Maybe you’re moving to a new state for a job or just because it’s time for a change of scenery. House hunting across state lines can be tricky, especially if you don’t know anyone in the area you’re moving into. It will usually require you to make at least one trip to that new state, and to be vigilant about finding a home loan lender and a realtor you can trust. Here are some tips to make the entire process easier.
- Know how much time you have. If you have only a short amount of time before you actually need to be in your new city, starting a new job, you might have to make more compromises than if you have a few months to find the perfect place. Before you contact a realtor, write down your timeline—when you want to move, when your new job starts, when you could visit to look at homes, and how much time you’ll expect to need to sell your current home (if applicable).
- Get prequalified for a mortgage. Being prequalified doesn’t necessarily make it easier to find a home across state lines, but it can shorten the time period in between finding the house and moving in. Make sure you shop around for home loans and find the right lender for you.
- Arm yourself with research. Before meeting with your realtor, research property values, house sizes, and neighborhood age. This will help you know whether or not you are getting a good deal when moving into a new state that you might not be familiar with. What is a low or high price in your current community probably won’t be the same in your new state.
- Find a realtor you trust and is willing to work with the distance. A great realtor will understand that the distance makes it difficult for you to find the right home quickly or to make a decision, even after seeing the properties in person. He or she won’t pester or rush you.
- Do be willing to make a visit. In order to determine whether or not a home is really right for you, even after extensive online research, you will want to see it in person. Pictures can be deceiving, but your in-person impression won’t be.