By: Tony Veldkamp, 2022 President of the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee
It’s no secret that we are experiencing a perfect storm in our local real estate market. In addition to COVID-related stresses on our market and supply chain issues, the biggest impact is the huge influx of new residents moving to our area.
Certainly, the Bradenton-Sarasota area has been discovered as a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Now with the ability to work from home and Florida being a low tax state and considered “open for business,” people throughout the country are seeing Florida, and specifically the Bradenton-Sarasota area, as a great place to be.
For those considering moving here from somewhere else, we know buying a new home and moving is stressful no matter what the situation is but moving to an unfamiliar area or new state adds a whole new level of necessary preparation and expenses. However, with just a bit of planning and organization, you can make the process substantially easier on yourself. Here are a few tips;
Find a REALTOR®.
Whether you are moving across the street or across the country, hiring a REALTOR® is the best first move you can make. When you are looking for homes in a new state, having someone familiar with the area, neighborhoods, and local market conditions is an invaluable asset. REALTORS® have unparalleled knowledge of their communities and can help you navigate the complex, sometimes overwhelming, process of homebuying.
Knowing the day you are moving is just one of many dates you will need to figure out. When do you need to sell your current home? When can you take a trip to the new state to view potential homes? Considering those questions and having a breakdown of what needs to be done and by when will help you prioritize tasks and keep you from scrambling at the last minute.
Tour Potential Homes Online.
Traveling back and forth between states to look at homes is time-consuming and cost preventative for most, but that shouldn’t prevent you from beginning your home search online. Digital real estate listings on sites like realtor.com® often include photos and videos guiding you through the home, the same way a REALTOR® would if you were there physically. Though you might eventually have to make a trip out to your new state to purchase your home, touring a few homes online can help you narrow down your choices and save you time and money. However, don’t forget that finding a home on the internet that you’re interested in can sometimes be the easiest part of the process. You need someone to be there for you before, during and after the purchase to guide you, and that’s what REALTORS® do.
Our real estate market is very fast-paced with multiple offers and homes selling in just hours. Have a good idea of specifically what you are interested in and your price range. If you intend to get a loan for your purchase, then get prequalified with a lender. Then your REALTOR® who is here on the ground and in the market can constantly be on the lookout for you and can react quickly.
Long distance moves can be an expensive process, so make sure you ask for estimates from a few moving companies before committing. If you are really hoping to save money, a do-it-yourself move might be your best option. Make sure to consider the cost per mile, insurance, gas, and taxes when price shopping for a moving truck. And if you have any pets, make sure to research hotels that allow animals or arrange with your airline to have your furry friend travel in the cabin with you.
Homeownership is not only an investment in your financial future, but also an investment in your life in your new home state. Homeowners are more likely to be engaged in local issues and more involved with their neighbors, so work closely with your REALTOR® to find a house that is going to make this new place really feel like home.