Buying a home is a big task under any circumstances, but especially when you’re nowhere near the location you want. Home buyers from outside of Southern California face obstacles such as not being able to see a home before it’s bought or even seeing a for sale sign and calling the number. This means you will have to trust someone else to look for cracks in the walls and doors that stick. Out-of-state home buyers won’t know the culture and safety of the different neighborhoods, so choosing an area can seem overwhelming. These 4 tips will help you find the home of your dreams even though your several states away from it.
1. Hire a buyer’s agent.
When buying a home near you, you can get away with not hiring a real estate agent to represent you. But, when you are buying a home outside the state you currently live in, a home buyer’s agent is crucial. Make sure you choose a First Team real estate agent familiar with the Southern California area you’ve decided on. She will be an invaluable resource for information on the area. Southern California suffers from major traffic congestion. If you are moving to Southern California for work, ask what your commute would look like. You may find yourself reassessing which locations to consider. Also, since you won’t be able to walk through the homes you choose yourself, to get a feel for it and check for problems you will have to rely mainly on your agents judgement.
2. Research the areas you’re considering.
When you are buying a home in a new area, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the patterns of the neighborhood. Who hangs out where and at what time? What’s the crime rate, traffic level, freeway proximity? Out-of-state home buyers don’t have the option to visit the city at different times of day or rely on friends’ knowledge of the area. Use online forums to find out if the area you are considering is a good place to live or to raise children. The beauty of the internet is the accumulation of human experience. Use it to its fullest.
3. Assess your finances.
This is just as important if not more important when buying a home out of state. Naturally, banks will be a little more wary of home buyers looking to make a major move and buy a home. When looking at your finances and deciding how expensive of a home you can afford, do not forget to calculate how expensive it will be to actually move to a new state. How will you move your furniture, car, and other belongings? It can get pricey whether you drive it yourself or ship it to your new location. How much you can afford and the size of the loan you prequalify for will have a major impact on the locations in which you can afford homes.
4. Make use of all digital resources available.
When searching for a home, check out all the photos posted of the listing, and make sure to take any and all virtual tours. This is as close as you will get to walking through the home and assessing it as the future home of your stuff. Be wary of images though. Different lenses, like the fish-eye lens, and photo editing programs can make a home look much different in photos than in reality. If you fall in love with a home, make sure your agent goes to it for you and takes her own photographs.With all this in mind, you’re ready to start the journey. Good luck on your move and get ready to enjoy the lovely California weather.