5 simple ways to utilize the Internet when buying a home

U.S. News & World Report

Make home searching easier on yourself by using the power of the internet to help you narrow down what you’re looking for in a new home. Andrew Fortune of U.S. News & World Report shares five simple ways to utilize the internet when buying a home in this recent article. 

Local Neighborhood Info

One of the most important aspects of buying a home is understanding the neighborhoods and areas in which you are interested. Using the internet to learn more about the areas you’re considering can help narrow down the neighborhoods that work best for your needs.

Many neighborhoods with homeowners associations now post their bylaws, covenants and restrictions online. You can find all kinds of valuable info in these documents, and even the fiscal health of the association. Simply do a quick Google search of the neighborhoods in which you are interested to find out more about them.

Step-By-Step Guides

For many first-time homebuyers, the process of buying a home can seem daunting. Fortunately for us, the internet has an endless supply of information on each step of the buying process. Real estate professionals and brokerages are constantly posting new articles, videos, and infographics to help online consumers understand the steps involved.

How-tos on getting a mortgage, finding a real estate agent and making an offer are all right at a homebuyer’s fingertips online. Even if you have previously bought and sold a few homes, it’s still nice to know that this information is online, in case you need a quick refresher course.

But note that the process of buying a home can vary slightly based on different regions of the country. Be sure to find resources that are specific to the area in which you are looking for a home.

Finding Professional Services

Most homebuyers will need the services of real estate professionals to get the job done. Realtors, mortgage lenders, title companies, home inspectors and appraisers are all a part of the process. The internet is a great resource to research and find the right professional that fits your needs.

There are many websites that offer paid ad placement for real estate professionals. Be wary of using these sites to find professionals as any real estate professional can pay to show up there. Just because a real estate professional has a presence on the internet does not necessarily mean that they are a good fit for you.

Property Tax Records

Tax records can show when a property was last sold, how much it sold for, how much the buyer financed and details about the previous owners. This information can be valuable for many different reasons.

Property tax record websites differ by area – many times they are maintained by the county. If your county has a property tax website, this can be a great resource to find data about certain homes online.

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