If you are looking to purchase a home or condo in South Florida, you must act fast. The housing market is booming, and properties go from “for sale” to “sold” within days of being listed. This leaves little time for typical house-hunting tactics, especially if you want to buy a South Florida property when you live out-of-state.
When purchasing a South Florida home from another location, there are several actions you can take to boost your chances of making the winning bid on your dream property.
These include using virtual technology, preparing your finances, and working with a trustworthy South Florida realtor who knows the market. Consider these six tips for purchasing a home in a different state as you search for your perfect Florida home.
1. Make Use of Virtual Technology
With the rise of virtual communication technologies like Facetime, Zoom, and GoogleMeet, buying a home from out-of-state is much easier than in the past. Rather than relying on the minimal number of pictures featured in the property listing, you can utilize virtual technologies to tour the property.
3D virtual tours allow you to view the property before making a decision. In addition to 3D mapping tools, you can also use digital communication platforms to take a virtual walk-through of the property.
In May of 2020, 35% of sellers relied on virtual tours to sell their properties, proving that viewing a home or condo through a digital platform is a viable way to search for a property if you cannot see it in person.
2. Get Pre-Approved
When looking for a home from out-of-state, getting pre-approval from your preferred financial institution helps you prepare to act quickly if you find a property you like. The typical mortgage application process takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days, so if you wait to apply until you find a property you like, it will likely sell before you are approved.
By going through the pre-approval process before you start looking for your out-of-state home, you have the opportunity to act quickly to get the home you want. Getting pre-approved also helps you establish a budget so you don’t waste time looking at homes out of your price range.
3. Know Your Deal-Breakers
When buying a property in your hometown, you can take your time to view properties and get a feel for what you want. However, when looking for a property out-of-state, it is a good idea to know your deal-breakers before you start house shopping.
Due to the fast pace of the current housing market, your best chance of obtaining the home of your dreams is to narrow down the features you cannot live without and be ready to compromise on elements that aren't on that list. This allows you to find a home that meets your needs but doesn't disqualify potential properties that are viable options.
4. Pay for a Quality Home Inspection
When buying a home from out-of-state, paying for a quality home inspection saves you money and prevents disappointment. If you cannot see the property yourself, you can rely on the home inspection company to complete a thorough inspection to discover potential problems.
A professional home inspection company checks all the major elements in the home, such as the roof, foundation, HVAC system, and structure, to ensure that the buyers disclose all issues and you know what you are purchasing. A home inspection also gives you time to decide on the purchase and lets you negotiate with the sellers if an issue is found.
5. Work With a Trustworthy Realtor
Buying a property from another state requires the help of a trustworthy, experienced realtor. Your real estate agent serves as the link between you and the property. They can provide you with information about several aspects of the home you’re interested in, such as:
- The property itself
- The neighborhood
- The school district
- The job market
- The overall housing market
These details are important when buying a home to ensure it is compatible with your lifestyle and goals. Working with a realtor who goes above and beyond to share these aspects of potential properties with you is vital to finding the right home.
Additionally, a trustworthy realtor can meet with you through virtual means. Speaking with them through Zoom, FaceTime, or even Tik Tok allows you to see the entirety of the property just like you would if you were in the house. They can also take pictures of specific concerns you may have and investigate potential issues before you move forward with buying the home.
6. Perform a Preliminary Visit
If you are uncomfortable with using all-virtual tools and meetings to buy a property from out-of-state, consider making a preliminary visit to the area. Make contact with a local real estate agent and let them know when you’ll be visiting. Tell them what type of property you are looking for and ask them to recommend areas that may be of interest.
When you arrive, view the locations your realtor suggests to get a feel for the area and local properties. Let your realtor know if you liked any of the locations and have them keep tabs on property listings in those areas. With this method, you can familiarize yourself with properties in the area so that if one opens up, you can move fast since you’ve seen the area in person.
Work With an Agent Who Goes Above and Beyond
If you are looking to buy a South Florida property from outside the Sunshine State, your best option is to work with a local realtor who goes above and beyond for their clients.
Bryan Gold is a South Florida realtor who has been helping buyers find their dream home for seven years. Bryan uses technology-based tools and insights to find the right properties for his clients, making him the perfect resource for anyone looking to buy a home from out-of-state.