Almost every house hunt begins online, at least in this day and age. According to research by Realtor.com, 9/10 potential homebuyers begin their searches online. “With 90 percent of home buyers searching online during their home buying process, the real estate industry is smart to target these people where they look for and consume information — for example, through paid search, relevant websites, video environments, and mobile applications,” Says Google’s head of Real Estate, Patrick Grandinetti.
Looking at pictures, neighborhood information, floor plans, and descriptions is exciting. You almost picture your things in the photos, you can almost imagine yourself living there. You can learn a lot about a property online, like past sales, recorded sale prices, the history of the sales, as well as other information like schools, neighborhood crime rates, and more.
Surely, you’ve got your wants and needs listed out regarding your potential home. So take your “house hunting wish list” and head online to start your research.
Information You Can Discover Online
There are many things you can discover about a house when you’re researching properties online. For one thing, researching the property’s history is a fantastic idea. Why?
Researching your potential property’s history paints you a picture of the life the home had led. How the property has developed, changed hands, and has been updated are all things that are food for thought. Even if just for curiosity sake! Knowing the history of your home is beneficial because you learn why it was built as it was, but this knowledge translates to how you can fix or update your home.
Another important tidbit you can research online has to do with the other expenses of a property. You know, besides the purchase cost, closing cost, and whatever else you may need during the purchase of a home. These expenses include, but aren’t limited to, Home Owners Association fees, taxes, insurance, mortgage payments, as well as utilities like TV, internet, and phone costs.
On the subject of taxes, there’s a likelihood you’ll be able to find the history of tax prices for a certain home. Seeing the trends in the tax prices can give you an idea of the growth of a neighborhood.
While house hunting online is easy, efficient, and accessible, it’s a good idea to double check the facts you find. Because most financial information comes from input by a listing agent or owner, there’s room for error. You can double check “house facts” with sources like HOA offices, county tax pages, and other associated organizations or groups.
Places to Start Your Research Online
The internet is an amazing tool. It allows you to browse thousands of listings, getting a feel for pictures you like and floor plans you might want. You preview properties, gather information, and you can even take virtual tours. If you’re taking your home search online, you may want to begin at one of these places:
- Real Estate Experts provides home searching tools, home value comparisons, and real-time information about local listings. Not to mention, we also provide property management tools, as well as community information and resources.
- Realtor.com is run by the National Association of Realtors. This is a great website to check if a property or listing is up-to-date and current.
- Trulia.com snags data from a variety of places, making it an appropriate first stop to gather neighborhood information. Their “heat map” helps show you commute times, banks, grocery stores, schools, and crime rates of a specific area.
- Zillow.com provides Zestimates. This online service pulls information from public records, agents, homeowners, tax assessors, and MLS services. The biggest issue with home research on Zillow, right now, is that sometimes listings are still active on Zillow even if they’ve been sold. However, the online service does provide great overall information.
- RealEstate.com was created to benefit first-time homeowners or buyers. The information they provide is easy to digest, with additional expert advice provided. This site is also an off-shoot of Zillow, perfect for millennial online research.
Reliable websites, like these, are recommended by realtors because they’re reliable. You can generally trust the information you’ve found within these websites. However, always bring your questions or concerns to your real estate professional, who can assure you with honesty about a property.
We Can Help!
Once you find homes you like and you’re armed with information about them, your local real estate professional is your best ally.
We’re proud to provide our clients with up-to-date listings, fresh off the press. We’re committed to the process of buying and selling homes, but we’re also committed to helping our clients find the home of their dreams. As expert negotiators and buyers agents, Real Estate Experts are ready to guide you on your search, and negotiate a deal on the house that you fall in love with.
Discover your home’s true value here.
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If you are interested in learning about properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online. Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at [email protected] for additional information. We can’t wait to be your Realtor.