how to buy a house out of state

The Ultimate Guide on How to Buy a House Out of State

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Purchasing a home is stressful enough even if you’re buying in your local community. Imagine how much more when you’re buying a house out of state.

Buying a house in another state isn’t as uncommon as it once was. That’s the good news. The bad news? Scammers and lousy information are common.

So, you’ll want to double-check everything. We’ve got some tips on how to buy a house out of state to help you control the situation.

This way, you can find the home of your dreams without any hard luck stories you’ll tell your new neighbors.

Research Neighborhoods

Most people move because of a job or family. So, this can be a starting point when narrowing the area that’s best for you.

Ask your family members or future coworkers their thoughts on prime areas. It is challenging to approximate a commute or best school districts without input.

But, you’ll want to do your research too. Check websites that offer broad neighborhood information, like Rio Rancho real estate.

While checking, make sure information is up-to-date and has more than cursory facts.

Seller’s Agent vs. Buyer’s Agent

Once you begin to look at listings, you’ll find the agents, too. These agents represent the sellers and work to get the best price for them.

It’s a good idea to get an agent to serve you, too. They’ll work to get the lowest price for you. And, negotiate some of the closing costs if possible.

Your agent will also communicate information from the sellers. This dialogue alerts you to conditions to which they may (or may not) agree.

Ask Questions

Once you have someone representing you, ask questions. Your agent knows the area well.

They can educate you on everything from utility costs to where the nearest farmer’s market is. When it comes to the homes, ask them for pictures, videos, or face time a tour.

Touring homes out of state should be much like looking in your current area. And though you are not there, you shouldn’t have any big surprises on moving day.

Earnest Money

Once you find the home you love, you’ll make an offer through your agent. If the sellers agree, then they’ll expect you to put earnest money in escrow toward the sale.

And, the amount can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to 10% of the selling price. When it is time for the deposit, scammers can appear.

If you have done your homework, you are not in danger. But, those who find a great deal online with a few pictures jump from point A to point C and send the money.

Then, they find the house is a figment and their cash long gone.

Lender Questions

It is no surprise that mortgage lenders ask lots of questions. And, when buying out of state, there will be more.

It may take a bit longer, and you’ll need to pack some patience. You may have to get your employer to contact them with proof of income.

And, prove your creditworthiness from present lenders. Plus, show consistent bill paying with utilities and other monthly costs.

As you are searching neighborhoods and homes, start the mortgage process early. A buyer with pre-approved mortgage status signals to sellers you are serious.

Property Inspection

Though your lender will schedule an inspection before approval, this is a step you’ll want to do on your own. Hiring an inspector is not that expensive, and the payoff can be enormous.

Plus, you’ll want to make the trip to the house to meet the inspector in person. It takes some arranging with the seller, but you’ll be forever glad you did.

First, you’ll learn everything you need to know about your new home. Second, you’ll have a list of what you’ll need for the move-in day. And last, you’ll have your list of what you’ll like the sellers to pay for before closing day.

So, if there are fixtures in disrepair, or something serious, you can negotiate what the seller will do.

Closing Day

As long as you have an agent working for you, it’s a good idea to choose a title company that has national standing.

This way, if you are selling your home at the same time you are buying, the closing can take place in one office.

Then, each party to the sale in different states has access to paperwork. And, necessary signatures are available for all.

Moving Day

The dread and hard work of moving day can be less so with some careful planning. And, when moving to another state, timing is everything.

Start planning this day early, so furniture arrives ahead of you. And pay for utilities in advance, so you’re not tripping over that furniture in the dark.

And, don’t forget internet connection! You’ll also want to make sure everything is spick and span.

Have your agent assist in getting carpets and floors ready. And, have them buy temporary blinds for all the windows.

More Tips for How to Buy a House Out of State

Depending on the home you find and the state of where you are moving, here are a few more tips. You might consider:

  • A Real Estate attorney if purchasing a foreclosure
  • A buyer’s Agent who specializes in relocation
  • Differences in living expenses when shopping home price
  • Your change of climate (that convertible doesn’t work in snow)
  • If your new place has an HOA, get a copy of all the by-laws

These tips on how to buy a house out of state will get you going in the right direction. And, finding a home, you’ll love for years to come.

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