Buying a Home in Another State as a First-Time Buyer

Buying a Home in Another State as a First-Time Buyer
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Whether you found a new job, you’re moving closer to family, or you are just a young person looking to expand your horizons, there are many reasons to move out of state. The question is, where do you live when you get there?

If you are truly ready to plant your roots in a new place, you may decide it is time to buy your first house.However, it may be a daunting task. There is a lot that goes into buying a new home, especially one that takes extra effort and travel. But when there is a will, there is a way, and we have some tips for those looking to relocate to a new state.

Pre-Planning is Necessary

No matter where you are planning to buy your house, the first step is looking at what you can afford. In most cases, you will want to put down a deposit to show good faith and lower your mortgage payments. Think about your financial literacy. Have you been saving money and investing wisely? If not, you may want to save some cash before taking the next steps.

Even if you have the funds, you are also going to need a good credit score, or you may be turned down for a loan. Bad credit tells lenders that you are not good at paying back what you owe, so they will be hesitant to loan you more. If you have bad credit, focus on paying off your bills on a timely basis. You can also try different mortgage companies and offer to pay an even larger deposit to make up for your credit situation.

Now that you have some money saved up, you will want to research the state and city where you are planning to move and look at the costs of living. Most important is the tax situation in the new area. Residential, sales, and employment taxes will all have an impact on how much money you will have to make to comfortably afford your home. You don’t want any surprises. If you see yourself falling short, try renting for a year while you get everything else in order.

Find a Realtor

If you are ready to start looking at homes, you should first hire a realtor that knows the area and can provide quality options that fit your preferences. When you do, don’t just pick one out of a hat. Instead, ask a family member or go to a local realtor and ask if they can refer someone they trust who operates in the desired state.

When you are buying a home in a different state, a realtor is a must. You simply do not know the best areas and all the potential homes that could work best for you. Looking online is fine, but that is just the tip of the iceberg, and the realtor can hunt for homes with your specific needs in mind, and these properties may not be on the internet.

Once you have a few places picked out, it is wise to travel to the new state and look at the homes yourself. You wouldn’t buy a new car without driving it, and you shouldn’t buy a place you will live in for 20 years without personally feeling out the space, walking across the floors, seeing the yard, and learning for sure if this is the house for you.

Once You’ve Chosen a Home

Now that you have found the home of your dreams, you need to ensure that everything is safe and up to code before you move all of your belongings across the country. Start by getting a home inspection. The $300-$400 to pay an inspector may seem steep upfront, but that pays for them to check everything from the plumbing and electric to heating and air conditioning systems. Pay a little now, and you won’t have to face costly repairs when you are in the fray of moving into the new place.

With a few weeks out until you move, you will also want to get the utilities lined up to make sure that everything is operational when you get there. Make a list of everything you need and cross the items off as you complete them, so you don’t forget anything. Plus, if there is a waiting period, you want to get through it ahead of time.

Yes, moving to a new state can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Take these steps and create a plan now to make the transition that much easier.