Buying a house in your own state is tough enough. When you have to look out of state for a home, the problems just get exacerbated. Before you start the process, learn the simple steps you should take to help make the process as easy as possible for you.
YOU NEED HELP
You need a buyer’s agent. You want to hire someone that will represent just you, not you and the seller. A listing agent is motivated to sell the home they listed. They will do whatever they can to get you to buy it. If you have a buyer’s agent, he/she can give you an objective opinion on where you should look based on the needs and wants you disclose.
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Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay for the real estate agent – that’s the seller’s responsibility. The seller’s agent will split the commission earned based on the predetermined contract.
Of course, because you are out of state, you’ll need to go with your gut when finding the right agent. If you know anyone in the area you’ll be moving to, ask them for referrals. If your company is relocating you, they may even have referrals for you. If not, use the internet to your benefit. Research the MLS listings and look for the most advertised real estate agent. Take your time and read reviews. After a little sleuthing, chances are you will find someone to represent you.
FINDING THE HOME TO BUY
Finding the real estate agent is the easy part. Now you have to find a home. Because you aren’t going to be in the area often, you will need to do a lot of looking at pictures and discussing homes before actually viewing them.
This is where your real estate agent can help. While you can look through the MLS listings and find homes you might look, your agent will have an easier time with it. He has instant access to new listings that may not even be public quite yet. He also has inside information on pricing and the neighborhood the home is in. He will know which listings are worth your time and which are likely a waste.
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RESEARCHING THE AREA
While you’ll want to lean on your real estate agent quite a bit, there is some work you’ll want to do yourself. Researching things like the:
- School district
- Crime reports
- Sexual predator lists
- Detailed map of the area
These lists and more will give you insight on the area before you even see it. This way you can narrow down if you might want to buy a house in that area or refrain because of the reports you uncovered.
SET UP VIEWING DATES
Once you have a few houses or more to view, it’s time to head into your future home state. You’ll want to be as organized as possible so you can make the best use of your time. Make sure your real estate agent makes appointments for all of the homes you want to view.
While you are there, make sure you take notes on everything you like and dislike about each home. It will be easy to confuse one home with another after you leave and try to sort everything out.
FIND A LENDER THAT HELPS WITH OUT OF STATE PURCHASES
While you shop for a home or even before, you should also start researching lenders. You may want to use one close to you or one in the area you will move. It depends on their expertise. First, they must be licensed in the state you plan to live. This may rule out the lenders in your area. That should be one of the first questions you ask.
Once you find a few lenders, get yourself preapproved with them. You’ll need to provide your income, asset, and liability documents. The lender will also pull your credit. Don’t worry about your credit score getting hit too much with the multiple inquiries. As long as you apply with each lender within 30 days, you’ll only get hit with one inquiry.
Finding the right lender that not only has experience in your state, but also provides the best terms and closing costs will help you make this process easier.
CLOSING ON YOUR HOME
The last step is actually closing on your home. If you have a home to sell as well, this process could get a little tricky. If you need the funds from your existing home to buy a home in the new state, you’ll have to close on your existing home first. Unfortunately, a simultaneous closing won’t be possible. Once the closing on your current home is complete, though, you can close on your new home and make the big move with your family.
Buying a home in another state has its issues, but it’s not impossible. As long as you set yourself up with the right resources and use the internet wisely, you should be able to buy a home rather easily!