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12 Tips for Buying a House Out of State

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12 Tips for Buying a House Out of State


Are you looking to purchase a home out of state? 

Maybe you've accepted a job relocation across the country. Or, perhaps you're looking to start a new life in an entirely new region. Either way, it's safe to say that buying a house in another state requires extreme preparedness and organization. 

So, how can you ensure that you're as prepared as possible? We're sharing twelve simple and incredibly effective tips that every prospective buyer will need moving forward.

Read on to make your life and your out of state move all the more simple and stress-free! 

1. Start Early 

First things first, it's important to begin the process of searching for your future home early. 

Let's face it, the moving process is stressful enough to begin with. In fact, research indicates that the process of moving is oftentimes more stressful than divorce. When it comes to moving out of state, it's easy to understand the added stress that comes alongside such a move. 

This is why starting the process early is so crucial. The goal is to avoid any and all last-minute moves and decision-making. Not only will such a move cause undue stress, but last-minute moves are more likely to come at a premium. 

2. Hire a Trusted Realtor 

Today, 44% of buyers browse properties online before contacting a realtor. 

While it's only natural to get caught up in the excitement of your future purchase, it's best to contact a realtor before browsing properties. This way, your realtor can provide you the guidance and expertise that you need before diving headfirst into your property search. 

When it comes to an out of state move, you're going to want to work with a realtor who is located in your future state. This realtor will have a solid understanding of the local market and can be present for all future showings. With this, you'll likely be conducting most of your meetings and property viewings virtually. 

3. Ask for a Referral 

If you're struggling to find a local realtor in your future state, don't hesitate to contact a realtor in your current state. 

For some, this might be a realtor that you've hired in the past. But, if you're new to the world of real estate, ask a family or friend for a referral of a realtor they liked and trusted. 

In most cases, this particular realtor won't be able to assist you in your out-of-state purchase. However, they'll be happy to provide you with a referral to a local realtor in your new state.

Fortunately, many realtors and their brokerages have access to a network of country-wide realtors. This makes finding a suitable agent in another state a simple and stress-free process.

With this, you can rest assured that you'll be working with a trusted agent in your future home state without having to browse countless realtor profiles online. This is a win-win for all parties involved! 

4. Conduct Online Research  

Are you feeling nervous about moving to an entirely new locale?

There's no denying that buying out of state can be intimidating and even anxiety-inducing. After all, you're moving to a new area that you're unfamiliar with and that you've not yet grown accustomed to. 

This is why conducting online research beforehand is so beneficial. With today's technology, you can virtually tour anywhere from neighborhoods and shopping districts to natural wonders and geographical landscapes. With this, you can create a more solid understanding of the areas in which you're considering. 

5. Take a Trip 

If you have some spare vacation days, why not schedule a trip to your future state? 

Even over the course of a weekend, this is a great way to tour the many different neighborhoods and districts of the state. From here, you'll have a more firm understanding of which neighborhoods you'd like to focus your search on. 

This is also a great opportunity to meet with your realtor in-person and opt for a weekend of property viewings. 

6. Make Use of Virtual Tours 

When it comes to buying a house out of state, virtual tours are quickly going to become your greatest ally. 

Even a mere few years ago, purchasing a home from a virtual tour might seem outrageous. But, with just how much technology has progressed in recent years, this notion is no longer so strange. With present-day virtual tours, prospective buyers are able to gain incredible insight into their future home. 

In most cases, a virtual tour will include both a series of photos, a video and a 3-D virtual tour. This tour will allow prospective buyers to "tour" the home virtually from room-to-room. It's safe to say virtual tours have become one of the most useful marketing trends for today's realtors. 

If you're not willing to purchase a home based on the virtual tour, this is still an efficient way to sort through properties. When you encounter a virtual tour that looks promising, this could be worth scheduling an in-person visit to the property as soon as possible. 

7. Enlist the Help of a Friend 

Do you have a friend or family member that lives in your future state? 

If so, this is a great time to ask them for that favor you've had tucked away in your back pocket! If you see a property that you love online, ask your friend if they could view the property on your behalf. 

With this, you can tour "alongside" your friend virtually. The benefit here is that your friend will be surveying the house in-person. In doing so, they'll be more capable of picking up on certain elements of the home that aren't visible online. 

8. Make Use of Ariel Footage

In today's day and age, realtors are getting increasingly creative in how they choose to showcase their properties. 

For many, this is where aerial footage and drone shots come into play. Aside from being incredibly impressive, this is a fantastic way of showcasing a property as well as its surrounding areas. This has become especially popular in both large-scale and rural properties. 

If you're unfamiliar with the area, aerial footage is a simple way to gain an understanding of the area surrounding your prospective property. 

9. Consider a Short-Term Rental

Let's face it, purchasing a home out of state isn't always a walk in the park. 

If you're running out of time with your property search, it might be helpful to consider a rental. With this, you can move into a rental property for a short and fixed period of time. Some short-term rentals will even allow you to rent a furnished property on a weekly basis. 

With this strategy, you can attend your showings in-person and terminate your lease when necessary. 

10. Research Local Bylaws 

From a legal perspective, it's best to gain an understanding of the local bylaws that are present in different states. 

Let's consider the example of buying a property in which you're considering adding a second story. While this is a simple and straightforward process in your home state, this isn't to say it will be similar in your future state.

Some states may have more strict laws regarding anything from additions to home improvements and renovations. Even when allowed, some areas will require builders to attain certain permits and allowances before construction. 

11. Familiarize Yourself With Electronic Signatures 

When it comes time to make an offer, you're likely going to be doing so virtually. 

Today, there are plenty of online platforms that don't require the use of a wet signature. Instead, all parties can sign remotely without having to be physically present in person. 

If you're new to the world of electronic documentation, you'll want to familiarize yourself before offer night. When it comes time to moving forward with an offer, you'll be a virtual signature expert. 

12. Change Your Address 

Last but not least, don't forget to change your home address when necessary!

Doing this is an especially important step when it comes to moving to a different state. With this, be sure to change your address for the following services and personal agencies: 

  • Bank
  • Credit card companies
  • Utilities
  • Cell phone provider 
  • Place of employment 
  • Tax and revenue agencies
  • Personal subscriptions 
  • Post office 
  • Family and friends 
  • Clubs and organizations 

With this, you can rest assured that any and all important mail will be carefully delivered to your future state. 

Buying a House out of State 

Are you gearing up to move out of state? 

As it turns out, Americans move an average of 11.6 times in their lifetime. While moving locally has proven to be incredibly stressful, it's easy to imagine the stress that builds with a statewide move. 

So, how can you prepare for buying a house out of state? Before you tackle your move, be sure to use our helpful guide above. From hiring a local realtor and starting your search early to making use of drones and virtual tours, these tips are sure to help minimize your future move. 

If you're getting ready to sell your current home, be sure to visit our website and learn how we can help.