Research what you can online. Of course there is nothing like having your feet on the ground in an area, and feeling it and smelling it and talking to the local people. However, we have so many resources now where we can read, watch videos, and really get a feel for different areas in a community you are considering moving to.
One word of caution, if you go into Facebook groups, remember there are often some negative comments in those, that may skew your opinion of a place, and they may not be entirely accurate. So just take that with a grain of salt.
Look at different areas and get a feel for how you might like them. Our downtown area here feels very different from our university area, and then of course the beaches. What’s the difference between Topsail Beach and North Topsail Beach and Surf City, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and the rest of the southern beaches in Brunswick County? There are so many different areas in our community, and it really helps to take a look at them and get a feel for the different places so that you know where you want to focus.
As a reminder, we will be going into detail on each of the steps to making a long-distance home purchase, over the next several weeks. This week is Step 2, and below is a reminder of what we discussed last week.
- Be clear about what is important to you in a home. Write it down. Pick your top three points and describe them in detail.
- Research what you can online.
- If you can, visit the area before you start making offers, so that you can get a feel for different neighborhoods.
- Find an experienced realtor who you trust and feel comfortable with, and who asks you a lot of questions about what is important to you. This person will be your eyes, ears, and nose on the ground, and needs to understand what is important to you.
- Get pre-approved with a local lender, or someone who has experience in the market you’re moving to. For coastal North Carolina, this is particularly important.
- Understand the real estate market you’re moving to and its purchase process, along with key elements of its purchase contracts. Not all states are the same, and in North Carolina, we have a due diligence fee that other states do not have. Understanding this is important. In addition, as the market changes, the real estate market in your area may be different than the one you’re moving to. Understanding these differences is critical to your home purchase success.
- If you are not buying new construction or a newer home, consider getting an inspection before your offer is accepted.
- Have a plan for viewing and signing contracts electronically, and delivering funds within 24 hours when your offer is accepted.
- Visit the home once it’s under contract before the end of the due diligence period, if possible.
- Be present for the final walkthrough of the home and closing if possible.
Hi, I'm Kim Crouch, and I help people who want to live in Wilmington near Wrightsville Beach, and aren't quite ready to move yet, figure out how to buy their NC coastal home now.
1001 Millitary Cutoff Rd Suite 101
Wilmington, NC 28403
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