Tips for Long-Distance Homebuying | Florida Realtors


One of the keys to buying a house from a distance is having a trusted agent who understands the buyer’s needs and can offer guidance along the way.

NEW YORK – Prospective home buyers are widening their home search areas to find new places to live. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says the median distance that buyers traveled to their new homes was 50 miles in 2022, which was triple the median distance that most people clocked in the 30 years prior. Still, the NAR 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers also indicated one-quarter of buyers studied traveled more than 470 miles to find new homes.

Home prices have been historically high in recent years and those prices are not expected to drop anytime soon, so a greater number of people may be looking for homes well outside of their current metro areas. Buying a house far from home base requires some extra know-how, and these tips can help the process.

  • Hook up with a local real estate agent early on. Working with a qualified agent can facilitate the process of a long-distance move. As a long-distance buyer, you likely won’t be available to drop into a new listing on a moment’s notice if you live hundreds of miles away. A local real estate agent can visit homes and present his or her findings, or even provide video walk-throughs so you can see properties in real time. This person also will offer guidance through every step of a real estate transaction.
  • Start calling for estimates. Once you’ve zeroed in on where you would like to move, start pricing out moving companies that can safely transport all of your belongings from point A to point B. Some homeowners prefer using a storage/moving service, particularly if there is a lag between when the current residence is sold and the new one is available. Also, storing items prior means having access to an entirely empty home to make improvements before furniture and other belongings are moved in.
  • Make a plan and stick to the schedule. There are a lot of moving pieces to a long-distance move. It is important to a make a task list early on and cross off each job as it is completed to help stay on track. Strongly consider purchasing moving insurance to protect belongings in the move, as many moving companies offer limited insurance, and check to see if your automotive and home insurance plans cover moving.
  • Create an inventory and packing system. Itemize all of your belongings and establish a system for packing so that you’ll know where each item is. This can help you recognize if any boxes go missing. Also, pack boxes with distance in mind, as things will likely get jostled more so than if they were only traveling down the street.
  • Consider moving during the offseason. Lots of people prioritize moving in the spring and summer, particularly if they have children attending school. This is the busiest and most expensive time to move. Moving during less busy times of year to move can cut down on stress and may be more frugal.

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