The process of buying real estate is tough enough as it is. But when you live in a different market from where you want to buy – the other side of town, another city, a different state, across the country – it just gets more stressful and more difficult to pull off. And then there are the added expenses of travel back and forth and moving. You can, though, make it far more manageable with these 5 tips for buying real estate when you live in a different market.
1. Investigate Affordability
If you want to buy real estate but live in a different market, it may turn out that you can’t afford as much home as you can in your current area. A host of factors are involved here, not least of which is the housing market and cost of living. So you absolutely must investigate affordability.
Property values and even closing costs can vary widely from market to market, even from within a city to the suburbs. You need, then, to get a good idea of how far your dollar will stretch when you’re looking to buy and live in a different market.
Besides property values, you should also look into:
- The cost of living (by, for example, checking out the Cost of Living Index)
- Property taxes
- Healthcare costs
- Daycare costs
- Job prospects and wages
- Other costs such as food, gas, and utilities
Before you make the leap, you need to make sure you can afford it. A agent can be a valuable resource here, not only with housing costs, but with others as well. Discover more by calling 866-593-7012.
2. Check Out the Neighborhood
Remember, too, that you’re not just buying real estate, but you’re also buying into a neighborhood. And when you live in a different market, it’s harder to assess a neighborhood. So be sure to use all the tools available to ensure the neighborhood is a good fit.
Check out crime rates and quality of schools through any of the many online resources. Use Google Maps or Google Street View to determine whether the home is near, say, a busy intersection or railroad tracks. And, again, a agent can provide valuable assistance when you live in a different market and are unable to visit the neighborhood yourself.
3. Get Information on Inspections and Disclosures
Also, be aware that state regulations concerning inspections and disclosures can vary quite a bit. Different states require different types of inspections and disclosures. Some states, for example, don’t require sellers to disclose material facts to potential buyers.
Certainly, you’ll want to consult a agent on these matters (866-593-7012), but here are some questions you should ask:
- Do buyers get reports on environmental hazards, and who pays for them?
- Who pays for a home inspection?
- If the inspection turns up problems, what repairs are sellers responsible for?
- Are pest inspections typically included in the purchase contract?
- What governmental body oversees inspections and transfer of ownership?
- How are taxes assessed?
- Can buyers request chimney and/or septic system inspections?
4. Leverage Technology
Buying real estate when you live in a different market can certainly present some challenges, so technology is your friend here. Virtual tours may be your best long-distance tool.
Many apps today provide the opportunity for agents to share to detailed videos of properties with clients – and even allow potential buyers to ask questions and interact with agents. While nothing beats viewing a property in person, virtual tours are a very good alternative.
5. Use a Agent
As we’ve indicated several times, hiring a good local agent is almost a necessity when you live in a different market. A real estate agent will have a thorough understanding of the local market and can help you navigate the difficult process of long-distance buying. If you’re interested in buying real estate when you live in a different market, contact us today at 866-593-7012.