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Team Rita’s Essential Tips for Buying a Home in Another State

Team Rita’s Essential Tips for Buying a Home in Another State

If you’re thinking of moving out of New York to another state, you’re not alone. Americans are constantly on the move from state to state, with many relocating to be closer to family, to retire, to follow a new job, seek out a more favorable climate, or enjoy lower costs of living.

But purchasing a home in another state can be stressful, especially for first-time buyers. There are inevitably going to be surprises (both good and bad) when one relocates to a new state, and one must take steps to ensure there are no unwelcome surprises with the property one intends to buy.

Fortunately, with the right support system in place – including the services of a reliable local real estate agent – much of the stress of buying a house out of state can be reduced or eliminated.

Here are some steps to de-stress the task of buying a house in another state:

  1. Do Your Online Research: Never has so much useful information about different localities been available to anyone with a smart phone or PC. Conduct extensive research online to gather information about potential properties and neighborhoods. Use tools and resources such as Google Maps, Chambers of Commerce sites, real estate listing sites, local bulletin-board websites, and scour YouTube for folks sharing their views about your prospective locations.Be aware that while today’s online tools are great for developing good intel about properties and neighborhoods, they still can’t tell you the full story. For example, any bad behavior on the part of a prospective neighbor will not likely be reported by Google, Zillow, Reddit, Quora, or other sites. That’s why having an agent representing you is so important. A good agent, because he or she has had “boots on the ground” for years, will likely know more about hidden issues that might make your purchase unhappy than even the most up-to-date, comprehensive website.
  2. Choose the Right Agent: It’s crucial to select a trustworthy real estate agent who understands your needs and priorities and has a deep familiarity with your prospective location. Consult friends, family, or other trusted people with knowledge of the location and ask them for referrals to a good agent. Look for agents with relevant credentials such as CRS or CRP designations and vet them carefully before making a decision. Look for agents with extensive buying and selling experience in your prospective location (for example, Team Rita’s Rita Tsoukaris has been active buying and selling real estate in Suffolk County for more than 30 years)
  3. Get Your Paperwork in Order. Contact your bank and have a mortgage pre-approval letter ready in advance of visiting your location or beginning negotiations. This document will indicate to your prospective seller that your offer should be taken seriously.
  4. Stay Alert for Scams: Be cautious of scams, particularly online frauds involving fake listings and fraudulent sellers. There have been many instances where deposits have been stolen by criminals posing as bona fide sellers’ agents. If you work with a good agent, you’ll never have to worry about falling victim to such schemes.
  5. Consider Relocation Specialists: If you can’t find a competent local agent you feel you can trust, consider enlisting the help of relocation specialists. These professionals can help you find a suitable agent and connect you with other essential services necessary to do your move.
  6. Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions, even if they may seem trivial. Each state has its own real estate practices, so it’s essential to seek clarification on any uncertainties.
  7. Seek Second Opinions: If possible, have friends or family members in the area inspect properties on your behalf to provide additional insights.
  8. You May Not Have to Attend the Closing: Remote closings are becoming increasingly common these days. Work with a title company with a national network to facilitate the process. Make sure that remote closings are permitted both in the state within which you reside now and the state to which you intend to move.
  9. But ALWAYS Attend the Inspection: If you can only attend one event in person, prioritize the property inspection. Being present allows you to understand any issues firsthand and gain valuable knowledge about the property.

Good luck with your search for an out-of-state home. Do your due diligence research, get referrals to find an experienced agent with “boots on the ground,” get your paperwork in order,  and attend the all-important inspection. By taking these steps, you can reduce stress and successfully navigate the process of buying a house in another state with confidence.



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