Tips for Buying a Home Out of State
Buying a home can easily turn into a complicated, drawn-out process, even when you’re staying in the same county. If you’re looking at moving or investing in an additional property out of state, it can seem like a difficult sea to navigate.
Fortunately, buying out of state isn’t any harder than buying in state — it just requires more planning and research. Our guide for buying a home out of state will keep you on track and make the journey more enjoyable and exciting. After all, you’re buying a new home, and that’s reason to celebrate!
Use a National Bank (Or Specialized Lender)
When you look into a mortgage, consider working with a bank that does business where you live now and where you’re planning to move. They’ll be familiar with any specifics regarding your soon-to-be home, and can help with any differences in down payments or interest rates. Remember, these may vary if you’re purchasing a primary residence or an investment property.
Depending on the community you move into, you may even be able to work with an affiliated mortgage company to make the process easier (for examples, Neal homebuyers can benefit from personalized financing solutions through Neal Communities Funding, LLC).
Know Your Timeline
Whether you’re relocating for a new job or simply moving for a change, it’s helpful to have a timeline you can reference (even if it’s one you make up and enforce yourself). This will make it infinitely easier when it comes to scheduling things like house-hunting trips and additional travel dates.
Your timeline can let you plan out when you need to move. This will allow you to determine when you need to have the purchase finalized, how long you have to sell your current home, and any dates you have available for travel between states.
Research, Research, Research
This is arguably the most important step. When moving to a state you aren’t familiar with, research is your best weapon. If you know anyone living in the area, they’re a good place to start for information on neighborhoods. In addition to basics like school districts and location, you’ll also want to look into a number of other factors:
- Cost of living in the new area
- Local tax and real estate laws
- Property restrictions
- Reputable local builders
- Any maps, guides or reports associated with the area
The Internet can be your best friend during your search — use it wisely, and become an expert on the city you hope to call home.
Take Advantage of Virtual Real Estate Options
While searching for potential new neighborhoods, look for those that have video elements, great imagery or virtual tours of their properties. You can often find plenty of useful information on the community’s own website, but consider searching through outside real estate sites as well.
The more you can learn about a neighborhood from the comfort of your current home, the more time you’ll save when visiting potential new homes. Images and videos can go a long way in helping you narrow down your search.
Work With People You Trust
Working with people you trust can do wonders for your peace of mind. Sometimes this means building relationships with new vendors, but you can also fly a trusted partner out to your new state. This is one situation where the cheapest isn’t always the best, but it certainly can help with overall costs should you choose to work with local vendors.
Learn About the Closing Process
You may need to be present for the closing process, or you may be able to handle everything without traveling to your new state — you’ll just want to verify the closing requirements.
Buying a home out of state doesn’t have to be difficult. Good organizational skills can go a long way in streamlining the process and setting you up to have an enjoyable buying experience. Take a moment to get organized and make a few lists before you start your search. Then you can spend more time dreaming about your new home and less time worrying about deadlines and travel arrangements.