Buying a home out of state: How to navigate a cross country move.

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Image courtesy of Ventrilock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It can be very intimidating to sell a house and buy one at the same time with logistics and coordination at the very minimum.  Now, add in one more wrinkle, buying a house out of state and let me know if the stress levels drop or rise.

Just the thought of it, sends a tingle up my spine.  It’s a lot to process emotionally.  Over the years, I’ve come to conclusion that there are 3 critical steps that need to occur to help ease the process and each of those 3 comes down to people.

1. This may be the easiest: Find a Realtor you know and trust to sell your current home.  Don’t know one, then talk to the friends and family you trust to get a good referral. If this is not an option, then calling and talking to a few local ‘experts’ will be in order, the key here is to trust your intuition.

2. Find a trusted Realtor to help buy.  This one is going to be more difficult but is in many ways more important because you will most likely have very little time to search through home after home. In most cases, clients fly into town for a week, sometimes only a weekend and need to see as many houses that fit their requirements as possible.  A good Realtor will get to know you and what’s important for you in a house so they can scout for you.

3. Find a local Mortgage Broker (ideally) or Loan Officer.  This person will be critical in ensuring that after packing up the moving trucks and driving across the country (now homeless from your recent sale) that you will be able to move in as planned.

So how do you find 2 and 3?  When Jim and Julie (why are all of my clients named Jim and Julie…), were moving from Iowa to St. Paul to be closer to their kids and new Grandchild they were lucky to have a Son-in-Law and Daughter who had also recently just purchased a home.  Because of that they were able to use their trusted Realtor and Mortgage Broker to help them through each step of the process, answer any and all questions they had and set their expectations so no last minute surprises would come up.  After 14 years, I’ve walked clients through this exact process from Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, New York, Texas, Arizona and California off the top of my head. The questions are always different, but the fears and worries never change.

Okay, so what happens if you don’t have friends or family that can suggest someone?  Then we need to dig deeper into YOUR story and why you are moving. Is it for a job relocation? Are you just in need of a change of pace and like a lot of cold winters in Minnesota?  Somehow, I don’t see here being a vacation hot spot.  My point being, there is going to be someone you know, that lives in or near the area in most cases, or at the very least, someone who has a vested interest in your well being. Let them help.  If they don’t know a guy, they probably know a guy who knows a guy.

It’s a very simple premise, talk to the people you know and trust.  It’s the reason why I send many of my clients to other professionals when they are in need for insurance, financial planning or even a painter.  My clients know and trust me, or they wouldn’t be working with me.  Because of this, they know that I would only send them to someone that I trust to do their jobs as well as I aspire to do mine.

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