If you have decided that you would like to buy property in a location where you don't currently live, managing the transition can be tricky. Some people choose to rent a place in the city while they search for real-estate opportunities, but others would like to have the home purchased by the time they arrive in their location, so that they don't have to deal with the messy logistics of multiple moves. If you find yourself in need of touring real estate from afar, here are some options and tips.
Get a Real-Estate Agent on the Ground
The most crucial step is to get a real-estate agent set up in the city where you intend to move. Have a long talk with them about what you do and don't want in a new home. They can be your eyes and ears to locate properties in the area that would suit you. And they may offer to tour the homes for you first so that you can be sure they are close to what you want (and there are no obvious problems with the home).
Look for Virtual Real-Estate Tours
Some homes officially offer virtual real-estate tours. These are an excellent way to get a feel of a property without having to set foot in it to start out with. Even if a house doesn't officially offer a virtual tour, many homeowners may be accommodating if you want to have someone send video footage via a video-conferencing system. This could also give you a chance to see the owners face to face (or as close as you can get) so that you start to develop a better sense of the property. Talk to a company like Virtual Image and Animation to learn more.
Plan to Make Trips Out Regularly
Of course, for the housing deal to go forward, you're going to want to see the homes in person at some point. Plan to make regular trips to your new city to see homes that you have a lead on. These may be homes that you have shown an interest in already and have had vetted by your real-estate agent. If you already have many home tours lined up and have questions ready to go, these short trips can be extremely productive. Buying property when you're not local can be tough, but the greater range of technology available to buyers and sellers today makes things a little bit easier.
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