How to Conduct a Long Distance House Hunt

By: Chris Cucoch

How to Conduct a Long Distance House Hunt

Tags: First Time Home Buyer


Buying a home can be difficult even when you're looking for something nearby. So, you can expect this process to be even harder when doing it across the country. That, however, doesn't mean you can't do it. In fact, thousands of people purchase houses this way every day. And today, we'll teach you how to conduct a long-distance house hunt.

If you arm yourself with knowledge and a good real estate team, you won't have any problems finding a home that suits your needs and lifestyle. Tips we have prepared for you will help you avoid all the costly mistakes homebuyers make. With them, you'll be able to make this process a true success. Here's what you need to know.

Get yourself a top-notch real estate agent

One of the most important things when house hunting long distance is not to do it alone. You should find a good realtor that can show you all ups and downs of the city. Only this way will you be able to make an informed and wise decision. On the other hand, if you choose to do it on your own, you can end up making an expensive mistake.

So, the person you decide to hire should be familiar with the city and the housing market in it. Good agents will have a developed network of contacts and a good understanding of social media. Since you're searching for a house from far away, this is important to you. The realtor you choose needs to be easy to reach.

You want your agent to be able to go and see a house in-person as soon as it comes on the market. Right away, they should determine if this place meets your needs. For instance, if you live in Ottawa and are looking for a house in Mississauga, you can't be expected to travel and check out each listing. Ideally, the relator you have hired for your long-distance move should take care of everything - show you appropriate listings, organize virtual tours, etc. 

Then, you can only do a final checkup and contact movers to schedule your moving date. It’s always best to let professionals handle your belongings. It will save you a lot of trouble. So once you have arranged safe transfer all the way from Ottawa, you can start planning how to make your new house a home.

Man holding the key to a house.

Do your own research of the area

Although the idea of leaving everything up to your agent is tempting, this is not how things usually work. You should research the area on your own as well. Look at the maps and read the guide books. Also, you can stay informed by keeping up with the local news.

If you have friends or family in the city you're considering, make sure to ask them about the area. Many websites can help you with finding the information you lack. So, be sure to check them out.

Essentially, you want to learn as much as possible about a new city before you even start searching for a home. This will make it easier for you to determine what you want, and it will make your house-hunting experience much smoother. 

Figure out your needs

As we already mentioned, you need to know what you're looking for before the process starts. This is one of the essential steps when learning how to conduct a long-distance house hunt. Luckily, we know some tricks that can help you with this

Sit down with a piece of paper and write everything you need and want from your new home. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

Of course, there will be many more questions that you'll need to answer. But these should be enough to get you started. It's not an easy thing to buy your dream home in a hot market. However, if you know your priorities, it will be much easier to find an example that warms your heart

A person writing.

Be realistic with your budget

After doing the research and talking with your agent, you should get a general idea of the home prices in the area. Also, you should be able to compare the cost of living in your current city and your future town. Consider the average cost of gas, groceries, dining out, and public transportation to get your numbers right.

Once you know what you can expect to spend day to day in your new city, it should be easier to determine your buying budget. Here, you must stay realistic about what your money can get you in a new place. When you find a number you think you can work with, talk to your realtor for price guidance. 

Plan a visit before the relocation

Although the internet has come a long way, it is still revealing only to a certain extent. You'll get a much better sense of your new home town if you visit it a couple of times. While you're there, make sure to meet with your agent and let them show you around the place. 

Try to spend the most time in your preferable neighborhoods. This way, you'll familiarize yourself with them, and you'll be able to make a better decision. However, don't stop there. Try out different local restaurants and shop at retail stores. Living like a local even for a couple of days will give you a lay of the land. And that's exactly what you want. 

Know that you can do this even if you are still saving money to buy a house. That may even be the best thing about it.

People on the bus.

Keep an open mind

The keyword in learning how to conduct a long-distance house hunt is exploration. Keep an open mind about all of the city's neighborhoods and home options. Don't be dead-set on a type of a house or an area. This way, you may miss something much better somewhere else. Trust your agent and your gut and embrace all the possibilities.