Long-Distance Love -- 5 Steps For Finding The Right Home In Another State

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If you're planning to move to another state, the thought of looking for and buying a home that far away can be daunting. But you can make it easier for yourself, save time, and save money by following these 5 steps.

Check Your Credit. The first step for most home buyers -- no matter where they are buying -- is to check their credit and ensure that it's accurate and up-to-date. Avoid making large purchases, closing or opening accounts, or moving money around for about 6 months before you want to get approved by a bank. 

Get Approved in Both Areas. If you want to buy in another area, it's a good idea to get a mortgage loan from a national bank or a credit union that works both in your current state and in your new state. This can help ensure a smoother approval process and that the loan officers are familiar with any specific requirements in your new area. 

Find a Buyer's Agent. While you may be able to do a lot of home searching and investigation on the internet or through friends and family in your destination locale, it's still a good idea to hire a real estate agent who will have your best interests in mind. Relying solely on the listing agent means relying on a person or company whose primary fiduciary responsibility is to the seller. Contact a company like Service First Realty to find an agent to help you out.

Research the Area. While your agent is looking for homes for sale that may fit your needs, it's a good idea to research online things like zoning ordinances, homeowner's associations, rental markets, and growth trends. You may also want to get recommendations from your agent for a local attorney or escrow company to handle the closing so you can contact them before you need them. 

Visit and Tour. Make a trip to your new home state to personally visit the top few homes for sale your agent has found. You should be able to visit several homes in a single day, but don't be afraid to ask for different options if these aren't meeting your requirements. And, while you probably want to make this trip only once, it's better to be open to the idea of making the trip a second time rather than settling for a home that's really not what you're going to be happy with.

By following these 5 steps, you can help ensure a stress-free home shopping experience and still find the right new house to call home.