Looking to relocate to a new city and thinking about buying a home? There are plenty of tips people can offer and many of them will not apply to your situation. The little things that make our situation different from the rest are the things we need to be aware of because they could interfere with our ability to get the home we want. For example, if you are moving to a new place because your current cost of living is too high, you may be able to pay less in the new city, but will you still make the same? 

Every city or area is different and one of the biggest challenges people have with this process is their timeline. They need to buy a home as soon as possible instead of giving themselves the months needed to search for the right home for them. Rushing this process is not a good idea but if you put in the effort, you still should be able to find a great place that fits your needs. 

Buying A House In A Different City 

When you begin researching a new city or area, one of the biggest challenges you are going to have to deal with is not being familiar with that area. You could buy a great house in a neighborhood you would rather not be in due to your lack of familiarity with that area. This is why you want to take the proper steps to make sure that things go as well as possible. 

  • Set your budget: The first thing a realtor will ask you if you are looking for a home is what your budget is. This is what you need to work on the most as you begin. Are your finances going to cover the cost of getting a new home? Can you afford a house if it costs $400,000 or more? Knowing what you can and cannot afford to spend is important because it gives your realtor an idea of what they have to work with. 
  • Find a realtor: You will not be able to pull off a move like this and be happy with your selection without the help of an amazing realtor. These men and women can literally do almost everything for you and they will put in the effort to fill in the gaps of what you are unable to do because you are not local yet. Your realtor will also be able to recommend homes and areas based on your budget, where you are looking to buy, what you want to buy and more. 
  • Visit the area if possible: Depending on your situation, you may be able to take a quick weekend and visit the area. Yes, it may take time and money, but it’s never a bad idea to get some actual time in the city you plan on living in. This will give you an idea of the flow of the area, the best neighborhoods to look in, how long the commute would be to work if you are expecting one and more. 
  • Get your finances in order: While you are certain you can get a loan, you should not make offers until you’ve gotten preapproved. This shows the seller that you are serious and it’s also a hurdle you want to get done with as quickly as possible. Make sure that you also work on lowering your debt or even increasing your income if possible. The reason is because it will improve your income-to-debt ratio which will be a big help in getting approved for enough to buy your home. 
  • Research home needs: Each area is different. If you live in an area that normally doesn’t get snow and you are moving to a place with a lot of it, that’s going to be a major adjustment. What if the homes in that area use gas and you are used to electric? These homes may have different needs that you have to adjust to, especially if you plan on living in the area for a while. 
  • Select your top areas: Now that you have some more sense of the areas you want to buy in, you can start narrowing your search. However, do not overlook the value of having specific areas you want to buy in. The reason is because you can keep an eye out for homes that become available in that area. This helps if you are unable to land a deal for the first house or two that you make an offer on. If they fall through, you still have a chance to get a great house in the area you want. 
  • Request every inspection and walkthrough you can: While there will be mandatory inspections and walkthroughs, some sellers are more open to additional reviews of the property than others. Try to max this out without annoying the seller because it allows for more eyes on the property and more local eyes especially. 

If you are struggling to find a house that you want in a different city you need to look at your timeline and consider either going with another option or waiting it out. Your situation will dictate your options more than anything and giving yourself as much time as possible is key. This way, you don’t get the best house that was available for a single month, but instead, the best house that was available in the area for a period of time. The longer you have to look, the better your chances are of finding a property that you will love. 

As you research different properties, remember to give your realtor a breakdown of what you want, in writing, along with samples of homes in the area that you like. This gives your realtor the information they need to start hunting for you, looking for great deals and also searching for houses that meet your criteria. Do not hesitate to look on your own as well. Working together is the key to having success if you are buying from another city and it also gives your realtor an idea of what you want as well as things you do not want so that they can disqualify a home before even showing it to you.