House hunting in an unfamiliar market can be difficult: you don’t know the price ranges in different areas, you have no idea what the commutes will be like, and you aren’t certain which neighborhoods will fit your lifestyle. Add the pressure of having to be in the city to start a new job soon and you may feel like it’s time to panic. Take heart! There are ways to make the remote home search less difficult. With the right agent and a good Internet device, you can make an informed decision and find your perfect new home. These are a few factors that you should keep in mind while you are searching for a home. Find a good Realtor For long distance transactions a knowledgeable real estate agent is a valuable asset - and with tools like Skype and Facetime, it’s easier than ever to meet them and for an interview. Get a good feel for who they are and trust your gut to decide if you can trust them as a partner in your home search. Once you’ve connected with an agent, use online tools like realtor.com to find properties that may interest you, and listen to their suggestions. Do proper research Hit Google and CityData.com to research neighborhoods, schools, crime rates, and other area information. Remember, even if you don’t have children or if you have nerves of steel, things like school quality and crime are important to the value of your home if you decide to sell down the road. Google street view or the satellite view can give you a sense of the streets and the areas around them. Scope out the neighborhood for nearby schools, parks, restaurants, and malls, and take a street view look at them when you can: How new are the surrounding shopping centers? Are the sidewalks overgrown or still pedestrian-friendly? Know Your Budget Make sure that you have a budget - not just for the price of your home, but for any costly travel that will come with going to look at homes as well as the amount of time that it will take for you to make the journey. Set aside a fund for home searching and keep an eye on it as you go back and forth between your current home and your new one. Again, trusting in a local real estate agent will keep you from getting in over your head looking at every home that catches your eye - he or she can help you narrow the list down to three or four homes that you should visit and tour. This will give you some options without overwhelming you. Know What You Want This goes for any home shopper, remote or not. Keep a running list of features that you MUST have, such as a large garage or a big back yard. This will allow you to be able to move quickly once you’ve found the right property. Have the real estate agent show you the home one more time through video chat to make sure this is really the home you want. Overcome Cross Country Buyer Jitters If you are nervous about buying from long distances, ask your agent if there is any possibility of adding to the contract that the offer is contingent upon you seeing the house. Or, embrace procrastination in favor of lower risk: Rather than buying in an unfamiliar area, find an apartment that offers six-month leases and get a place locally so that you can spend more time on the ground in the new city. This will let you better experience the feel of a place, meet the neighbors, experience the traffic, and get a better overall feel of the best place to make your new home. It also means that you will at least have gotten the cross-country move out of the way before embarking on the task of buying a home. Contributed by James Link SetSchedule has changed the way real estate marketing is viewed, by changing the way REALTORS® access clients and listing appointments. SetSchedule is a “first of its’ kind” exclusive membership based model that provides verified appointments, marketing tools, and elite invite-only networking events for its members. By blending new technologies, and thought processes with proven success methods SetSchedule had incurred record producing results unseen in the industry.
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