8 Keys To Buying From Out of State

Photo Via Home Adore
Photo Via Home Adore

Finding a REALTOR from out of state, where you probably have limited local connections, doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, because you’re not working off a friend or family member’s personal recommendation, it’s actually easier to make an objective evaluation of an agent; one based on their proven results, not on any biases.

As you begin to make your move, remember these eight keys to buying from out of state.

Check your agent’s history of success

It is important to speak with some of your agent’s past clients for reference – preferably those who have similar homes to yours. However, the certain way to find out whether your prospective REALTOR has had a history of success with homes like yours is by verifying their performance with independent third-party who can verify whether they have relevant experience, and evaluate their sale prices, and current knowledge of your market.

Investigate the neighborhood conveniences

You’ve probably done some preliminary research and narrowed down your ideal neighborhood to a few areas. But neighborhoods can vary greatly, even from street. Without first-hand experience, you’ll definitely need a realtor who’s a neighborhood expert to guide you through your new city from afar. Someone with experience in your dedicated neighborhood can best advise you when it comes to schools, traffic habits, local eateries, and more.

Take a tour

Ok no, not one of those cheesy tourist kind of tours. If you like a house, ask your agent to tour you around the neighborhood after the showing.  They should help you get the lay of the land. If you want to be close to the schools, restaurants, the grocery store – whatever is important to you – make sure your agent shows you where those are in relation to the home you’re viewing.

Check the local crime report

In a number of cities, neighborhoods can change a great deal from street to street. A big part of feeling at home in your new house is feeling safe. Take a look at the recent crime statistics in your ideal neighborhood. The report will give you an idea of everything from small thefts to bigger incidents.

Don’t skimp on the inspection

You never want to skip the inspection, even if you can’t be there for it. Scheduling a home inspection from out of state is another part of the home purchase process which can be made easier with an experienced agent. Their wealth of local connections can help you find a reliable inspector for the job, and they can help you manage the appointment. Just because you’re purchasing from out of state doesn’t mean you need to settle.

Know your timeline

Is your relocation tied to starting a new job? Do you need to get the kids settled in a new school by semester’s start? If you do have specific dates you need to be moved-in by, make sure to clarify those with your agent. Knowing specifics like those upfront will help ensure a smoother home-buying process for all.

Know the property taxes

Property tax differs according to your location, as well as the purchase price of your home. For instance, if you own a home in the city of Los Angeles, your property tax is approximately 1.2% of your home’s value. Do your homework to find out the property taxes in your new city so that you can be sure to factor that into your monthly mortgage costs ahead of time and there are no surprises at the closing table.

Research your insurance needs

Remember that your insurance needs change from location to location. In Palo Alto, California, for instance, you might have earthquake insurance but if you relocate to Miami, Florida you’ll need to consider hurricane or flood protection. Like your property taxes those costs vary so be sure to research your insurance needs in advance. Your experienced agent can also provide additional insight into city-specific homeowner needs.

Author Bio: Agent Ace is a free service empowering homebuyers and sellers with the tools to identify real estate agents in their area with the most expertise.