COVID-19 has certainly revealed the many parts of our lives that are – and are not – important. Many employers are opting to allow their staff to live and work remotely, which has opened up a world of possibilities when considering where to live.
When proximity to the workplace isn’t a factor, many are choosing our area for its lower cost of living and great communities. Tennessee and Georgia are certainly on many homebuyers’ minds.
But buying a home in a COVID-19 world can make a complicated process even more so. Add being an out-of-state buyer, and the entire process is even more challenging. Along with the stress, moving to an unfamiliar area or new state adds new levels of necessary preparation and expenses.
However, with just a bit of planning and a lot of organization – and the help and expertise of a Realtor – you can make the process substantially easier on yourself.
Here are a few tips to help streamline your long-distance home purchase and move:
Find a Realtor
Whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, hiring a Realtor is the best move you can make. When you’re looking for homes in a new state, having someone familiar with the area, neighborhoods and local market conditions is an invaluable asset.
Realtors have unparalleled knowledge of their communities and can help you navigate the complex and sometimes overwhelming process of homebuying.
Knowing the day you’re moving is just one of many dates you’ll need to figure out. When do you need to sell your current home? When can you take a trip to the new state to view potential homes?
Considering those questions and having a breakdown of what needs to be done and by when will help you prioritize tasks and keep you from scrambling at the last minute.
Tour potential homes online
Traveling back and forth between states to look at homes can be time-consuming and cost prohibitive, but that shouldn’t prevent you from beginning your search online. Digital real estate listings often include photos and videos that can guide you through the home – just like a Realtor would if you were there physically.
Though you might eventually have to make a trip to your new state to purchase your home, touring a few houses online can help you narrow down your choices and save you time and money.
Amplified by precautions taken in light of the pandemic- but an option that’s growing in popularity – is a live virtual tour. What does that mean? The buyer’s Realtor makes the showing appointment and then does a walk-through with the buyer on the other end of video-based call.
With this format, buyers don’t have to travel from out-of-state and can get real-time answers to their questions as they preview the home.
Long-distance moves can be expensive, so ask for estimates from a few moving companies before committing. However, if you’re really hoping to save money, then a do-it-yourself move might be your best option.
Make sure to consider the cost per mile, insurance, gas and taxes when price shopping for a moving truck. Also, if you have any pets, research hotels that allow animals or arrange with your airline to have your furry friend travel in the cabin with you.
Homeownership is not only an investment in your financial future, it’s an investment in your life in your new home state. As a homeowner, you’re more likely to be engaged in local issues and more involved with your community, so be sure to work closely with your Realtor to find a house that’s going to make this new place really feel like home.
Realtors serve our clients across the street, county or country. That’s Who We R.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.