If you need to buy a house in a state that you don’t live in, it can be scary. You probably don’t have the luxury of viewing houses whenever you want. Instead, you have to do it within a defined period. You’ll probably also have to make many large decisions regarding the purchase from the state you are in now.
Keep reading to learn how you can buy a house in a different state with minimal stress.
Use the Internet to Your Advantage
Today it is so much easier to buy a home in a different state thanks to the internet. You can do your research from the comfort of your own home. We recommend that you do as much research as possible. This doesn’t mean just research on the house; it means research on the area too. Get to know the area as well as you can without actually visiting the area.
Use social media sites and real estate websites to your advantage. Read not only what articles have to say about certain areas, but also what actual people say about it. Social media can be a great way to meet people in the area and even get advice on certain areas. For example, if you prefer to live within walking distance of your child’s school, you can ask advice about the houses that are within the right distance and are of good quality.
Hire the Right Real Estate Agent
The real estate agent you choose will have a large impact on your purchase. You want an agent that is very familiar with the area. You also want one that has good communication skills. Remember, you are trying to buy a house from what could be hundreds of miles away. You need someone that you can trust.
We recommend that you interview several real estate agents before you make your decision. You can ask them some or all of the following questions:
- How familiar are you with the area?
- How many homes have you sold in the area?
- Do you specialize in certain areas or types of homes?
- How long have you been a realtor in the area?
- Do you have any referrals?
Of course, if you know anyone in the area, ask them for referrals to quality real estate agents in the area. If you don’t know anyone use your own intuition as well as the reviews you find online.
Make Time to Visit the State
At some point, you are going to have to visit the state you want to live. It just makes sense to see for yourself if you like the home and the area. Try to clear your schedule for at least a few weekends during your search. If you can fly out on a Friday and return home on Sunday, you’ll have ample time to visit homes and get to know certain areas.
Even if you don’t find the right home while you are there, you can get to know the area well. This way you’ll at least have an idea of where you want to live. If a home in that area becomes available, you can then do what you need to do to buy it or see if you want to buy it.
Use the Inspector
An inspector will become even more important for you if you can’t visit the house in person. The inspector will go through the home and let you know its condition. This doesn’t mean just what you can see yourself – it means the whole home inside and out.
Inspectors look at things like foundations, roofs, piping, electrical wiring, and so much more. You may get a report that is as long as 50 pages to tell you the condition of the home. You can then make an informed decision regarding the home, which is especially important if you can’t visit it in person.
Get Real Pictures
Don’t make the mistake of relying on the pictures a realtor posts online when buying a home. Instead, have your buyer’s agent take photos of the home when he/she visits it. This way you can tell the true condition of the home rather than looking at staged photos that may or may not give you a true feeling of what the home is like.
If it comes down to it, you can close on the home from another state too. The closing agent can hire a remote agent to close the home purchase for you. While it won’t be the same because you can’t take the keys and go see your new home, you can still get the process done from wherever you are at the time.