How to house hunt far from home
April 18, 2019 / Long-distance moves
House hunting in another state or across the country will never be as easy as looking in the same town or county. But that doesn't mean it has to be especially difficult or a source of stress for you and your family. Consider this advice as you prepare to look for a new home far away from your current one.
Do your homework
Critical decisions about the specific home you'll live in are best made in person. There's a certain feel that all houses have, and you can't find it in pictures or descriptions of a house's structure and amenities. However, you can do a lot of narrowing down before you ever set foot in the area you plan to move to.
Programs like Google Maps make it easy to figure out your plans in terms of the location of your new job - if you're moving for one - and how far away you can live while still having a reasonable commute. You can learn a lot about specific towns and neighborhoods by looking up information about demographics, average home prices and other information that you're particularly interested in. Visiting a real estate website like Zillow can help you better understand the housing market in the areas you're considering, as well as find valuable details about any specific properties you're interested in.
The more knowledgeable you are and the more specific your plans for your home search, the more focused and productive you can be when it comes time to drive or fly out to look at potential homes.
Develop a clear plan for your visits
The early stages of house hunting close to home can be a somewhat relaxed affair. You don't need to do much more than make sure a home is in the right area and price range, then visit while an open house is taking place. This approach assumes you have plenty of time, however, and that's something that's at a premium when house hunting far from home.
Consider taking the opposite approach, where you carefully plan not only a list of homes you'll check out during your visit, but also the route between each and how much time each leg of the trip will take you. The time and effort you put into advance planning can definitely pay off by maximizing your ability to visit different homes and find one that's a great fit for your family.
Remember that real estate agents can be flexible with open houses and showing times, as long as you give them enough notice. If you really want to see a house that's on the market but it doesn't look like any time is available while you're visiting, a polite message or call that explains your situation to the real estate agent managing the listing might just work.
Know how you'll move
Moving long distances yourself can be incredibly complicated. Turning to the professional movers and packers at Atlas makes sure you start off your time at your new home on the right foot. To learn more about what Atlas has to offer, get in touch with your local agent today!
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