Let’s get right to it!
#1. Do Your Research
I would encourage you to hop on Google and start exploring. Google earth is fantastic. You can take a tour of our city and find so much information from that alone. Another thing you want to figure out are your top priorities for your move. For example, schools might be very important for you. If that’s the case, you’ll want to know the best school systems in our area. You’ll find that Northwest Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County schools are the best, but you’ll need to figure out where they’re located, what they offer, or even finding a specific elementary school in those systems. If you’re going to be relocating here because of your job, it’s probably important for you to be close to your job, so you’ll want to know drive times, etc.
#2. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Reach out to a real estate professional. If they’re good at what they do, they’ll be good at answering your questions and providing information.
#3. Watch Out for Scams
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of scams out there. A couple in particular involve rentals. Craigslist takes high quality listing photos and hijacks them to put on their website. You can talk to an actual person, and they’ll have you transfer money over to them for “first months rent” or a “security deposit.” There’s another scam where it’s “too good to be true prices on homes for sale,” and realistically, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. So just watch out for those types of scams.
#4. Visit Our City
Set up a date and time to visit our city. I think this is going to be very key for you because it allows you to get a real perspective. There’s only so much that someone like myself can show you, but when you come into town, you get to experience it firsthand. Drive through some of the neighborhoods you want to focus on, in the daytime and at night, and see how they feel to you. This is going to be valuable, because even if you’re not ready to make a purchase now, you can refer to your time here later on down the road.
#5. Video Tours with an Agent
We do this all the time, and it’s not as scary as you might think. You can hop on FaceTime and let your trusted real estate agent be your eyes and ears. They’ll even advocate for you! They can tour homes you want to see and answer your questions when you find a home to make an offer on. If you want to see a specific area, just have them key in on that area. It’s really just as good as being in person.
#6. Be Present for the Home Inspection
It’s not required that you get a home inspection, but if you’re able to make a trip back to Fort Wayne, you’ll find it’s valuable. You can discuss maintenance and repairs with your inspector. Regardless if you’re there or not, your real estate agent can be there for you. You’ll be furnished with the inspection report within a day or two after the home inspection. It’s good to be in person so you can see things with your own eyes.
#7. Choose Your Agent Wisely
You want to work with someone who is going to be your advocate, who is familiar with the area, and who has experience helping people move into the city. Do research on the agent and look up their reviews. I would see what other people have experienced when working with that person and the company they’re affiliated with. Make sure they have a lot of five-star reviews and read them to make sure they’re authentic. You should also choose an agent based on their negotiation skills, because you want someone who would do a good job at getting your offer accepted. It’s a competitive market all over the country, not just Fort Wayne. The negotiation, rapport, and the credibility the agent has in their own marketplace matters. If an agent has a bad reputation, your chance of getting an offer accepted, even if your offer stands out, could be impaired. You’re going to have to rely on them for a lot if you’re going to be purchasing a home in a city you’re not too familiar with.
I hope this information was helpful for you. If you’re going to be moving to Fort Wayne to buy a home, I’d love to be a resource for you. My team and I would be grateful to help you, so definitely reach out to us!