Relocating to a different part of the country can be a daunting task, and this is particularly true when it comes to house hunting. After all, it’s hard to simply pack up and travel a few hundred miles every time your real estate agent wants to show you a listing. Fortunately, thanks to today’s technology, it’s possible to check out houses from afar. Here are some of the best tips for long-distance house hunting.
Use the Internet to Your Advantage
Since you can’t see the house in person, you will need to rely on the internet for your research. For each listing that interests you, use the internet to learn more about things like shopping centers, schools, crime, parks, and more. See how long it will take you to commute to work, figure out the best real estate agencies or agents in the area, and hire an agent who will serve as your eyes and ears by checking things out and maintaining an open, honest line of communication with you at all times.
Though it can be tempting to take a drive or hop on a plane each time a listing looks promising, this can quickly get out of hand in terms of both time and money. One of the first things you should do involves sitting down and crunching numbers to come up with a travel budget. It’s also important to think one step ahead at all times and try your best to be flexible. Many individuals and families who have relocated in this way find that it’s easier to set aside a three- to five-day period of time to look at a variety of houses in that area. This way, travel time is minimized, and you can focus on finding a home.
Make a List of Wants and Needs
When you’re shopping for a new home from a distance, it’s absolutely critical to figure out exactly what you need, what you want, and where you’re willing to compromise. You will inevitably share this information with your real estate agent who will use it as a guideline to point you in the right direction. For example, you might know you need a single-story home with three bedrooms and at least two baths, and you might want a finished basement and a half-acre backyard. Write these things down along with any compromises you’re willing to make, such as a partially-finished basement or a slightly smaller backyard. This will ensure you don’t waste your time looking at homes that are not right for you.
Don’t Get Nervous
Buying a home remotely can certainly make you feel anxious, but it shouldn’t. There are things you can do to help minimize your risk, such as choosing to sign a six-month lease in your new location to give you more time to go house hunting or adding a clause in the contract that the sale is not final until the buyer has viewed it and given approval. Though it can be tricky to buy a home sight unseen, it is possible, and if you let it make you too anxious, you can end up forgetting vital details or making poor decisions at some point in the process.
Buying a home without ever laying eyes in it may seem absurd, but it happens every single day all over the country. These tips will help you find the perfect home for you and your family from afar, but only if you find a real estate agent who is willing to go to bat for you and serve as your partner out in the field.