Buying property in another state

10 Replies

Living in Louisiana. Thinking of buying rental property for a relative who will be working and living in Alaska for the next two years. Thoughts?

I did the same a 2 years ago. I live in NY and purchased a property in Miami, FL. 

My suggestion would be to link with a REALTOR that's willing to partner with you to do the bulk of the leg work; this person may not be easy to find but when found, they're invaluable. My Realtor had the MLS send me properties that fit my criteria, and I would give him the green light on the ones I was interested in. He would go and take a look at it and give me his opinion on the quality. If he liked it, he would take pics and send to me. If I was still interested he would submit an offer for me. We were in such sync by the end that he would submit offers for me before I even saw it.

I would also suggest that, if possible, take a trip out there to check out the areas. Have your Realtor take you around. You can read as much as you want, but there's nothing like seeing the areas for yourself.

In the end it will take some patience, but you could end up with a solid investment. But, you must do your research and work with someone in the area who would guide you diligently.

Good luck

@Matthew Mason it can be a good idea if you are confident that you know a good deal when you see one and if you will also be the property management solution.  There are a lot of factors of "buying right" and if you do that for them, that will be a good thing.  If you know how and can commit the time to it, you can also be the property management solution.  If you've spent a little time here on BP, you know that PM is often the highest hurdle for out of state investors.

You didn't mention the ownership/business structure you intend to use.  Will you share ownership as a partner or will it only be in their/their entity name?  The best choice for how to own the property/structure the business is probably a question for your legal counsel and tax advisor.

I buy properties in other states. Google maps and Zillow are your friends. I "drive" down neighborhoods using Google maps. Then I check out housing value to get a sense of prices using Zillow. If you don't know the area, I'd suggest a trip out there to set up your team. A property manager, a contractor, a realtor are all part of the equation. If you will self manage, you may want to find a handy guy and a plumber to support you. Good luck!

Thanks for the great advice. I am going to look at some property in May. The realtor has been very helpful, and has sent me some stuff. I am going to talk my accountant Monday to see how to structure this business.

@Matthew Mason

  should be pretty easy since your buying it for a relative I would think they would handle the day to day issues .. so you don't need PM or anything like that.

just get with a good realtor.. also remember Zillow is not a accurate barometer for valuations its all over the map ... it gives good info but rely on ACTUAL MLS comps for values

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I am from Florida but presently living and working in Texas. Last summer I purchased an investment home in Colorado for my Daughter and grand kids while she attends graduate school. She is paying the mortgage as rent. While searching for a home in Colorado, my daughter worked with a local realtor to show her properties. Her realtor set me up with a local loan officer with Wells Fargo to arrange a mortgage. I found the home that I ended up buying on I intend to hold that property after she moves on. 

Agreed with Jay.your relative will be like your team member to day issues will be taken care of

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