Jeremy Vorndran, President, North Coast Building Industry Association
Gone are the days when driving through a neighborhood or asking friends and family for a recommendation were the only ways to find a new home. Conducting your house hunt online has become the new standard, for millennials and boomers alike. Websites such as Realtor.com, Redfin.com and Trulia.com have maps, photos and even virtual tours of homes for sale. Below is a guide to using technology to help find your new home.
Check for Updated Content. If you’re looking to purchase a home within the next six months, you’ll want to utilize a website that updates its content frequently. Real estate agents have access to up-to-the-minute data from a multiple listing service and are a good starting point for accurate and recent information.
Look for Details. Almost all websites and mobile apps with home listings have photos and maps. Not all websites have details about the type of neighborhood in which a home is located. Does the area have a good school system? What crimes have been reported in the area? At what price points have homes in the area recently sold? You should utilize websites that provide a complete profile of your future home and neighborhood, so you can make a more informed decision about your purchase.
Sign up for Notifications. In a hot market or desirable neighborhood, affordable homes are sold quickly. Look for websites that allow users to sign up for e-mail or text alerts, and notifications on homes sold or new listings. This is a useful tool if you’re looking to purchase a home in the next three months.
Don’t Overlook Mobile Apps. Another resource to boost your new home search are mobile apps. Most apps have features that allow you to easily share listings with family and friends via text message, email or social media. Phone numbers and emails are optimized on apps, which makes it easy to contact listing agents.
Consult a New Home Directory. If you’re having trouble finding a new home that fits your needs, you may want to seek out a custom home builder. A home builder can create a design that fits your specific needs. Check out a list of local home builders on www.ncbia.com
Beware of Dated or Misleading Websites. Make sure the website you are navigating reports on delinquent homes, sold homes or pending sales. You do not want to fall in love with a home that is not available. Websites make money by selling ads, so the realtor next to the home listing you are reviewing may not be an area specialist. Be sure to ask questions to determine his or her knowledge of the area in which you are looking to purchase a home.
For more information on how to find a home in Lorain, Erie or Huron Counties contact the North Coast Building Industry Association at 440.934.1090 or find us online at www.ncbia.com.