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5 Potential Problems with a Long Distance Home Purchase

By Lizzie Weakley | January 4, 2017

On the surface purchasing homes long distance has become easier. With camera phones, virtual online tours and social media, you can find out a great deal about potential properties without even physically visiting them. Paperwork can whiz across the internet in fractions of a second and before you know if you could be the owner of a new home.

Nonetheless, if you are buying a home long distance, there are a few potential problems you should be prepared to handle. Take a look below to see what you should keep an eye out for.

Internet Procedures

Buying a home long distance means sending key financial paperwork and information across the internet. Before you start sending sensitive material across the web, make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software are up to date. Also, make arrangements for verified electronic signatures to avoid having to rely extensively on courier services. Make sure your IP and devices are secured when sending sensitive data is just smart to do in this day and age.


Unless you have an account at a major national bank and are obtaining your mortgage from that bank, you'll need to work with a provider that serves your new area. Especially with the increased amount of regulation after the subprime mortgage crisis, the process can be slower and more complex than obtaining a mortgage locally.

Neighborhood Knowledge

You have an instinctive knowledge of an area where you have lived for a while. You know, for example, that hipsters gravitate to the east side that certain parks are more dog-friendly than others, and that northbound interstate traffic is impossible in the morning. As you won't be able to get a good feel for neighborhoods long distance, you'll need to rely on your Century 21 Town & Country agent for local information. Ask for information about schools and neighborhoods beforehand so you can get a lay of the land before making any drastic choices.

Responsiveness to Circumstances

Especially in hot real estate markets, circumstances can change quickly. Buyers will get competing offers and new houses will come on the market. As you can't drop everything and fly to the new area on a few hours' notice, this means that you need to be much more proactive in your buying process. When you visit the new area, make a ranked list of at least five houses you would be happy buying, so that if one doesn't work out you can quickly shift to the next on your list.


You will have a limited amount of time to look at properties and may miss details such as water damage, dated electrical systems, or roof issues. Order a thorough home inspection to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Buying a home long distance, is more complex than buying locally. Allow extra time for the buying process to ensure you find the right home.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. The information in this article is credited to Century 21 Town & Country.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer and Realty Biz News contributor.
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