Buying a home is a big deal.
You don’t want to go into it unprepared.
Before you buy a house, you want to make sure that you are getting the right house for you — and that it’s in the right neighborhood. The steps to buying a house start with thorough research on the topic.
As you research buying a house, here are 8 web sites that can help you narrow the field and find what works best for you:
One of the main sites you can use to research your potential home is Trulia.
You can look at homes for sale, as well as rentals. You can compare prices on different homes, and see what similar homes have sold for in recent months. Trulia also allows you to research the neighborhood the homes are in — which can be quite important.
If you are interested in reported crime stats and school reviews (and you should be), Trulia can help you out. You can look at these items, as well as read local reviews for different neighborhoods. Trulia allows you to receive alerts as well, letting you know when prices are cut, and when open houses are held.
2. Sperling’s Best Places
If you are trying to figure out where the best place to live might be, consider visiting Sperling’s Best Places.
You can compare a number of items including:
- Real estate
- Mortgage rates
- Cost of living
- Crime rates
All of this is helpful information when you are researching a homes in a specific city or neighborhood. If your living needs are flexible, this site can help you find the best place for you to live, and then you can begin your home search.
Another helpful web site for those researching a home is Home Fair.
Get information on schools, as well as vital statistics on cities. You can also use the salary calculator to determine what your salary is “worth” in a new place. You can also get helpful information using an array of calculators, including rent vs. buy, and moving calculators.
4. NETR Online
If you really want to get serious about looking for information on a prospective property, you can use NETR Online.
It costs money, but you can get specific information on properties you are searching for. You can compare different properties for $5, or get a property detail report on a specific property for $3.50. This is helpful information that can help you verify ownership, look at tax information, and find other important information about a property you are considering.
When you start to get serious about a couple of different properties, this can be a valuable resource.
Get local info on neighborhoods in your desired area, as well as find home values. You can research different schools and school districts, as well as communities.
RealEstate.com also drills down to neighborhood info, so it’s not just city information. The school information is also fairly detailed, including test score results, as well as reviews of the schools in question.
This web site provides you with a great place to start. Tapping into MLS, you can find detailed information on homes. You can look at photos, read about price history, and set up alerts to let you know about changes. However, there are some limitations to Listingbook, including one that requires you to go through a broker (although you don’t have to work exclusively with your assigned broker).
7. Walk Score
This is one of my favorite web sites when it comes to researching homes and neighborhoods.
You can quickly and easily see what amenities are available in an area with the help of Walk Score. Find out about entertainment and shopping options, as well as dining and schools. You can get information about how long it takes to reach amenities using public transit, driving yourself, walking, or riding a bike.
It’s a great resource to get an idea of the flavor of a specific location.
You can’t forget about Zillow.
Find homes for sale in an area, as well as recent price trends. You can get demographic income about the area, including information about age, homes with kids, commute times, and schools. Search homes by neighborhood, and even compare neighborhoods in a city. It can be a helpful look at what to expect, and provide you a solid starting point.
What’s your favorite site to research home?