After the excitement of moving to a new city fades, often panic sets in when you realize you know nothing about your new home town and you may have no support network or contacts there to help you. When there are so many unknowns, it’s a scary thought buying in an unfamiliar area. The implications are huge not only for the well being and happiness of your family but for your finances too! Jennifer has personally moved across a continent as well as across state several times and understands your fears and concerns. You don’t want to buy in the wrong neighborhood or school district, overpay or miss out on the perfect house. So how do you go about finding the best choice for your family in a new city?
Have a Plan
Your first step to buying a home in another state should be figuring out a timeline and plan of attack. If you need to sell your current home before you buy (and most people do), consider investigating short term rental options. Although this may mean putting your belongings in shortage or moving them twice, it does have the advantage of a base in the new city to research the area before you buy. If you need to get settled straight away or have children to get into a local school, it’s well worth planning a trip to the area to find a good realtor (me!) and have an initial exploration of the area and subdivisions that may work for your commute, school district and price point.
Work with a Good Buyers Agent
A great local agent is going to be vital to your house buying success. They will be your eyes, ears and your trusted resource of all local knowledge. In the past year alone, Jennifer has assisted buyers relocating from South Korea, West Virginia, Georgia, California, Illinois, Kentucky and New York. Initially much of the work is done by email and phone. By working on desired location, budget, size of home and additional factors such as school district, you form parameters to work within. Invariably what starts off as an overwhelming and daunting prospect becomes very manageable and even enjoyable when broken down into smaller steps. Strong communication from an experienced and well connected local agent is paramount in allowing you to trust that you are in good hands even when you can’t be physically present.
Obtain Financing Pre-Approval
When relocating, if’s often tempting to stick with the financial contacts you know and trust, however there can be issues when an out of state lender is financing your loan. It’s best, where possible, to use a local lender who is familiar with the state laws and procedures, not to mention the regional appraisers to be sure your home is assessed by people who live and work in that market. Don’t forget that big financial changes can affect your approval. If you plan to buy a car or finance large items such as furniture, try to wait until after you have closed on your home.