When you’ve decided you’re ready to buy a new house, the first place you’ll check is the internet. You can get a good sense of the local real estate climate by looking at listings on websites like Zillow and Trulia. There are smart ways to search on these websites so the results that are returned fit your budgets and needs. Here are some of the best ways to level up your online home search.
Set a Price Range for Your Online Home Search
One of the most determining factors in the home you buy is the price. You’ll have an ideal budget to stay within so you remain comfortable with your other expenses. While a lender might pre-approve you for a large amount of money, you shouldn’t necessarily take it all.
Consider the other expenses in your life like car payments, childcare, and student loans. Once you have figured out your budget for a new home, set the upper price limit on the website. You may also choose to set a minimum price to filter out homes that may not be worth viewing.
Set Your Preferred Location
When investing in real estate, location matters. Certain homes are worth more simply because of where they are located. Buying a home in a desirable location is usually a good investment, however, you’ll pay more for a home of the same size and quality as a comparable home in a less popular area. Decide which neighborhoods or sides of town you are interested in and specify them on the website.
Choose Your Preferred Features for Your Online Home Search
Are you buying a new home because you want a specific feature? If you must have a garage, a waterfront view, or a pool, check these features off on your online home search. You’ll only see the results that have the features you want.
Size of the Home
Many families move to a new home because of size. Select how many bedrooms you want in your new home based on how many people are in your family. You can also specify the square footage if you know you want a spacious home, but don’t care about how many bedrooms there are.
Save and Share Searches
After you have set filters and selected your preferences, save your search. If you are shopping for a home with someone else, share the saved results with them.
Use Your Agent to Find Properties
While real estate websites are great tools to search for a new home, your agent will likely tell you about homes for sale before they are uploaded to the public MLS. Hire a real estate agent instead of only relying on the internet to find homes for sale.