Anyone know the challenges of buying out of state or recommend just buying property in own state?
There are a lot of books on this topic. Highly Recommend David Greene's Book on long distance investing.
I actually have more than a few clients that are buying from out of state. The process looks something like this:
1. Find out how Real Estate is different in the state you're buying in vs the state you know. There is a surprising amount of variation between states.
2. Familiarize yourself with the contract(s)
3. (really 1, but hey) Learn the market. Talk to contractors if you are planning on value-add from a distance. Talk to PMs for pricing and more market data. (Obviously) talk to a Realtor for market data. Talk to a local lender or a few and get pre-approved.
4. Virtual showings -- in a hot market, you need to have someone out there fairly fast. A detailed walk-through on camera, looking at all the failure points -- electric, roof, fit and finish, neighborhood and neighbors, etc. I will take a walk-through video if buyer is unavailable and send a google drive link. In some ways that's better because you can go back and watch several times. I can give laser measurements on the spot, as well.
5. Write offer(s) / get under contract
6. Get on a plane ASAP and meet the inspector for the inspection. This is when you can vet the house for yourself and verify everything is kosher. In my market we usually use an as-is S&P with a pre-determined (right now 7-10 days) inspection period where you can cancel for any reason. Verify this before writing offers (see step 2)
7. After that almost everything, including closing, can be handled virtually. I recommend coming back for the final walk-through, but you can do a video tour again. I would need a second set of boots, like your chosen PM or contractor, to walk through, as well.
In this current climate, and in the future I think, we are moving to more and more virtual buying and selling. I have sold for clients I've never met and sold places I've never been in. After the 3d virtual and drone photography I do, you can really get a feel for a property!
Those of us that have already started to pivot will be way ahead of everyone else!