A lot goes into buying a new home. Shopping for a home online can be a huge time saver, especially if you don’t have a ton of free time to spend shopping for new homes in person. But how do you get started? If you’re considering shopping for your next home online, odds are you’ve already read some articles offering tips for online house hunting. If not, then you’ve come to the right place! Even if you have already checked out some other lists, we’ve scoured the web to put together ten of the top online home search tips from experts in the field to help you on your way!
1. Determine your budget.
This is one of the most important tips for online house hunting and for house hunting in general. No matter how you’re shopping for a new home, the first thing you should do is figure out how much you can afford to spend. This will help you narrow down your search, and you’ll avoid falling in love with a home that’s outside your price range. While you’re at it, consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage for the amount that you’re hoping to spend. This will help you better understand your budget and enable you to close quickly when you find the home of your dreams.
2. Use advanced search filters.
Just searching for homes for sale, even within your price range, is going to turn out an awful lot of results. If this happens, advanced search filters are your best friends. You can use them to narrow the field for some of the things that are dealbreakers for you and your family, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and more.
3. Look beyond the photos.
Photos are great, but you’ll never really get a feel for the home until you’ve had a chance to take a tour. In the meantime, use the photos as a starting point, but also look closely at things like the description and the floor plan, which can give you a better idea of what the house is really like, both inside and out.
4. Stay organized.
Shopping for a new home is exciting, but it’s also a big undertaking. If you’re shopping online, keep track of the homes you’re interested in using a spreadsheet or an online tool. Note the address, price, features, and any other important information, and rank the houses by how much you and your family want them.
5. Be flexible.
Like a lot of the best online home search tips, this one applies whether you’re looking online or in-person. Keep an open mind and be flexible when searching for homes. You may discover the home of your dreams in a place that you hadn’t considered before. At the same time, stick to your guns when it comes to the things you and your family can’t live without.
6. Research the builders.
If you’re interested in a new-construction home, research the builders. You can learn a lot about what goes into the homes they build by doing a bit of research into the builders themselves. As a bonus, builders often offer incentives that can be a huge benefit to new-home shoppers.
7. Schedule a virtual tour.
These days, many real estate agents offer virtual tours, which may be more convenient than doing an in-person tour of each home you’re interested in. These may be pre-recorded videos or live Zoom calls with the realtor, and they can really help you to get a better feel for each home before you decide which ones you want to tour in person.
8. Check out the neighborhood.
When you do go look at a home in person, don’t limit your tour to the home itself. Check out the neighborhood to see how comfortable you feel there. Look for nearby amenities such as parks, schools, restaurants, and shopping centers. Even before you tour the home in person, you can use online resources such as Google Maps to get a feel for the neighborhood or read reviews of local businesses.
9. Consider the commute.
Chances are, you’re looking for a home in a specific area, and there are probably reasons you picked the place you did. When you’re searching for a new home online, however, be sure to consider travel times from your home to work or anyplace else you go regularly. Online tools can even help you to estimate travel times during rush hour.
10. Ask for a little professional help!
Even when you’re searching online, it’s still best to work with a realtor, who will be able to point you in the right direction! A realtor can be a big help in finding homes that you’ll love and in navigating the many stages of the home-buying journey, whether you’re looking online or the old-fashioned way.
Whatever you’re looking for in a home and however you’re going about it, the perfect home is waiting for you at Mantua, our master-planned community in Van Alstyne, TX. To learn more about homes at Mantua, view new homes online, and discover a life you’ve always dreamed of, contact us today and schedule a tour!