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Buying a Home in a Different State - What You Need to Know in 2021

Buying a home in a different state

Tips for Buying a Home Out of State

Interested in buying a home out of state? This can be a challenging process, especially if you don't know the area well. As more employees are working from home and moving into more affordable housing markets, relocating is becoming a real possibility.

If you’re looking to get a mortgage for your new purchase, you should know how you can make the move easier. Here are some helpful tips for what you may need to know.

1. Be Prepared for a Longer Timeline

Obtaining a home loan out of state may not be as easy as it would be if you were purchasing a home in the same state as your current home. However, there’s no need to get discouraged—just know that things might take a little longer.

2. Work with the Right Real Estate Agent for You

When buying a home in another state, it's essential to do your research. Go online and read about different cities and neighborhoods. Search online listings of homes as well as for an experienced Real Estate Agent who specializes in the local neighborhoods. Once you reach out to them, most Real Estate Agents will send you listings each week, so you know when new houses hit the market. When searching online, make sure you are specific with your keywords. For instance, search "buyer's agent downtown Los Angeles" rather than "Real Estate Agent in LA".

3. Ask Friends and Family Their Thoughts

If you have friends or family in the state you’re thinking of moving to, ask them to identify some areas/neighborhoods that meet your criteria. Since you're unfamiliar with the area, you'll be at a slight disadvantage.

If you need additional help, you may want to consider hiring a buyer's Real Estate Agent. They are often neighborhood specialists and will make sure they find what you are looking for. A buyer’s agent works in the interests of the buyer and will not disclose their personal information without authorization, but rather negotiate on the buyer’s behalf. Do not ask for a listing agent because they most likely represent the seller and will be working in the seller's interests. Some home loan agents have deep familiarity with the real estate community and may be able to recommend you to a reputable Real Estate Agent.

Begin the vetting process with personal referrals and be on the lookout for a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) or a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP)—designations which mean the agent has had considerable extra training.

4. Visit the State/Area You’re Interested in Moving to

In light of the pandemic, visiting your potential our-of-state (or even in-state) dream home has taken a markedly different turn. Instead of in-person visits, virtual visits have become the norm on many home listing sites. According to a recent report from Redfin, approximately 63% of buyers made an offer on a home they hadn’t seen in person. In 2019, that total was just 32%.

To research the area you’re thinking of moving to, a good resource may be the city’s website. There you may be able to get a better idea about the everyday municipal operations, including news about services, events, parks, and zoning ordinances which may affect improvements to your new property. Check out local news to get a better idea about the neighborhoods and surrounding areas.

In addition, do an internet search of what the area has to offer (schools, stores, etc.). If you’re relocating because of a job, then consider connecting with future co-workers to get a better idea of the region.

Have questions about buying out of state? We're here to help. Contact us today.

5. Know Your Finances 

Since the cost of living differs state to state, it’s important to find out what the cost of living is for where you want to move, including utilities, food, entertainment, and more. Your budget, along with your pre-approval, will help you determine what houses you can afford.

And when you’re ready to begin the process of buying a home, contact the New American Funding team. With 190 nationwide locations, we’re easy to find and can help you with the expertise and support you’ll need for purchasing or refinancing your home.

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