You may find yourself in an uneasy place if you've needed to locate and buy a home before you leave your present area. Buying a home long distance is possible, but may present more challenges than the traditional way. Key considerations will be a realtor that is willing to accommodate you from afar and making good use of technology. Luckily, there is much you can do to ensure that this process goes smoothly, so read on to learn more:
Do some homework: You can make use of the internet to do a lot of advance planning. While a personal visit may be necessary at some point in the process, you can keep those trips to a bare minimum by doing some research online. Utilizing online real estate listings should be an obvious step, but you may be surprised at what else you can learn using the web that goes far beyond real estate photographs and listings.
1. City-data and other similar sites contain a wealth of easily-accessed information about every single town in the United States. You can locate information and statistics about air quality, crime, median ages, sexes and incomes of the inhabitants and more. As a fun bonus, check out the community forums, which are broken down by state and city, where potential inhabitants and present inhabitants can exchange information in a casual and most enlightening manner.
2. Find Great Schools does for educational institutions what city-data does for towns. If you have school age children, knowing about the best neighborhoods and schools is important. Even if you don't have any younger children, you should understand that the quality of schools can seriously impact the resale value of your home.
3. Map sites, like Google Maps, is not just a valuable directional aide, it can also help you locate businesses and other important places in relation to your potential new home. Must your new home be near Costco or Ikea? Mapping sites can not only show you how close you are, but you can take a virtual road trip from your home to any desired location using Google street view. Take a look at what's behind and around the home using the satellite view, which can illuminate issues with undesirable things like dumps that may not even be visible from the road.
4. Walk through your new home. Instead of being there in person, you can have your agent use a smart phone (or better yet, a tablet) to take a trip through your new home for you. Using real time imaging, you can ask for more information and more detailed views easily.