Colette’s Las Vegas Relocation Checklist
A move can be very overwhelming, especially when PCSing to a new base. Whether you are coming from overseas or another stateside base, it can be a stressful, yet exciting new adventure!!! Moving to a new city entails finding a new home, and integrating into a new community. As a Veteran, I understand what it entails to PCS.
As a Realtor, I have helped many military members, and their families do the same. I created this package specifically for military members. I have provided you with some tips, and tools to help make your move to sunny Las Vegas a smooth one!
Getting Started with Your Las Vegas Relocation
- Find a Lender
- Create a Wants and Needs List
- Buying Before or After Arrival
- Review Emailed Homes
- Schedule Viewings
Find a Lender
When preparing to purchase a home, finding a lender is the first step. Talk to several lenders before deciding on one. Lenders will either work for a bank, a private mortgage brokerage, or one of the online brokerage. Each lender will have different overlays, fees, and levels of service. Buyers often ask which is best, and the answer is, whichever is best for your situation. Every buyer has different circumstances that can affect the rate you are given, or the conditions required to close. Your best resource is your Realtor!
Realtors have experience working with different lenders, therefore are able to help understand the differences, and make recommendations based on each buyer’s situation. Once a Lender has been selected, it is time to get preapproved for a loan.
The first step for your Las Vegas relocation is to find a mortgage lender.
Get PREAPPROVED for a loan!!! NOT JUST prequalified.
- Prequalified Buyer – has provided a financial picture of their assets, income, and debt so that a lender can give them an idea of how much they qualify for.
- Preapproved Buyer – an official mortgage application has been completed, and all requested documentation has been provided to the lender. This enables the lender to check credit rating and perform an extensive financial background check.
An even better option…..
There is one more step that I recommend buyers do, and that is to get conditionally underwritten loan approval. It can be very difficult to collect documents and information requested by the lender when you are in the middle of moving. Therefore, completing the process beforehand can eliminate a lot of stress. This approval means that all conditions required by the lender to close have been met other than finding a home, and having an inspection, and appraisal completed. It also makes the offer stronger than other competing offers. It is almost as good as a cash offer!
Create a wants and needs list for your Las Vegas relocation.
Create a Wants and Needs List
Everyone has different needs when it comes to a home. Whether it is based on square footage, room count, yard size, age of home, or school zoning. The same goes for what ends up on the wants list. This list could contain wants such as a pool, three-car garage, or a workout room. Therefore, I advise creating two lists, a must-have, and a wants list.
Keep in mind, that changes may need to be made to the must-have list. Remember that every market is different! If finding the perfect home has become a challenge, changes must be made to the search criteria. Realtors have three rules of thumb to help guide buyers.
Three Rules of Thumb
- Down – Decrease wants or needs in search criteria to include more homes
- Up – Increase purchase price is possible.
- Out – Expand the search area to include surrounding neighborhoods.
Buying Before or After Arrival
Deciding on whether to buy a new home before or after moving really depends on one’s personal situation. With school-aged children, it may be beneficial to purchase before arriving so that children can be registered for school according to zoning laws prior to your Las Vegas relocation. Proof of purchase/utility bills are required to register children in Clark County, and they do not grant zoning variances. In addition, it minimizes the time spent in limbo, and living without household goods. I have helped many military members purchase before arrival either by utilizing virtual viewings or coming into town for a couple of days a month or so prior to moving.
On the flip side, it may be more beneficial to wait for your arrival. With a couple of weeks of paid accommodations, be prepared to pay, at minimum, an additional two to four weeks out of pocket. It depends on the current market and search criteria as to how fast the perfect home is found. A benefit to waiting is getting the time to know the amenities and infrastructures in the different areas surrounding the base.
Review Emailed Homes
Once the search is set up, emails will be sent out automatically every time a new home hits the market that meets the specific criteria outlined in the search. The emails will have a link to view the homes in the personalized portal. The portal is where notes can be added to each home in regards to likes/dislikes, and mark favorite homes. This enables your Realtor to view favorite homes, and any notes added.
You can do virtual viewings prior to your Las Vegas relocation
At this point there should be several homes that are at the top of the list. Pick the top three to five homes and schedule viewings with your Realtor. If a trip to town is possible, then plan the trip, then select from top five houses the day prior to arriving.
However, if a trip is not possible, scheduling virtual viewings with your Realtor. I have found that clients love this process when they are buying site unseen. This done by using Skype/FaceTime with your Realtor as they walk through the home. This allows the buyer to ask questions, look in cabinets, and walk the layout without ever stepping foot in the home.