Moving to a new state can be extremely difficult. We’ve all experienced the headache of moving before, but moving across state lines opens up a whole new set of problems to overcome. One of these is, of course, money.
When moving out-of-state, many people overestimate the mortgage amount they can afford. The biggest mistake almost everyone makes when buying a home is not figuring out the total amount of the monthly mortgage payment, including insurance and taxes.
While the payment on the overall loan amount may be within reach, most mortgages have an added escrow out of which the property taxes and homeowners insurance are paid. Escrow is an estimated amount added to the monthly mortgage payment to cover the cost of insurance and taxes. The final payment after factoring in the escrow may be higher than anticipated and unpleasantly surprising to the new homeowner.
Since the price of homeowners insurance varies from state to state, the amount of the escrow collected to cover insurance costs will vary. Insurance costs can vary not only from state to state but also from area to area. Also, buyers should be concerned with whether the home is in a recognized flood zone. If the home is in a flood zone—even if it has never flooded—the homeowner will be required to purchase flood insurance. While flood insurance is not typically a part of the escrow, it is still an added cost.
Additionally, property taxes can vary greatly from state to state. The size of the home, the location, the construction materials (brick or stone vs. vinyl siding), and the age of the home, as well as many other factors, can all affect the amount of property taxes paid on the home.
This is where a Realtor can really help an out-of-state home buyer. Not only can a Realtor help homebuyers find homes that meet their basic housing requirements, Realtors know the areas they serve.
Homebuyers should seek out the highest-rated brokers in their new state and ask to speak to someone in the Relocation Department. Based on the needs and desires of the home buyer, the Relocation Department can match homebuyers to Realtors.
Realtors specializing in relocations keep abreast of the local areas and can recommend neighborhoods based on the needs and likes of the home buyer.
Families with young children will have different needs than a young professional couple, so communicating home needs explicitly is the key to a successful relationship with a Realtor.
Finding a knowledgeable Realtor is the first move to make when relocating to a new state.
WHITNEY CAUDLE is the Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Executive Partners, providing guidance to hundreds of new residents moving to the CSRA. For assistance with your move, contact her at (706) 364-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.