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Advice on long distance house shopping and timing

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firebirdgold

Ideal_Rock
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So we''re finally going to move to the NorthWest. YAY! We''ll need to be fully moved in by the end of August at the latest, and DH is naturally over-committed for the summer. So most of the house shopping and moving will be on me.


Does anyone have any suggestions for long distance house shopping? How early should I get started? When should I get serious? What should I watch for? I typically have taken a long time house hunting, seeing lots of things in person in areas I know well. I don''t know what to do about a place that I can only fly in for one or two house hunting weekends over the next few months.

Also, the market there is different from here and things have slowed down in general. What I''m used to is that the good houses only stay on the market for a couple of weeks, and that there''s something wrong with houses that are on for longer than that. But I guess it''s no longer true?
 

scarleta

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Sometimes the house price is just too high and the house won''t sell.After some time the seller may consider lower ( more realistic ) offers.It can be a good house , but was overpriced and did not sell.Where about are you moving to?if you don''t mind letting us know? If you know someone in that area that would help.you need a very good agent who can make it happen.Establish a good working relationship with the agen from that area and make sure to let them know what to show you and what you would not consider.( age,size, area, facing preference and whatever you may think of ) That way you can see few while you travel.Also some houses you can do virtual tour , so you can decide if you want to see it or not.I would say the agent is very important to you and choose wisely.You want them to show you what you want and not what is on sale.Good luck.Many of my friends did buy just like this and turns out that they made a proper decision.
 

firebirdgold

Ideal_Rock
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Hmm, that''s a good point about the prices.
My sister was just telling me about an article she saw either in the New York times or the Economist about a glut of mid-range priced houses coming on the market because of people now having trouble with those oh-so-easy to get mortgages of the past. Apparently the article was illustrated with a picture of a street corner bristling with for-sale signs... from the exact same place we''re moving to! (Eugene) I have to wonder if that was from the area with the house I''ve had my eye on, there are a lot of houses in that development for sale right now. hmmm.
 

scarleta

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you may do really well, just get to know the area if possible and the good agent will be able to help you out...
 

Tacori E-ring

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I would get in contact with a Realtor ASAP in the area. We did lots of long distance moves growing up and usually my parents always bought our house on a week long trip. Closings are normally 30 days. I would start looking soon if you are picky (have a lower budget or know the EXACT area you want). How exciting for you!
 

firebirdgold

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I have some contact with a reMax realtor who bills herself as ''nice''. I''m curious to see if she''s honest as well. I''m waiting to see what she has to say about why so many houses in that neighborhood are on the market.


Naturally we''re super picky, and don''t have the exact same tastes. It''s going to be challenging to hit all the points in our list, especially, as Tacori said, we have location constraints. Or I should say location desires. The most desirable area for us doesn''t tend to have things on the market very often. In fact there''s only one on the market right now and it''s too small.


It seems like getting a good agent is key. How do you pick an agent when you can''t meet them face to face until after they''ve done a bunch of work for you?



Oh hey, another question... What does a metal roof sound like when it rains? The kind that kind of looks like boards with little raised vertical strips?
 

Tacori E-ring

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I know my parents usually used a realtor that was suggested by my dad''s new job. They always relocation programs. Is there anyone you know who can refer you? Sometimes certain neighborhoods have "experts" who only work in that area. PS is such a big community I am sure someone know a realtor there.
 

gail013

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Hi Indie-

I am a realtor myself, and I think if there are lots of homes for sale in the area you are moving to, that is a good thing for you as a buyer. You will have plenty to choose from, and you should get a good price. How many trips can you make to the area, and are you contingent or non contingent? How did you find this realtor? A good buyer is hard to find in some marketplaces right now, be picky with the service you expect.
 

scarleta

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"How do you pick an agent when you can''t meet them face to face "You need to talk to few potential agents first.( on the phone)Maybe your local agency can recommend some to you.Write your questions and wish list and go over that with your potential agents.you will be surprised how much you will find out after few calls.You can also arrange to meet them when you travel over there.Ask for referrences from their clients.Ask everything you want to know.Discuss the fees as well.Ask how many active listings they have currently.If they have lots of listings that is a good sign , but may be that they may not have enough time for you.If they have to do 3 open houses on the weekend you arrive it may be difficult to spend time with you.Ask if they work with assistant.Ask how much time they can spend with you when you arrive etc.Do not decide until you are sure that you want to work with that agent.Ask if you can switch to another agent if you are not happy after few showings.You want to find out as much as possible about the agent you are about to hire.Good luck to you , they are lots of good agents who can help you, just need to find the right one...
 

firebirdgold

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Well, I have contact with three nice real estate agents and I''ll probably have to choose soon between them. I''m not very good at telling someone thanks, but no thanks... so I''m putting choosing one off.

I''m starting to get concerned about timing. We have four and a half months before we need to close, at the latest. My big problem at the moment is I''m reluctant to bring this up too much with my DH. He''s soooo stressed right now from his horrible job, and now all his friends who haven''t fled the company yet are getting seriously sick. Like heart problems and such. He has committments through august here otherwise I''d tell him to quit now! I know the committments are the sort that''ll just add stress in the short term but will look good in the long term. I just wish I could get him to camp out in a cabin in the woods for a few weeks writing his book and relaxing! (Hmmmm. plotting going on)

Anyway the thing is, when he gets stressed he loses his ablility to multi-task well. Thinking about a new house would be a happy release to me, but to him it''ll probably be more like the straw that breaks the camel''s back! I''m reluctant to discuss it too much with him or to suggest that we/I go to visit Eugene soon (like in two weeks) to house hunt. We''re talking about a man who (I think) took 1-2 weeks to house hunt his last place, so he wouldn''t see the need to do it so soon anyway.


Maybe I should wait until mid-May before really bringing things up to him? Is that cutting it a bit fine on when to start looking seriously?? To complicate things there''s also the fact that there are a couple of houses on the market right now that look very promising. I get anxious thinking one of these could be perfect and they''ll be sold before I can go visit.

Erg. I''m a mass of anxiety on this subject! I''m sure part of my focusing on the housing so much is my way of coping with his radiating stress levels.


So any suggestions or calming words?
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
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Hmm, first, I''m sorry you''re stressed. Second, have you considered renting short term initially and then doing house hunting once you are both there and settled? If that''s not an option, than I would simply say to DH, "I know you''re stressed and have a lot on your plate, so I''m going to go to Eugene for a quick house hunting trip and see what''s available. If you have time to join me, fabulous, if not, there''s no pressure on you, but I feel the need to get this process moving."
 

Tacori E-ring

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I agree you could rent somewhere for 6 months to buy some time. My family always found/bought a house on the first serious visit to the new city. Sometimes they were picky. Sometimes they weren''t. School districts always were a deciding force. Do you currently live in a house you need to sell?
 

firebirdgold

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3 cats and a large dog tends to put a damper on the house rental thing.
Also because it''s a university town I assume it''d be tough to get a nice rental for only a few months right at the start of the school year. So I haven''t really considered that as an option.

It occurred to me that lowering his stress would certainly help my stress and it would also make it easier for me to talk to him about going house hunting. So I told him to plan on leaving work early this thursday and I''m going to whisk him away to a surprise 3-day weekend in a rental cabin in the woods.
He seems to like that idea! (now if I can just get hold of the rental properties people!)

Either way, I''ll just have to bite the bullet and tell him that at least one of us needs to go check out properties in our future home town by mid-may at the latest. I don''t know why I hate bringing it up, it''s not like he bites or anything.
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 4/7/2007 6:42:51 PM
Author: IndieJones
3 cats and a large dog tends to put a damper on the house rental thing.
Also because it''s a university town I assume it''d be tough to get a nice rental for only a few months right at the start of the school year. So I haven''t really considered that as an option.

It occurred to me that lowering his stress would certainly help my stress and it would also make it easier for me to talk to him about going house hunting. So I told him to plan on leaving work early this thursday and I''m going to whisk him away to a surprise 3-day weekend in a rental cabin in the woods.
He seems to like that idea! (now if I can just get hold of the rental properties people!)

Either way, I''ll just have to bite the bullet and tell him that at least one of us needs to go check out properties in our future home town by mid-may at the latest. I don''t know why I hate bringing it up, it''s not like he bites or anything.
Indie,

It''s hard to bring it up because you want don''t want to add any more to his already full plate. It''s called being a loving spouse! I think the get away is a fab idea, and the time frame will really help you feel more settled about when you''re going to start house hunting and give him ample time to prepare for the occasion, no matter who goes.

You''re probably right about the animals making finding a rental difficult.

~K
 

scarleta

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 25, 2006
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1,572
Can you do the house shopping on your own? My fiend did it on her own when her husband had to go out of town and it worked.He trusted her exclusively and when she found that perfect place she described the place (long distance phone call) he said ok.She did it on her own and on his return he absolutely loved it.I know its not for everyone , but could not help sharing it with you ( just in case)
 
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