Buying a house is one of the most exciting times in your life, but when you’re buying a house in another state, it adds a layer of complication (and stress) to the entire process. However, buying a house out of state is hardly unusual. This guide will show you what to consider when moving and how to get a mortgage loan out-of-state, so you can navigate the process with confidence.
Why Consider Buying a House Out of State?
Why might you be looking for a house in another state? There are several reasons a homebuyer would consider moving out of state, including the following:
Relocation for Work or Family
Many homebuyers find themselves searching for a home in another state because they’re moving for a new job. Others may find that as their family grows, they want to relocate to their home state to receive the support of extended family. Likewise, retirees may move to a different state to be closer to their children or grandchildren.
If you're relocating for work, be sure to discuss possible relocation services that may be available from your company. These packages can include financing house-hunting trips, covering your cost of moving and temporary housing you may need.
Improved Cost of Living
Some homebuyers discover that the cost of living is much lower in another state. That typically includes the housing market, which means that you can often purchase a larger home in a favorable location without having to increase your purchase budget.
Second Property Investment
Of course, you may not be moving at all but purchasing a home in another state to serve as a rental property. For example, you might purchase beachfront property in another state in the hopes of generating income from vacation rentals.
How to Research the Housing Market in Another State
It’s time to start house hunting – but how do you research the area if you live in a different state? Here are a few tips that can aid you in your search for an out-of-state home:
Using Online Real Estate Websites
You’re probably already familiar with most of the popular online real estate websites. You can conduct a home search in the state (or even city) where you’re moving to learn more about the real estate market. The best sites also provide photos or even virtual tours of available homes, which can give you a better feel for your options.
Working with Local Real Estate Agents
It's important to try and work with a local real estate agent. They may be able to show you how to buy a house out of state since they’ve helped countless other homebuyers achieve the same goal. They can provide unique insights into local ordinances or laws pertaining to property lines and more.
And if you’re moving to a neighboring state, your real estate agent may be able to connect you to other real estate professionals in your new state who can guide you through the steps of buying a house in a different state.
Visiting the Area in Person
Depending on geography, traveling to the area can be the most challenging step. But if you’re planning to uproot your life to purchase a home in a new state, it may be worthwhile. A trip to your new city may also help you narrow down your desired neighborhood.
Compare Costs of Living
You can also use the internet to compare the costs of living between states and cities. The website bestplaces.net offers a cost-of-living calculator as well as online reviews and data on crime, home prices, and other details.
How to Get a Mortgage Loan Out-of-State
Financing is one of the most important steps of the homebuying process. The following tips can connect you to a mortgage lender that can provide guidance on how to get a mortgage loan out-of-state:
Finding a Lender in Another State
First, you’ll need to narrow your search for mortgage lenders licensed in the state to which you’re moving. Don’t worry if you can’t visit the mortgage loan officer in person; many of the core documents and processes can be completed electronically.
If you’re moving for a new job, make sure to provide the lender with a copy of your job offer and your future salary.
Choosing the Best Loans for Moving Out-of-State
Whenever you buy a home, you will have to choose a loan type that fits both your needs and your budget. Common mortgage types include:
- Conventional mortgage: Low-interest rates but requires strong credit
- FHA loans: Ideal for buyers with low credit scores
- USDA loans: No down payment for qualifying homes in rural areas
- VA loans: No down payment for Military Members, Veterans, and spouses
Your lender may help you narrow your loan options after reviewing your financial history and credit report.
Remote Inspection and Closing
Before you buy a home, you can conduct a remote home inspection and an appraisal to validate the condition and value of the home. Once you make a purchase, you’ll work with your lender and a title company to pay any closing costs to complete the sale.
Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a house in a new state. Now you just need to get there. Here are some tips for making your final moving transition.
Finding Reliable Movers
It’s unlikely that you can completely relocate your belongings without the assistance of professional movers. Make sure to compare companies to find the best price and read online reviews to find a company with a strong track record of quality service. You may even consider purchasing movers insurance to protect any valuables during transit.
Setting Up Utilities
Contact your future utility providers before you arrive at your home. That way, you’ll have access to electricity and water once you arrive. You can also contact your cable or internet provider, though you’ll likely need to be in the home to have these services professionally installed.
Making Personal Arrangements in a New State
It may help to create a move-in checklist. Besides your utilities, you’ll need to make arrangements for things like:
- Transferring your mail
- Establishing your banking situation
- Registering to vote
- Buying groceries and household items
Now is a good time to invest in your hobbies or get connected to others through local organizations and events.
Tomorrow’s Journey Starts Today
Now that you know how to buy a house out of state, it may be time to start your big adventure. CrossCountry Mortgage can help. Our experienced team can guide you in the financing process and help you find the home of your dreams.
Reach out today to start the pre-approval process or complete an online application.
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