Did you know you could buy a new home without ever visiting? It’s called buying a house “sight unseen.” The first thing that you should do when you are considering buying a home “sight unseen” is to research the home. And when I say “research” I mean to learn everything you possibly can find out about it. This includes finding out about the history of the house via public records such as census data and property records.
If time simply doesn’t permit you to visit the property in person, don’t fret. You can still find your dream home and get it under contract from anyone on the planet.
Do Your Homework
Next, you should put the right amount of effort into researching the Realtor, as well as, their company. You can do this easily by looking at a potential Realtor’s name up online.
In 2020, if a Realtor is legitimate, they will have a website. There you will be able to find much more information on them, hopefully including testimonials. When you search their name on Google, check and see if they have positive or negative reviews from past clients.
Here are some other things you can find for free by searching online:
- Tax records
- Delinquent taxes, if any
- Whether the property is in the 100-year flood plain
- Past sales
- Crime statistics for the area
- Online plat or survey maps
Believe it or not, there are way more than just these but they’ll get you started.
Don’t Forget the Neighborhood
When you are doing your research, be sure that you also research your potential new home’s neighborhood. The neighborhood is one of the most critical things to consider when you are buying a new home. You can learn about possible homeowner associations, ratings for nearby schools, and even how “walkable” the streets are because of sidewalks, amenities, and crime.
You can get started with your neighborhood research by checking the street-view on Google Maps. This way you will be able to see first hand how nice neighboring areas are. Be on the lookout for homes that need work or abandoned houses.
Check out local online news publications. Because there’s so much information readily available online, it really is possible to buy a new home without ever visiting. Read about education trends and new business startups. Consider yourself there and think about things that matter most to you.
Try to See the Home Virtually
Most listings won’t come with a virtual tour. So ask your Realtor to see if they can FaceTime or Skype with you to give you a detailed tour of the home. You will need to see the house in its current state at some point even if it is virtually.
Once you have found a Realtor you can trust, see if you have any family or friends in the area and see if they would be able to check the house out for you in person. Having a second opinion and someone seeing the house in person can end up being quite a help.
When the time comes to make the offer do not forego the home inspection. A home inspection might be the most critical part of your home purchase.
Take the Time to Plan Your Move
Odds are that your home is quite far from where you will be moving from. If you are using a moving company, make sure you research them online first and read some past customer reviews. Be sure to get an in-home estimate from your moving company. This way you will not end up getting surprised by any last-minute increase to the price of your move.
You will want to plan to purchase the right number of moving boxes. Label them to save time and trouble down the road. You should also get rid of anything you do not need before the actual move, so you are not left doing it last minute.
Finally, you can avoid the headache of long-distance driving across several states and ship your car to your new home instead. You will just need to book your shipment and your flight about a month in advance.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this piece! With the advent of the Internet, there’s more information online than ever. So it’s truly possible to buy a new home without ever visiting.