It may come as a shock that many people purchase a home before ever setting foot inside. These buyers may be moving to a new country or city far away, or they may not have the time or resources to visit for a home search before the big move. Not everyone has the option (or the desire) to rent for a few months while they find a permanent home in their new location. Most homebuyers would prefer to purchase a house before they arrive, so they can move their belongings and quickly get settled into their home.
There are a few things you can do to make the process more manageable if you’ve considered buying a house unseen.
1) The first step is to get really clear on what you’re looking for in your dream home, from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to the type of floorplan and layout of windows. Also, when buying a home sight unseen, you’ll want to consider the needs of your family, such as area schools, ease of transportation, and other amenities. This step also involves shopping out the neighborhood, so you’ll want to look at the proximity of grocery stores, restaurants, green spaces, and community centers. Don’t forget also to check for how close your new home is to other key stops in your day-to-day, such as your new workplace, your kids’ school, gas stations, and the highway.
2) Your next step is to find a realtor in the area that you can trust. Let them know your circumstances and that you’ll need them to help vet potential properties for you. They’ll be able to provide you with a link to a virtual tour if it’s offered, or schedule a meeting where they can walk you through the house via FaceTime or another video-based app. This will help you feel like you’re there in person and give you the chance to ask your realtor about any potential issues that may pose a problem in the future. You’ll also be able to see any features that you love, which will help you make your final decision.
Another great option is to have a family member or friend who lives in the area stop by a few open houses or take a tour with your realtor of any homes that you’re interested in. Safety first, of course! It’s a great idea to involve someone that you know and trust, to help spot any red flags or deal-breakers you should be made aware of before signing on the dotted line.
3) Lastly, make sure to do your due diligence. There’s nothing worse than buying a home, taking the seller’s word for the condition of the property, and finding out after the closing that you’ve bitten off way more than you can chew. You can avoid massive heartache and hit to your bank account by hiring your own professionals to complete your due diligence. You’ll want to hire an inspector to do a thorough full home inspection. The inspector will assess the overall condition of the home and let you know exactly what work needs to be done. Also, don’t forget to set aside enough to cover notary fees and accountant fees. You want this purchase done right, so don’t skimp on hiring professionals who will help protect you during your home purchase.
When the time comes for you to move in, be prepared for the unexpected. There will always be a few things that you didn’t expect when you’ve purchased a home unseen. However, make the best out of the situation and stay positive. It really is possible to find your dream home, even if you can’t see it before closing.