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5 Things To Do Before Buying A Home In Another State

Five Things to Do Before Moving to Phoenix from Out of State

It can get really overwhelming rather quickly if you’re considering moving to a new state. You’ve got to figure out schools for the kids, where you’re going to work, where you’re going to shop and eat, and most importantly, where you are going to live.

I could give you some solid restaurant recommendations in the Phoenix Metro area, but that’s for another time. In this post, I’m going to be focusing on five things you should do before moving here from out of state.

The five steps are:

  1. Get yourself a realtor
  2. Plan a trip
  3. Start looking at specific homes for sale
  4. Get pre-qualified
  5. Go and see some properties

Let’s dig in!

Step One: Get Yourself a Realtor

This isn’t to sound self-serving, but right now, I’m looking to buy a home near a lake, and even though I’m a realtor myself, the first thing I do is contact a local one. There’s no substitute for a realtor with great local knowledge. They’ll be able to get on the phone and acquaint you with what’s going on in the areas you’re interested in.

But not any real estate agent will do. You want a good one. So, what do you want to look out for?

You want to find someone who has sold a lot of houses and, ideally, a lot of houses in the area where you’re looking to purchase. They’ll be able to walk you through what you might expect to spend, the kinds of schools in the area, or the lifestyle you should expect living in that region. You’re going to want to check out reviews and find someone with good ones. You can find reviews of most realtors on sites such as Zillow or Yelp.

Step Two: Plan a Trip

Once you’ve got a good real estate agent on the phone, one of the things they should ask you is if you have a strict plan to visit. I suggest you do make time for a trip for a couple of reasons. The foremost is that there is no substitute for getting in there and actually going to see the properties. When you plan your trip, you have two options. One is that you can plan a visit to specifically just shop for homes, but what I suggest you do is find a hotel in the rough area of town you’re wanting to be in and set up there as a sort of temporary home. This way you can get a feel of what it might be like to live there. I’ve had clients who’ve even signed a month to month lease to give them plenty of time to get to know the area while shopping for a new home.

Step Three: Start Looking at Specific Homes for Sale

Once we have a sense of where a client wants to live, what sort of houses they like, and their budget, we start to look at specific homes. If you’re searching for a home you’ve probably already done some of this on places like Zillow, but what you can also do is set up a portal with your real estate agent, that way they have access to what you are looking at and you can have a back and forth dialogue. We can also send you properties through there and you can give us feedback. This will help us narrow your search down to only the properties you really love.

Step Four: Get Pre-Qualified

I highly recommend you do this before you take your trip. Often many sellers will want you to have a prequalification letter before they’ll even let you into their house, particularly now since it’s such a hot market. So, you’ll want to talk with a lender and get a free qualification letter from them before you show up to Phoenix to look at some homes. This process can be done via phone and it usually takes about ten minutes. Sometimes they’ll need some documentation, and later down the road, you’ll need to give them a lot more, but you won’t need too much at this point to get the process started.

I also suggest that you get a few different quotes and see what’s cheaper. You want to make sure you’re not overpaying on a loan. This information is also helpful to you in understanding what you can afford. You might have thought that you could afford a $300,000 house, but actually, you can afford one for $500,000 one because the payments are lower than you thought, since interest rates are particularly low right now.

Step Five: Go and See Some Properties

And as you go to start looking at properties, if you have time, drive around some of the neighborhoods and past some of the properties that you’re considering. You might be able to rule out entire neighborhoods, and it’s not worth visiting a home in a place you could never see yourself living. Now, once we’ve narrowed it down to your favorites, we can go ahead and get some appointments with sellers. 

It’s also important to not visit too many properties in one day. If you have, say, fifteen houses to look at, by the end, the whole day will be a blur. I suggest you don’t see more than six to eight houses in one day. When you find a house you love, though, you’re going to have to hurry and jump right in since that place might be sold the next day. We always suggest to people that if you love the house, let’s up an offer in and get it tied up. Once it’s accepted, we’ll have a ten-day inspection period where you can sleep on the decision and do any due diligence before finalizing things. And if you don’t like it, you can cancel the offer and there’s no cost or fees at all. We’ll cancel that offer and move on to the next property.

Now, if you’d like to get your process started purchasing a home, whether you’re moving from out-of-state or from in-state, we would love to get that process started, get you a list of properties, walk you through the different parts of town, and help you understand what would be a great fit for you. You can send us a message at [insert email address] or give us a call at (480) 378-6700. We’d be happy to help you out.

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