Buying a home on one side of the country when you live on the opposite side is difficult, but it can be done with the right planning. Here are the 7 best ways to handle long-distance house hunting.
1. Choose the right real estate agent
Start by interviewing several Nanaimo real estate agents by phone. Not all realtors are experts at working with out-of-town buyers. So, it’s important to select one that knows the Nanaimo housing market, and one who has the time to answer your phone calls and return your emails when you’re on the other side of Canada.
2. Do some preliminary research on your own
Even after you choose the best real estate agent in Nanaimo, it’s still a good idea to do some research on your own. You can find almost everything on the internet today: home listings, area maps, neighborhood and school ratings. You name it, it’s there. Plus, you may also come up with new questions for your realtor that you never thought of asking her.
3. Separate your needs from your desires
When you’re house hunting from a distance it’s easy to get caught up in the professional photography, home staging, and Hollywood-style virtual tours. That’s why it’s important to separate your home buying needs from your desires. Some questions to consider include if you want to live in the city or the country, do you want a gated community, and how important is being able to walk to amenities like shops and restaurants?
4. Decide on a realistic home buying budget
Nanaimo real estate agents are also an excellent resource for helping you determine a realistic home buying budget based on your needs. For example, although buying a property in the suburbs might seem more affordable, you could end up spending more on gas and travel time. Your agent can help you determine the cost of living for the market and for the specific areas of Nanaimo that you’re considering buying in.
5. Get to know the area with an initial visit
It’s usually a good idea to plan at least two visits before moving to Nanaimo. You’ll have the chance to meet your real estate agent and visit homes for sale in different neighborhoods. Visiting twice also gives you extra time to get familiar with the city, explore transportation choices, and visit some of the local shops and restaurants near your future home.
6. Keep your options open
It’s important to keep your mind and your options open when buying a home in Nanaimo from a distance. While you may have a good idea of the style of home and the new neighborhood you want to live in, it can pay to explore other choices too. That’s because being dead set on a certain home in a specific place may make you miss out on better opportunities in a different part of Nanaimo.
7. Create a travel budget for unexpected appointments
Even with your local real estate agent assisting you, it’s likely unexpected situations will arise where you’ll be needed at your new home before you make your move across Canada. The style of new flooring you selected by suddenly go out of stock. Or your interior decorator may have a suggestion for a new paint color that you’ve got to see to believe. You’ll probably need to go back and forth more than expected, so it pays to have a travel budget to cover the cost of airfare and a hotel.
Overcoming the stress of buying your home from a distance
Buying a home in Nanaimo from a distance can be a positive experience. Simply plan ahead, have the right expectations, and select a real estate agent in Nanaimo who’s experienced working with buyers from other parts of the country.
Moving long distance offers a fresh new start with new neighbors, new future friends, and brand new experiences that can only be found in Nanaimo, BC.