Finding a Home in Texas: A Guide to Relocating to the Second Largest State in the US

Texas attracts millions of visitors each year and for good reason.

If you are of a certain age, it is likely that you have vacationed in the second-largest state in the United States (after Alaska) at least once in your life.

You probably had the time of your life while you enjoyed Texas’ proud footballing heritage, famous rodeos and incredible culinary delights, but did you ever consider buying your own little slice of sunshine?

If relocating to Texas sounds like it is something that might interest you, we have put together this a brief guide to setting yourself up in the Lone Star State.

1. Choose the Right City/Area

Texas is home to some of the most dynamic and culturally diverse cities in the United States. Which city you opt for will depend largely on your priorities and your personal circumstances. 

Choose from among the incredible safety of El Paso, the buzzing tech and arts scenes of Austin or the economic opportunity and low cost of living of Houston.

If city living is not your thing, you may want to look for a property along Texas’ 3,359 miles of gorgeous coastline or in one of the many picturesque towns further inland. 

2. Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Relocating to an area that you are not very familiar with can be a challenge for many reasons. Chief among these reasons is likely to be your lack of knowledge about the real estate market.

This is where a good real estate agent can really come in handy. Ideally, you want your investment to yield a profit if you should decide to sell at some point in the future.

A real estate agent will be familiar with local real estate market trends and be able to provide you with shrewd advice on up-and-coming areas where property prices look set to rocket in the next few years.

3. Secure Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

Before you go looking for a property, it is important to know what kind of budget you are working with.

Set up a meeting with your bank or a mortgage lender and thrash out a deal for a pre-approved mortgage. Doing so will add to your bargaining power when negotiation with sellers.

4. Find a Property and Make an Offer

Once you have secured financing, it is time to start looking for properties.

It is best to earmark a few different properties to view before you go all-in with an offer. 

Familiarizing yourself with what you can get with your budget is crucial to being able to recognize a good deal.

European investors flying in from abroad to view properties should be aware that it is possible to travel and stay in the US for up to three months through an ESTA visa exemption (consult a reputable ESTA guide here, but make sure to keep up to date with any changes in US regulations which are available at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/.

Be aware that at the time of writing this, the global pandemic has led to changes in the rules regarding who can enter the country).

5. Have the Property Inspected Before Closing the Deal

When you think you have found the house or apartment of your dreams, the temptation is to rush through the deal so that you are not trumped at the last minute by other buyers.

While speed is of the essence, it is also crucially important that you pay for a full report from a chartered surveyor.

If there is damp, asbestos or significant structural damage to the building, you could stand to lose a lot of money when it comes to repairs when you discover them after the sale goes through.

There are many great reasons why an increasing number of people are looking to invest in real estate in Texas.

If you are not tempted by a move to Texas, why not explore the possibility of investing in real estate in Spain?

The weather is extremely good all-year-round, and you can choose from among a fantastic variety of different types of property, ranging from condos/apartments to luxury villas, which are perfect for any budget.

An important secondary benefit to Spain is the ease with which you can rent your property via sites like Airbnb.

Just like for Europeans traveling to the US, from January 2021, Americans traveling to Europe will have to apply online for an ETIAS visa exemption to receive permission to stay in the EU for three months.

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