People will do almost anything to cure boredom and browsing homes for sale in the area is probably one of the best things to do. The photographs can give you ideas for renovation projects and if you’re hoping to buy a house in the near future, house hunting online is a perfect place to start.
Here are useful tips and tricks that’ll make house hunting online a cinch.
Get financing in order
Long before you ever begin browsing houses online, you should have begun saving your money for a down payment and to cover closing costs. You can use this down payment calculator to figure out how much you should have saved for a down payment depending on what loan you’ll be applying for (FHA loan, conventional loan with 3.5% down, or a conventional loan with 20% down).
Along with getting money saved for down payments and closing costs, you’ll want to secure your financing as well – meaning being pre-approved for a mortgage. This is important because it’ll speed up the process a little (you won’t have to wait for the lender to approve you), it gives you a hard line regarding your budget, and it also lets the seller know that you’re a serious buyer.
Make a list of must-haves
When your finances are in order (or are on their way to being in order), you’ll want to create a list of things your new home must have. Yes, we may want a pool and a finished basement complete with an entertainment setup… But are they necessary? Probably not.
Make a list of the features that are deal breakers. Does the new property need to be handicapped accessible? How many bedrooms must it have? Does it need to be in a good school district? You get the idea.
Just keep in mind that while you may have a clear idea of what your new abode must have, you have to manage your expectations. You may be able to find a home that has some of the items on your must have list but fits within your budget. Then again, you may find a home that has everything you need (and more) and it is way above your price range.
Hire a real estate agent
Hiring a real estate agent is one of the most important steps you must take to find a house – especially online. The reason why hiring a realtor is important is because they’ll know the market and they’ll be able to advise you whether a property is worth the asking price or not. They’ll be the ones to set up appointments, they’ll negotiate in your favor, and they’ll be able to show you houses that may not be online.
All in all, take the time to find the perfect agent. You want to make sure the person you hire is going to work with your best interest in mind. Don’t be afraid to interview agents before hiring one because this person is going to be a key player in your house hunting journey.
Successful house hunting online begins today
Sometimes the most useful tips for anything are the most obvious. Getting your finances in order and knowing what your new house must have are important because there are so many houses online and you could easily get overwhelmed. By having a clear line of how much house you can afford, you can consult your real estate agent (which is an essential player in this game!) to find a house that meets all of your needs and your budget!