By Neena Vlamis, President of A and N Mortgage

Moving to Another State

Moving is a hassle under the best of circumstances, but relocating to another state can be truly daunting. Unless you want to live on the street, you’ll need to choose the right neighborhood and zero in on the right house before you ever hop on a plane.

To ease the burden and make life easier, you should seek out a mortgage lender that has plenty of experience with out-of-state relocation. Then follow a few simple tips to help make the transition smooth and simple.

Pre Approve for a Mortgage

It may seem counter intuitive to apply for a loan before choosing a home. After all, shouldn’t you have a house in mind before you call up a mortgage broker? The answer is no, particularly not if you’re moving out of state and particularly if you’re a first-time homebuyer.

The process may be more difficult if you’re moving across state lines, so it’s best to get started early and pre approve for that mortgage. The good news is that many mortgage providers allow you to fill out an online mortgage application to get the ball rolling.

Scout Neighborhoods

Before you start hunting for houses, you’ll want to hunt for neighborhoods. After all, it doesn’t really matter how quaint a house is if it’s located in the most remote or crime-ridden part of the city.

Start by searching Google Maps or other online references to get a sense of the overall neighborhood. In particular, you’ll want to search for the nearest:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Doctors
  • Grocery stores
  • Malls
  • Entertainment centers

If you have kids, look for safe neighborhoods near good schools. Thankfully, the internet is full of resources that reveal crime statistics and school rankings. You can also scour through online review sites to find the best restaurants, movie theaters, hairdressers, and nighttime hot spots.

Finally, search for articles related to the area; magazines love to run stories on the best and worst places to live, as well as insider tips for making the most of a given town or city. By thoroughly researching the locale, you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into, even before you make your initial exploratory visit.

Once you’ve pinpointed a good neighborhood, you can start your house search. Even by glancing through the listings, you can get a sense of the home prices in a given area. Of course, you’ll want to physically visit potential homes before committing to a purchase. Online resources are great, but reality on the ground always looks a bit different.

If you’re planning on lugging your furniture across state lines, measure every piece so you can determine whether the home you’re looking at is a good fit. Then pay a visit to some local schools. Only after seeing the neighborhood with your own eyes can you make a truly informed decision.

Obtain a Mortgage

Now it’s time to secure that loan. When working out the details, it’s sometimes best to think outside the box. While 30-year mortgages are fairly standard, there are other options out there that might be better for you. Let’s say you’re moving to another state because you just landed a higher paying job. It may be tempting to buy a bigger and better home, but sometimes it’s better to resist temptation.

Find a Home

Instead, consider using that extra money to shorten your loan term. If you have a decent enough job and can afford the monthly payments, lock yourself into a 15- to 25-year mortgage instead of a 30-year deal. That way, you’ll pay less interest over the long run and put yourself closer to actually owning a piece of property.

Try Renting

If you’re uncomfortable with committing to a purchase right away, consider renting for a few months. That will give you time to familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood. The additional moving costs and extra hassle may be worth it if you’re still unsure about the area or haven’t yet settled on the right home.

Prepare for the Move

Follow these simple steps to make the transition from one state to another as seamless as possible:

  • Transfer all academic records from your children’s old schools to their new schools.
  • Call up doctors’ offices and have them forward all medical and immunization records.
  • Cancel services at your old home, including phone, utilities, pool cleaning, lawn care, etc.
  • Hire a professional moving company or rent a truck.
  • Secure plenty of boxes and moving containers.

Finally, you don’t want to move into your new home and realize you’ll be spending a few days in the dark, without gas or running water. Make certain you’ll be moving into a functioning house by arranging for utilities to be up and running before you even walk in the front door.

Call A and N Mortgage for more information at (773) 305-LOAN.

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