MOVING TO A NEW STATE CHECKLIST
So, you are thinking about relocating but you are over a year out until you plan to move. Is it too early to start doing your research?
Hi everyone, I’m Kim Devlin with the Kim Devlin Team in Sunny St Augustine Florida. Whether you are moving to Florida or somewhere else, you may be starting to think about where you are going to relocate. You may also be wondering, am I too early to start? or What steps do I need to take now to prepare for later?
The first thing I am going to tell you is NO! It is absolutely not too early to start. If you are one to even five years out, it is never too early to start your research. Let’s discuss what steps you should be taking.
#1 Visit the areas you are considering a move to.
You absolutely need to take multiple trips to the areas you are considering. Your first trip is like the honeymoon period. This is the initial visit where you fall in love with a place because it’s new and exciting. Plus, you are in vacation mode BUT the real question is, can you live here? That’s why I always recommend taking more than one trip. And if you are considering more than one place, then the same goes for every area.
If after your first visit, you love it then the second time you visit should be a mix of touristy things and exploring potential neighborhoods. If you still love it, then the third trip will be narrowing down the communities or areas. That leads us to the next step.
#2 Do you need a Realtor®?
I would say it depends on how far out you are. I always work with people that are over a year out from wanting to purchase a home, and you know what, a year goes by very fast. So, if you have already narrowed down the location then definitely hook up with a local Realtor® to help you with your search, not necessarily for a house but first with communities. There are different ways a realtor can help depending on how far out you are. If you are over a year from purchasing a home, your Realtor® can keep you abreast of the market and show you examples of homes in your price range. This way when you are ready to make the move, you will already have a good idea of what your budget can get you.
Here’s one tip you really need to understand though. If you are in contact with a Realtor® and they are diligently keeping in touch with you by sending helpful information, such as community info, listings, or market updates then do them a favor and respond. This can be feedback on homes, an update on your timeline or even if you’ve changed your mind altogether. Be transparent about your goals since they are spending time trying to keep you educated. If you do decide you’re no longer interested, then they could be spending that time helping others who are looking to make the move.
#3 Finding where you want to be based on your needs.
Once you’ve settled on a location, think about what neighborhoods or communities best fit your needs? Do your research on all the services you will need once you move. That includes medical care, shopping, and things you enjoy doing. If you have kids, then look into the schools that will best meet your children’s needs. What about your job? Do you need to commute? All of these factors will help to dictate which areas may work best for you.
#4 Do you need to get pre-approved?
If you are a year out and not quite ready to buy, then you don’t need to get your credit checked. Nor do you need to start the process of getting a mortgage. That being said, it is not a bad idea to hook up with your lender to get an idea of what you can afford. This will at least tell you if the area you are focusing on is within your budget.
#5 When do I start looking for a house?
It depends on many factors; do you need to sell your current house first? If so, then communicate the timing to sell your house with your Realtor® so they can plan accordingly. Typically, you want your current home to be listed when you start seriously looking for a property to purchase. Additionally, you should really be under contract on your current home before making an offer. Especially in a sellers’ market.
If you are building a new house, then you could start ten to twelve months earlier depending on the builder. Usually, it will take that long for most builders to complete your new home.
If you are simply ready to buy and have nothing holding you up, then I would say three months prior to moving is when you should start seriously looking at listings in order get a feel for the current market. If it’s been a year or more since you have started your research, the market may have changed. It could now be a sellers’ market where prices have gone up, or a buyers’ market that may offer you more options. If it’s the latter, then you are in good shape. If not, then be ready for a challenging purchase. Hopefully you have nurtured your relationship with your Realtor® over the past year, and they know what your needs are. If so, you can bet they will have your back!
So bottom line is, when it comes to finding your next place, it’s really never too early to start doing research. As Real Estate Agents we love home buyers that put in the time to make sure they are making a well-educated decision when planning a big move.
Contact me with any questions you might have [email protected]