by Jill Sloan
on Friday, July 5th, 2019 at 10:37am.
Have you recently received a job offer from a company out of state? Have you received a promotion and now have to move your family to a new city? Is your company relocating you? Putting distance in the equation of home buying can be a daunting task. This can be especially hard for the significant other who may have to handle multiple items - finding a job, finding the new home, and listing the current one - while you are getting acclimated with the new job. While it can feel like a lot, know that IT IS possible to find your new home from afar. It wont be easy but when you find a great agent and use the steps below it can take a ton of the stress out of the process.
1. Begin Your Research
Knowing what is in your neighborhood is something we tend to take for granted. You know where the best sushi place or juice bar is and exactly what grocery store is closest to your home for those last minute runs. When moving to a new neighborhood, especially in a new state, it is key to decide what is important to you when it comes to proximity. Does your new house need to be near a park for your kids? Do you need to be 10 minutes from the closest Starbucks? Do you need to be on a bus line? If you have a family you'll also want to look into crime rates and school ratings as that may be important to you. Researching your potential neighborhoods will help you feel better about choosing a new home that may be far away.
2. Use Technology To Your Advantage
We always advise our clients to use the map tools (Google maps) that can give you a street view of the neighborhoods they are interested in. While they can be a bit out of date it can give you a good sense to know 1. what the neighborhood looks like and 2. how your neighbors keep their home. You can always ask your agent to Facetime or Skype you through what the neighborhood looks like around the home you are interested in. We know Trulia and Zillow can be a great and easy source for looking at homes however, they are not always the most up to date. Ask your agent to place you on a drip directly from the Multiple Listing Service so you can receive the most up to date information.
3. Have A Travel Budget
Unfortunately, not all jobs will pay for you to come and view homes multiple times. Even if you have a great agent, like us showing you as many homes as possible, you need to plan for the possibility of making more than one trip to your future home state if you want to see it in person. While you may have adjusted your budget already to purchase a home, consider factoring in travel costs so you aren't stressed about eating out or gas money during your trips - that way you can focus on finding your dream home.
4. Decide Your Non-Negotiables
Choosing a home from out of town already comes with challenges. If you're heading in to check out houses and have a weekend filled to the brink with potential home tours, it will make your life easier if all of those homes meet your requirements. Instead of seeing all homes that 'might' fit, have your agent remove any houses that have a non-negotiable feature - whether that is no backyard or not enough bathrooms. Also, trust your agent if he or she suggests a home (especially if you have a seen a few homes together already). Remember they are the expert and that is why you hired them. It will make the most of your time and remove some of the stress of seeing homes that aren't for you.