Looking to buy a home? House hunting is stressful even in the best conditions. But when you have to shop for a home from hundreds of miles away, your anxiety about the situation can be substantially exacerbated.
If you are new to long-distance house hunting, you can use some tips and tricks to improve your experience. You can make the hunt more fruitful and less stressful if you do the following seven things.
1. Determine Exactly What You Want
Long-distance house hunting is no time to be wishy-washy. If you are going to find a home from afar, you need to know exactly what you are looking for.
In particular, figure out the neighborhoods you are considering in your new location, as well as a firm budget.
But you should also nail down more specific wants and needs as well. Do you need a yard? Do you want a fireplace?
To help answer all of these questions, it may help to tour homes in your current location. This will help you determine what aspects of homes you like and don't like.
When all is said and done, you should have a pretty specific list of things you are looking for in your new house.
2. Do Your Homework
Ultimately, it is on you to learn about the place you are about to call home. On a map, everything looks the same. You need to do your research and figure out where everything is in your new city.
Learn about the neighborhoods. Read other peoples' blogs, reviews, and scroll through local publications to get an idea of what residents value. This will help you choose a neighborhood to live in based on your cultural interests.
3. Determine the Hidden Costs
There are hidden costs in every big project. Buying a house is no exception.
But it can be tricky buying a house somewhere far away because your standards are different.
For instance, are the tax laws different in your new place of residence? What is the difference in the minimum wage? Will it affect your job?
Figure these things out early because they will affect house much you can afford to spend on a house.
4. Hire the Right Agent
This pointer is number four on our list, but it is probably the most important piece of advice we can give you. Think of your realtor as your liaison through the home buying process.
In a long-distance home buying situation, your real estate agent is not only the expert on the process; they are also the expert on the place. It becomes imperative that you can form a comfortable relationship with your agent so that they can get a feel for your likes and dislikes. That is the only way they will find a house that is a good fit for you.
Not all real estate agents are created equal. Make sure that you find someone who is both skilled at their job and knowledgeable of the area. Feel free to meet with multiple agents until you find one that you click with.
Look for an agency that specializes in the area you are looking at. For example, check out Right Casa Estates for help finding a home on the Spanish coast. Localized knowledge makes all the difference, and your real estate agent can help you with that.
5. Visit If Possible
If you can visit your new home, do it. Not everyone has the option to see their new home before they buy a house. But if you can, it helps get familiar with the city and its neighborhoods.
You can visit at any point during the home hunting process. However, it is best if you can visit after you have done the bulk of your research so that you can make the most of your time on the ground.
Explore the neighborhoods, drive the streets, and tour some homes. Even if none of them is the one you buy, you will have a better idea of what the area offers.
Once you have seen the place in real life, it is easier to visualize the region from afar.
6. Use Technology
The current level of technology available to home buyers is remarkable. There are so many tools that can make home buying from afar easier. Be sure to implement technology as a house-hunting strategy.
A good place to start is Google Maps. Use the satellite view to explore neighborhoods and see what they look like from street view. You can also use Google Maps to calculate your routes to work, school, and anywhere else you may need to go.
Many home sellers have also utilized virtual tour technology in the past year. This makes it possible to tour a home on your computer. Ask your real estate agent if this is a possibility.
7. Let Go of Your Worries
Not being stressed about buying a home from afar is much easier said than done. But there are a few things that you can do to make the process less anxiety-inducing.
Once you find a house you like, you can submit an offer with an added clause that the sale is contingent upon seeing it. That way, you have a way to back out if something does not go according to plan.
And if you cannot bring yourself to close on a home from afar, why not rent a home for a while? Put your research to use and get a rental unit in the neighborhood you want to buy in. Try it out for six months, and if you like it, close on a house in your new city.
Make Long-Distance House Hunting Easier Than Ever
Long-distance house hunting can be a mess. But it doesn't have to be, as long as you use all of the tools at your disposal. You may find your dream home hundreds of miles away.
Do you have any other real estate questions? We have answers. Visit our "Blogs" section and keep reading.