When buying a new house, looking online is a great place to start. Real estate websites give you a good idea of what you can get for your money in a particular market. You can tell how long certain homes have been for sale and what price they last sold for. While looking online is not the only way to find the right home, real estate websites are valuable tools. Here are 5 tips when searching for real estate online.
Determine Your Price Range Before Searching for Real Estate Online
Establishing your budget and getting pre-approved by a lender are important first steps when buying a house. If you don’t know what you can realistically afford and how you will finance the purchase, you won’t be able to move forward with a sale.
Once you have determined the pre-approval amount and factored in other expenses, set a price limit for your searches. This way you won’t waste time viewing available homes that you can’t afford. You might want to set a lower limit also, to eliminate homes that are too small or would require too much work.
Filter Out Unwanted Property Types
If you are looking for a single-family home, there is no point in including condos, townhouses, and vacant lots in your online search. Use the checkboxes for property types to specify what type of real estate you are looking for so that your results are more streamlined and relevant.
Set Your Size Preferences
Do you need a certain number of bedrooms to fit your whole family? If so, enter it in your online home search. One bathroom might not be enough for your new house, so eliminate one-bathroom homes. You can also set your size preferences by square footage.
Enter in Specific Features
If you have your heart set on a specific feature and won’t buy a house that doesn’t have it, include this in your search. There are checkboxes for basements, swimming pools, and air conditioning. You can also type in specific keywords to search for homes that have a particular feature.
Specify the Preferred Location When Searching for Real Estate Online
It’s a common saying in real estate that location is key. You can set your location preferences as specific as one neighborhood or expand it to a whole city. Use zip codes, neighborhood names, or even draw a border around the areas you are interested in.