Anyone buy a house in another state while living far away ?

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24,425
Location
Central Florida
Thread starter
Just wondering if anyone ever bought a house in another state ? How did it go and what problems occurred, mistakes did you make while living a few hundred miles away ? How do you get utilities (turned on) in your name if you're still living in your current state ?
 
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3,277
Location
On another site
I didn't buy in another state, so can't speak to the purchase process. However I do own a rental house in another state. As far as the utilities, I had one tenant just abandon the property… A couple of phone calls to have the utilities turned back on to keep heat and light in the house while it was being shown.
 
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2,301
Location
Southwest Virginia
Yes, I bought a house in Virginia while living in New Jersey with no problems. Did everything by email up to the closing, and probably could have closed by email as well (I sold one out of state entirely by email and phone, including the closing). The realtor can tell you which companies provide the utilities such as electricity and gas and these accounts can be set up by phone, as can the inspections. You will need a printer and scanner to print and sign documents and return them by email to the attorney. Libraries have these if you don't, and some documents may need to be notarized.
 
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1,698
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Yes bought a house in Winnipeg while living in Edmonton (1300 Km/800 miles away). My wife and I had been on a buying trip but couldn't find what we wanted. This came up and we put in an offer subject to a personal inspection within 24 hours. It was a good house with great style in a terrific neighbourhood. It was a picture house. We had people come up to the door and ask to be called it it ever went on the market, and would we let them use it as a set for a movie etc. But it had been built around 1929 - 30, so there were lots of issues with old wiring, old windows, old insulation, old plumbing, etc. It was a great house but we worked on it constantly for 6 years. Our next house was exactly one year old.
 
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12,886
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Yes, we bought a home in FL while living in NY. We owned the home for 18 years. We used the house 1-2 months out of the year and rented it out for about 6-7 months. The only real issues we had was the Gulf weather, some flooding & a few hurricanes over those 18 yrs.
 
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Messages
24,827
Location
Upstate NY
You just need a local attorney to handle the closing. We put in SmartThings hub and some sensors to allow us to monitor the house. Attached to the hub is a device to allow us to open the garage door. I open the garage door remotely for HVAC, etc service people.
 
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10,683
Location
Phoenix
Bought a house for the MIL a few months ago. Flew out to see it, took care of all the paperwork remotely. They sent a notary to our house and we signed at home.
 
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4,583
Location
Lima, Ohio, USA
not me, But a few years back, My brother was looking to move back home. Flew up, we went around looking...and looking... couldn't find anything right. day after he flies home, mom and dad find one just down the road from my uncle. they take a look, tell him about it, he finds the listing, and does the entire deal 100% over the interwebs. even to signing the contracts on his iPad. realtor told him they do this all the time. he's even sold to folks in China. when he moved in, along with the thank you/welcome to your new home card, the realtor sent him a thumbdrive with electronic copies of all the paperwork involved.
 
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2,033
Location
Wisconsin
Bought in SD living in KY, and a year later moved to WI from SD. In both cases we closed and signed paperwork for the house once moved. In SD we "rented" from the owners a few days before closing. We had a deposit of like $1000 with our offer on the House's. Utilities can be turned on by phone at a designated date. Be aware that if you are using proceeds from your existing house sale toward down payment of the new house, it takes a few days for the proceeds check to clear.
 
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16,002
Location
Silicon Valley
Parents did that back in the 90s. Utilities and bills are the easy part, you can set the mailing addresses different than the service addresses. The hard part is actually to hire people to do the repair as needed, like if there's a water leak, regular cleaning, etc. You may need to talk to the real estate agents you work with to get someone to sign on as the 'maintenance' service, that of course may cost some money (i.e. for rental it would be 5-10% of the monthly rent).
 
Messages
6,199
Location
New England
Biggest mistake for me was trying to rent a home remotely. Such a hassle to not visualize and see the property and trust repair folks. If just to own no income which I did eventually it's okay. You need someone there at times.
 
Messages
4,108
Location
IL/GA ,USA
Mr Nice/OP, At the point of sale/closing, Th utilities should be closed and zeroed out. The title company should deal with any liens, or clean title. You can put everything on your name by phone. But it is still 1-4 hours on the phone. Power, gas, internet, water + sewer, garbage, landscaping (to keep the property clean, not weed-jungle-overgrown) USPS has some package with some coupons, including online version. The rest is a good team on the ground: Realtor (who still knows you after the sale), couple nosy neighbors (to keep an eye), monitored alarm, a couple reliable handyman/trades for just in case. But if you pay a lot of money for a second home/vacation home/investment I would still go see it first in person. Online pictures could be deceiving sometimes...
 
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