter how necessary this fresh start is, it does not make the process of buying a home any easier. Quite the contrary, it makes it a lot more stressful and complex, and of course, a lot more time, energy, and money-consuming.
However, as we live in the age of technology, things are not as complicated as they used to be. Everything is more manageable nowadays. People from California, for example, are taking advantage of this convenience and buying their new homes out of state remotely in quite high numbers. And, that technology is what saves the real estate industry now during the pandemic times when our ability to travel is limited. So, today, we will share with you a step by step guide to buying a home out of state that will hopefully ease this process and make it as stress-free as possible.
Do Your Own Research – And Then, Do Some More
When buying a house out of state, whether you are trying to buy an apartment within your budget or buy a house that suits all your needs, you must remember that everything starts with simple research. Research as much as you can. And then, research some more. Do not rely only on your real estate agent. Of course, real estate agents are of great help, especially when buying a home remotely, but you are the one who must ‘guide’ the entire process and make all the important decisions!
For instance, you can do your own research on the city and neighborhood you plan on moving to first. You can then check the city’s real estate site and get an insight into what kind of properties there are.
Set Your Budget
Setting a budget is something you must do ahead of time. It is pretty straightforward – if you do not know how much you can spend on your new home, you can not know what to look for.
Thus, get your finances in order. If you have a lot of savings, great! But, it would be a good idea to explore your options as soon as possible if you do not. You may need to apply for a mortgage if you plan on buying a home. Or, you may need to apply for a loan if you need help with the down payment, for example.
Make a List of Must-Haves and Can’t-Haves
Before you hire a real estate specialist, it would be good to create a list of must-haves and can’t-haves. That is, you should decide what kind of home you are looking for. Otherwise, you and your real estate agent may lose a lot of time and energy and get nowhere.
So, think about the price you are comfortable with, about the preferred neighborhood, and of course, about all the amenities your new home must possess. Do not forget to think about the can’t-haves too! Those are the things you absolutely do not want in your new home, deal-breakers. For example, a cant’-have for a family with school-aged children would be a house in an unsafe and busy neighborhood.
Hire a Buyer’s Agent
If you are one of those people from California who feel the need to buy a home in a different state, you will need an agent. Planning to leave California for good and settle in Colorado will require all the help you can get. You will need friends and family for support. You will need movers to help you relocate. And, most importantly, you will need a real estate agent to help you find your dream home.
But, you can not settle for just any real estate agent out there. You must find one that is reliable, local to the area you plan on moving to, and one that specializes in working with buyers, not with sellers, or both. Only this kind of agent will be able to find you a dream home that suits all of your needs and budget.
Ask for a Real-Time Tour of Each Home
As mentioned in the beginning, we live in the age of technology. And, that technology has enabled us to do almost anything online. So, yes, nowadays, you can finish all home-buying processes from the comfort of your own home. That applies even to attending open-house events. Now, instead of visiting every home that you find appealing, you can ask your agent or the seller him/herself to show you a real-time tour of the house.
Schedule an Inspection
An inspection is usually done right before signing the contract, that is, before closing the deal. However, as you are buying a home out of state, it would be a good idea to have your new potential home inspected before purchasing a plane ticket and coming to another state.
Together with your real estate agent, a good inspector will check the home you are interested in buying from top to bottom. Yes, this kind of inspector will cost you around 250$, and you may have to inspect several homes even. However, be sure that this will be worthwhile as it will save you from unnecessary trips, and of course, it will save you from buying a home with a lot of hidden problems.
Visit the Home Before Making an Offer
Purchasing a house out of state and then relocate there is far from a walk in the park. Even if you have finished all the tasks mentioned above, and even if you are sure about the home you have seen ‘virtually’ and had inspected, do not start preparing for your interstate move just yet. Tell your movers whom you have hired to take care of this task with ease, to wait a bit longer until you see the home for yourself.
Go as ‘Virtual’ as Possible
Another thing to remember when buying a home remotely is that you should go as virtual as possible. This is important as it saves you the much needed time, energy, and money. And, as it saves you your health – the pandemic has rendered traveling and going from state to state nowadays quite unsafe.
Thus, do as much as you can virtually – tour the properties, talk to your realtor, supervise your inspector, meet the seller, make an offer, negotiate the price, etc. But, just as mentioned before, make sure to visit the home you plan on buying at least once before closing the deal.