If you are in the market for a new home, you will need to talk to a Realtor. But before you meet with one, you can do some of the work yourself to speed up the process. In fact, thanks to the internet, there are lots of ways to get started on finding your perfect house using technology. Here are a few resources to check out.
Get Your Finances in Order
Your first step should be to make sure you can qualify to buy a house, and technology makes this easy. You can start by making a budget and keeping track of your bills on sites like Mint.com, which even has an app so you can use your smartphone or tablet to manage your money. Then you should get your credit report so you have some idea of the kind of home loan you can get if you need to finance this major purchase. You should also go to your bank’s website to find out what the current interest rates on home loans are.
Look at Listings on Real Estate Websites
Your next step should be to see what’s available in your area. You should have an idea of the kind of house you want, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, floors, and square feet you need. Most sites and apps with real estate listings have a filter you can use to find exactly what you want. Such sites include Zillow, RedFin, Trulia, and Movoto. Once you find a few homes on these sites, you can show your Realtor so he or she can set up a home tour.
Watch Virtual Tours
If you can’t go see a house in person right away, a virtual tour is a good alternative. It can give you an idea of how the space in the home is used, which is helpful if you can’t get a feel for this in pictures. Many real estate sites have virtual tours of the homes listed on them. Even your Realtor’s website might feature this option on the home listings.
Go To Builder Websites
If you are thinking about buying a new construction home, your best resource will be the websites of the builders that are building houses where you want to live. So if you have a certain area in mind, you can ask your Realtor which builders construct homes there. Then you can go to their website to look at floor plans, upgrades, virtual tours, and more. You can also use the builder’s website to look into your financing options, or get preapproved for a loan if you decide to use the builder’s lender. Some builders, including Lennar, even have mobile apps for your convenience, allowing you to use technology to find a house when you’re on the go.
If you want to shorten the home buying process, using technology is often a great way to do it. Relying on certain websites and apps, in addition to your Realtor, can help you find the house of your dreams without taking too much time off work.