House hunting tips for if you are relocating
Buying a new home can be a very exciting time, whether you’re a first-time buyer buying a new build, or have been a homeowner for many years and are looking for an older home to move into. However, if you’re planning on relocating, searching for a house far away from where you currently live can be a lot more challenging than buying one from around the corner.
Here, we want to help by suggesting how best to go about your long-distance search.
Research, research, research
Are you familiar with the area that you’re hoping to buy in? If it’s the town you grew up in, for instance, your basic knowledge should be good. If it’s not somewhere you’ve spent a great deal of time in, you need to start doing as much research as you can. Ideally, you should spend some time exploring the area in person, as well as researching online, but this isn’t always possible.
By researching thoroughly, you should be able to find out what the best and worst areas are, what amenities are available, and if the transport links or schools are good. If you’ll be looking for employment when you move, are there lots of job opportunities in your field? Is now a good time to buy, for instance, is the area experiencing a period of regeneration? Are there any new developments on the horizon?
Use property websites
Thanks to Rightmove, Zoopla, and other property websites, you can easily search for properties online, view their full details, see where they’re located on Google Maps, and find out what they’ve sold for previously. Property websites have revolutionised property search, so you’re at no disadvantage even if you’re hundreds of miles away from where you want to buy.
When using a property website, to ensure that you’re not overwhelmed, try and decide on a budget, search area and list of must-haves as soon as possible. It could be that you can get much more for your money in your new location. Ultimately, you want to get a house on the best street you can, but don’t overstretch yourself.
Have a travel budget
It’s a good idea to set aside a travel budget from the outset, as you will want to view properties in person. Buying any property without viewing it, is a huge risk. Spending a few hundred pounds in travel and hotels, is a small price to pay, when you’re making what might be your biggest ever purchase.
If possible, try to take a few days to visit the area and book as many viewings as you can while you’re there.
Reach out to estate agents
You don’t have to go it alone, so speak to property advisers, explain your situation and show that you’re a serious buyer. They can be the fountain of knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions about the area, any properties you’re interested in, or about any future developments.
They’ll be able to contact you if suitable properties come up, perhaps even before they’re advertised, which is possible if you’re looking for new build and a development is underway in the area where you are looking at buying. If you are looking at houses on a development, for instance, your adviser may be willing to arrange several viewings on the same day for you, which should make life much easier.