Not everyone who moves to Florida comes from somewhere close enough to check out prospective communities in person, on the weekends.

If you live in Vancouver, British Columbia and are Sunshine State-bound, buying a new home on the opposite side of North America can be intimidating — doubly sotips for buying your home from a distance if you’re not familiar with where you’re moving in Florida.

Friends and family who already live there, or prospective new co-workers willing to pass along house-hunting tips, can allay some of that where-do-I-start inertia.

But perhaps the best tactic is to formulate a game plan that takes you from clueless, to clued-in.

Read on for our tips on buying your new Florida home from a distance.

Put the internet to work

Get those keyword searches going first! You can’t have too much information, so give yourself a good start with the world wide web.

Builders and real estate agents might be your first choices. But also check social media feeds, chambers of commerce, local governments, school systems, and visitors and convention bureaus. These websites can familiarize you with your potential new hometown.

If you have friends or family in Florida — or who have lived there — get their search recommendations.

Find a pro to help

As soon as you have a good idea of where you’d like to live in your new town, and communities that interest you, it’s time to seek help.

Home builders’ sales teams and real estate agents already know granular details about the location you’re moving to. Plus they’re digitally savvy and can tap into technology. Texting or emailing videos or photos to prospective clients are daily tasks.

At ICI Homes, our online sales team can be your long-distance scouts. Just go to our website, click the contact opens in a new window tab at the top and fill out the easy form that appears. Send it, and expect a timely response from one of our online staffers, who can email, live chat or have a phone conversation about your home search.

Click here for more detail on how helpful they can be. opens in a new window

Visit once if you can

Even if it’s a job change or transfer, and your employer is footing relocation costs.

Take a weekend — a long one if possible — or schedule a vacation that doubles as a house-hunting expedition.

You’ll get a real taste of Florida’s climate, beauty, and lifestyle rather than guessing about it. Plus you’ll meet salespeople at model homes, tour communities and perhaps realize you can, indeed, build your own custom Florida home.

There’s nothing like being there. Especially if you’re moving there.

Inventory homes are good choices

Builders typically build a certain number of inventory homes, or stock homes, that are available for quick sale or as “inventory” for customers who don’t want to build from scratch or don’t have time for it.

This could be a good solution if you’re moving from afar and don’t have time to commit to a custom build. And if you find a perfect-match inventory home that’s still under construction, and can add your own design tweaks, even better.

Ready for your new custom Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here. opens in a new window