Your agent will always have the most complete and up-to-date information, but if you want to browse homes online to familiarize yourself with the terrain, check out the home-finding apps and websites available to buyers.
Here are Some of the Best Home Finding Apps And Websites
It includes everything you’d think a home search app should have, plus a unique “Zestimate” tool that helps estimate the market value of each home listing. This is not a review, but it can give you a warning if the asking price is a complete scam.
If you love maps and stats, you’ll love Trulia. Its property listing includes interactive maps showing nearby schools and shopping malls, and it also features heatmaps with data on crime rates, commute times, and employees. Demographics give you an instant idea of what life is like in this community.
Imagine falling in love with a home only to find out that it has been sold and the listing has never been updated. Frustrating, right? Well, Realtor.com offers listings that are updated at least every 15 minutes on average. This will save you from having to throw your phone around the room.
Redfin Real Estate:
Unlike the other apps we mentioned, this home finder app was developed by a real estate company. Each listing has a question box that you can click on to learn more about the house. You can also view the next available home by date, then click to schedule your visit.
Once you’ve found it interesting to see what’s out there, contact your real estate agent to narrow down your search to the home that’s right for you and within your budget.
House Hunting Tips
Now that you have a home finder and an agent in your corner, you are ready to go hunting! Avoid common house-buying mistakes by following these tips and score your dream home:
Keep searching until you find your price range. Every real estate market is different. Home prices vary so widely across the country that a ridiculous price can make you freeze. But don’t let a number tell you that you’ll never find a home that fits your budget.
Don’t give up! And trust your agent’s advice, he’s a seasoned professional. Do the math to see how many homes you can afford and stick to that number!
Pay attention to placement and layout.
Do you hate decoration? Disgusted with paint colors? Go ahead. You can fix them later. But there’s nothing you can do with a shabby neighborhood and shabby floor plan or a 20-minute drive to the nearest grocery store. So don’t compromise on these. Find a community and layout that fits your lifestyle. And for a bargain, be open about this type of kitchen tile.
Consider size. How much space does your family need? Remember that your budget will have the final say on how much you buy a home. But to help you see what people are buying, recent data shows that most buyers bought 1,850 square feet of homes, including three bedrooms and two bathrooms.4
Evaluation of school districts.
If you have children, the quality of the surrounding school districts is clearly a major issue you’ve been concerned about. But even if you don’t have kids, a home near good schools can increase the value of your home when it’s time to sell it.
Think about the growth in the home’s value.
Don’t just choose a gorgeous porch or a spacious yard. Look for a home that will increase in value over time. Research the history of home and business values in this area. Are home values going up? Is the number of companies increasing? These are good signs!
Also, try to find the lowest-priced home in the best neighborhood you can afford. You don’t want to go into the trouble of trying to sell a $300,000 home to potential buyers shopping in the $200,000 neighborhood.
Ask questions when visiting the home.
Ask lots of questions when you visit the house to make sure it’s really your ideal home. Here are questions to ask sellers when viewing a home:
- What is included in the sale? (Does the price include things like home appliances or lighting?)
- When were other devices and systems last updated? (See HVAC systems, plumbing, septic tanks, washers and dryers, refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers.)
- How old is the roof?
- How are the neighbors? Has there ever been any pest infestation?
- How to live there in winter and summer?
- What do you like best in the house?
- What problems have you had with the house?
Come on, guys!
Start house hunting!
Phew! That’s a lot to throw at you. But if you follow these home-finding apps and websites, you’ll do just fine. You’ll find the home you’ve always dreamed of and avoid a purchase you’ll regret. If you want to be confident in your search, connect with one of our Approved Local Provider Program (ELP) dealers. This takes the pressure off of finding successful real estate agents who share your values so you can focus on finding your home!
Find the best real estate agents in your area and start searching for your ideal home!