5 Tips for Buying a Home Out of State

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Aug 22, 2023

Buying a home out of state can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it’s important to research and plan ahead to make the process as smooth as possible without making common mistakes. If you’re thinking about moving out of state, here are tips on what research to do, why to work with local real estate agents, and some of the similarities you can expect between buying an out-of-state home and one in your current area.

Research the Area

It’s important to thoroughly research the property taxes, other costs associated with buying, climate information, and local real estate laws. Knowing these aspects ahead of time will ensure that you make an informed decision before purchasing a home in an unfamiliar area.

Property Taxes/Other Costs

When purchasing a home out of state, it’s important to consider the property taxes and other related costs. This includes reviewing the local tax rates for the city, county, school district, and special districts. Additionally, be sure to take into account any state or local transfer taxes which may apply when buying real estate in the area.

Be sure to look into any additional costs, such as homeowner association fees or what the utility bills can be expected to be like. Your new state may have higher utility rates than what you’re used to.


Consider an area’s average temperature, humidity levels, and weather patterns to determine if it’s suitable for your lifestyle. This may affect your decision-making process in big ways, like influencing how much time you’ll spend outdoors and what type of outdoor activities you can enjoy. Don’t forget natural disasters—check historical records to see what may happen in that region so you know what safety measures to take when living there.

Local Real Estate Laws

Before you purchase a house in another state, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local real estate laws. These can vary from state to state and include regulations on zoning, closing costs, inspections, and more. Some of these details may be even more important if you’re having a new home built.

Researching these laws can help avoid potential complications when buying a home out of state and ensure all paperwork is completed correctly before closing the sale. Doing so will ensure everything goes smoothly when making such an important investment.

Work With a Local Real Estate Agent

Working with a local real estate agent has many advantages when buying a home out of state. They are familiar with the market and can help you find properties that meet your needs within your budget. A local real estate agent will have knowledge of the neighborhood, including schools, public transportation options, and shopping centers.

In addition, they can provide expert advice about loan options or any legal implications associated with purchasing property in a different state. They will also likely be familiar with any potential tax credits or incentives available for buyers in certain states or municipalities, which could reduce costs.

They will also be able to arrange and coordinate inspections, appraisals, title searches, and other necessary steps during the closing process while you’re still in your current state.

Visit the City

Exploring the area in person will give you an idea of what kind of housing and amenities are available so you can determine if they match your needs. Check out different neighborhoods and find out which ones fit your lifestyle by doing things like:

  • Seeing if there are parks or schools nearby.
  • Talking to locals about their experiences living in the area so you can get an honest opinion about what it’s like to live there.
  • Driving around to get familiar with traffic patterns and see how long it takes to reach work or other places you’d frequently visit.

You’ll also want to explore local attractions like museums, shops, restaurants, and nightlife spots. This will help determine if nearby entertainment options meet your interests and preferences. You may even want to take some time between house visits for sightseeing trips or leisure activities that could help inform your decision-making process when choosing a new home.

Plan Your Move

Once you’ve decided on a city and home, it’s time to start planning your move. It’s important to make sure everything is in order before taking the big step of relocating. Create a checklist of items you need to do and tasks you need to complete when moving out of state. Ensure you have all the necessary documents for things like transferring your driver’s license.

You should also consider what you will need for the move itself, such as storage containers or packing supplies, and decide if you will hire movers or pack and transport everything yourself. This is especially important in long-distance moves.

What’s The Same As Always

While buying a home out of state may seem a bit more daunting than when purchasing in an area where you’re familiar, many things remain the same. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important to do before you begin looking at homes, as this will give you an idea of the price range you should be looking in. Additionally, it’s important to have a home inspection done before all is said and done.

As touched on earlier, make sure to do your due diligence and research local ordinances and other relevant factors to ensure that the property is suitable for your needs.

Find Your Dream Out-of-State Home

When it comes to buying a home out of state, the best thing to do is research the area, work with a local real estate agent, and do everything you can to plan a smooth move. Taking these steps will help make sure that you get the best deal for your money and find a place that you’ll love. Don’t forget all the good strategies about buying a more local home as well—they’re just as relevant for a long move! With some careful planning and research, you can find the perfect home in a new state.

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