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House shopping from long distance

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Brandon Farber

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Searching for a house locally is not without its difficulties. Add hundreds or even thousands of miles to the equation, and it becomes infinitely more complicated.

Though long-distance house hunting has its unique challenges, it’s not impossible. In fact, with the right agent and the convenience of modern technology, it’s never been easier to buy a house remotely.

Here are a few critical factors to keep in mind when you find yourself in a home search from afar.

Do your homework

When it comes to long-distance home shopping, the internet is your best friend. You know the neighborhoods you live in, but you know nothing about your new one. You don’t know where the mall is, school, or grocery stores.

Though nothing can substitute checking out the neighborhood in person, Shike recommends looking up commute times to work, crime rates in the area, and, most importantly, how the schools rank. Even if you don’t have children or don’t plan to have children, it’s still good to know the quality of the schools for resale purposes.

One of the biggest pieces of the long-distance house-hunting puzzle, however, is to make sure you’re researching who the best local real estate agents are. It’s always crucial to hire an agent you trust, but with a long-distance search the agent can make or break the experience.

You’re going to want someone local on the ground;  Someone who is very familiar with the city, neighborhood, and prices. You need to understand how that person is. Are they going to be able to answer all of your questions and communicate well?

Know what you want

When you’re in the market for a home, you should always have a running list of features you want, but it’s especially crucial when you’re buying from a distance.

Knowing exactly what you want out of a house and location allows your agent to help you narrow down neighborhoods and homes more easily, and assist you in making an offer quickly, which is especially important in a fast-moving market.

Overcome remote home-buyer jitters

For those buyers who are nervous about making an offer sight unseen,  there is the possibility of adding a clause in the contract that the sale is contingent on the buyer seeing it.

Of course, there is also always the option of renting first before you take the plunge. 

Overall, buying a house from a distance shouldn’t necessarily be looked at as a negative experience. In fact, it can give many shoppers new opportunities, and buyers are often more excited when purchasing long distance.

It can be a nice change of pace for people. Another benefit to moving long distance is a fresh start: a new neighborhood, new culture, new people, and new experiences everywhere.

 

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