Purchasing a home is rarely an easy process, but I can tell you from experience it can be a bit more challenging if you are searching for homes long distance. Since the area you are interested in living in can be several states away from where you reside, popping up to take a look at real estate and all that the area has to offer can be a bit more complex. To minimize the stress of finding your dream home, the best thing you can do is set a plan in motion. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your long-distance home search.:
1. Utilize The Internet To Your Advantage
When it comes to home shopping, the Internet is your best friend. You can start searching the real estate market for the area you wish to move to with a quick online search. There are plenty of resources like Zillow or Trulia that can prove beneficial in helping you find the best areas to move to. Other online resources for your move include:
Moving Company Websites: Believe it or not, long distance movers can be great sources of information. Some moving companies have tips and tricks for those that are looking to move long distance. Others even provide a list of city overviews, school reports, and things to do in specific areas, so that you can have a better idea of what it will be like where you move.
Social Media: Social media can be another great online source when searching for a place to live long distance. Since social media can connect you with people that live across the country, some of your friends and followers may be able to give you advice on where to move, cost of living, and other helpful tips to make the search easier for you.
Google Earth: Want to see what the exterior of a home and the surrounding neighborhood looks like? Google Earth can be a great way to do this. You can get an aerial view of the neighborhood and zoom in to see it up close.
2. Plan A Trip (Or Two)
Once you have narrowed down the area you want to move to, it is time to plan a trip or two. Though you can get a feel for what a property and neighborhood are like from viewing information online, this does not mean you should not see things up close and personal. Schedule a few viewings for homes you are interested in, so that you can make a trip of it. As you are preparing for the trip, be sure to have questions in mind for the realtor or property owner, so you can address your concerns in person. If you cannot afford to take the trip, there are other options for getting a better look at the property.
Recruit A Friend: If you have friends or family members that live in the location you are trying to move to, ask them to be the eyes and ears for you. They could stop by the property and take a look, while also taking pictures, so that you can get a clearer understanding of what the home looks like. Once they are done viewing the property, they can give you a list of pros and cons to help you narrow down your choices.
3. Consider Short-Term Housing
If you do not want to invest in a home right away, but would like to give an area a “test run,” you could always consider short-term housing. Getting into a six month to one year contract can allow you more time to determine if it is a fit for you and your family. You have the opportunity to not only scout the area for real estate, but see what the citizens, neighborhoods, schools, parks, shopping centers ,and more are like before you relocate permanently.
Finding your dream home when you are searching outside of an area you are familiar with can be challenging. Luckily, modern technology can help you with getting started. Remember to allow as much time in advance, so that you can research and evaluate your options. Once you have found a few properties you are interested in, simply plan a few trips to ensure that it is going to work well for you and your loved ones. It may take time, but eventually you will find a home worth investing your time, money, love, and care into.