If a life change is causing you to move (or perhaps you just need a fresh start), a little planning and research can help your house hunting and moving experience be less stressful.
Looking for and buying a home in an unfamiliar area carries some major risks, and you need to make sure that you know what you are doing and find the right real estate professionals to assist you in your search.
You don’t want to get scammed by someone who is selling a home with hidden problems, or by someone who doesn’t even own the home in the pictures they are posting online. You also don’t want to buy in the wrong neighborhood or get a bad deal on the house.
So how can you ensure that you have a smooth home buying experience?
We have created a list of ten secrets that will help you protect yourself as well as make your out-of-state home buying experience easy.
The Top 10 Things To Do When Buying A Home In A Different State:
Let's explore this to-do list more
Looking for a new home is a lot of work.
Looking for a new home in another state (some say) is twice the work. Create a checklist of everything you need to do before you move so that while you are looking for a home you can put most of your focus on your house hunting.
If you can take a trip to the state you are moving to check out some open houses, do it!
Open houses will not only help you take a look at some of the neighborhoods in the area, but it will also give you an idea of what you can afford, what the housing market is like in that area, and even give you ideas on how to decorate your new home.
Additionally, attending open houses will help you better understand your needs that need to be met by your new house. Do you want two bathroom sinks? Or perhaps you would prefer to spend your money on a house with a big closet. Either way, attending open houses will open your mind to what you need and what you don’t need in your dream house.
Since you aren’t 100% familiar with the state you are moving to as well as how the housing market is in the area, you will need the best realtor possible to help you find a good deal and show you around the area.
You can’t really ask for referrals from people you know unless you know someone who lives in the area you are moving to. So make sure you find a realtor who is familiar with the area you are looking to move to. You can also check their reviews as well as social media pages to see what their previous clients had to say.
You can do some research too!
Each area has a unique real estate market. There are different trends, different pricing points, different neighborhoods that are more desirable, etc. Learning about the housing market will ensure that you get a good deal. You can do this by looking at listings in the area and checking homes in the neighborhoods you are looking at on Zillow.
What is the best neighborhood in the city you are moving to? This is an important question. Finding the right neighborhood will make all of the difference in your life in a new state.
Look at different neighborhoods and see the area surrounding them as well as perform a sex offender search and crime search to ensure that you are looking at a safe neighborhood.
If you are a first-time homebuyer (see #8), your process will be different. However, if you have great credit the best mortgage lenders typically require at least 3% for your down payment. The first step you need to do even before finding a lender is to see how much money you can put down. Knowing how much money you can put down as a down payment will give you a good idea of what price range your home needs to be in.
Once you know how much money you can put down on a house, you can then look for a mortgage company that is well known and has the best rates. Most mortgage companies typically charge at least 3% down, and that can change depending on your credit score. If you can, you should probably check your credit score to get an idea of what to expect.
Make sure when you talk to your potential lender that you discuss the details and ask as many questions as you can think of.
If this is your first home purchase, you might want to look into getting special rates and deals. First-time home buyers often get special rates and lower down payment requirements.
Click here for the first-time homebuyer programs in each state. Doing the research may allow you to get better rates and smaller down payments if that is what you desire.
Does the home need a new roof? Is the basement moldy? You pretty much should check every crevice of the house you are interested in to make sure there are no surprise fixes that you won’t be able to afford.
Having a new home should be a fun experience. Finding out two months after living at your dream home that you need to fix something major will cause you unnecessary stress.
Since you are potentially buying a home from out of state, you put yourself at risk for scammers if you don’t thoroughly look over the property you are interested in buying first.
You need to make sure that the home and the person who is selling the home is real. Furthermore, you need to inspect the home to ensure that there are no hidden problems that you weren’t already aware of.
An easy way to avoid these types of situations is to find a reputable agent and to make sure you view the home before you make an offer.
If you have a solid game plan for your home-buying search, it will help you find the best home for you.
Buying a house is just like any other large purchase. All you have to do is identify exactly what you want in a home, find a professional to help you, and do lots of research. The ten tips above will help you get there.