Buying a home can be a complicated process, and being an out-of-state buyer can make the process even more challenging. According to the National Association of Realtors®, while buyers last year moved a median of 12 miles from their previous residence, two in 10 buyers moved more than 100 miles.
“According to our source report from ListHub June listings from the Silver City MLS were viewed online by consumers primarily in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Jersey and California,” said Kim Clark, Association Executive. “In July it was New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, California and Colorado.”
“Buying a new home and moving is stressful no matter what the situation, but moving to an unfamiliar area or new state adds whole new levels of necessary preparation and expenses,” said Clark. “However, with just a bit of planning and a lot of organization, you can make the process substantially easier on yourself.”
Here are a few tips from the Silver City Regional Association of Realtors to help streamline your long distance home purchase and move:
Find a Realtor®. Whether you are moving across the street or across the country, hiring a Realtor® is the best move you can make. When you are looking for homes in a new state, having someone familiar with the area, neighborhoods and local market conditions is an invaluable asset. Realtors® have unparalleled knowledge of their communities and can help you navigate the complex, sometimes overwhelming, process of homebuying.
Establish Timelines. Knowing the day you are moving is just one of many dates you will need to figure out. When do you need to sell your current home? When can you take a trip to the new state to view potential homes? Considering those questions and having a breakdown of what needs to be done and by when will help you prioritize tasks and keep you from scrambling at the last minute.
Tour Potential Homes Online. Traveling back and forth between states to look at homes is time consuming and cost preventative for most, but that shouldn’t prevent you from beginning your home search online. Digital real estate listings on sites like realtor.com® and local brokerage websites often include photos and videos guiding you through the home, the same way a Realtor® would if you were there physically. Though you might eventually have to make a trip out to your new state to purchase your home, touring a few homes online can help you narrow down your choices and save you time and money.
Moving. Long distance moves can be an expensive process, so make sure you ask for estimates from a few moving companies before committing. If you are really hoping to save money a do-it-yourself move might be your best option. Make sure to consider the cost per mile, insurance, gas and taxes when price shopping for a moving truck. And if you have any pets, make sure to research hotels that allow animals or arrange with your airline to have your furry friend travel in the cabin with you.
“Homeownership is not only an investment in your financial future, it is an investment in your life in your new home state,” Clark said. “Homeowners are more likely to be engaged in local issues and more involved with their neighbors, so work closely with your Realtor® to find a house that is going to make this new place really feel like home.”