The internet has given way to a lot of conveniences, but there are still many things people would rather do in person. If you’re in the market for a new house, you might be wondering whether shopping online is helpful or not.
Plenty of people have found their dream homes by shopping online. However, people also make several costly mistakes in this process that can create larger problems.
So what mistakes should you avoid? Online house hunting can be fruitful when you follow the tips below.
1. Don’t Forget to Look Up Your Credit Score
Take time to get your credit score together before buying a house. When you don’t, it’ll cause you to overspend and get subpar interest rates. Conversely, good credit means that you’ll pay less and will get better terms from the bank.
It’s best to have a credit score in the 700 range or better. Consider taking a credit improvement course or receiving credit counseling before house shopping. It’ll put you in the best position to succeed, no matter what kind of home you’re in the market for.
Even if you’re looking to rent and not buy, you might be asking yourself, “Do I need to know my credit score when shopping for apartments near me?”
The answer is a resounded yes! Apartment managers also look at credit scores in order to find renters that are more likely to satisfy their obligations each month.
2. Never Shop Without a Realtor
Having a realtor by your side is an absolute necessity when you’re trying to buy a house. Sure, you can do your own research and put in offers by yourself, but having a realtor makes everything easier.
The realtor understands the housing market and will help you get the biggest return on investment (ROI), while also smoothing out your communication. They understand what sellers are looking for and speak their language.
Having a professional advocate by your side will help you make homeownership a reality in the most seamless way possible.
3. Always Visit the House
While technology makes things easier, too many homebuyers lean on it too heavily. Let the technology provide a glimpse into the house, but take it a step further by going to visit it in person.
There are certain variables that you just can’t assess when looking at photos and videos. Putting feet on the ground will help you get the lay of the land, while also letting you assess the neighborhood and even talk to some neighbors.
Never sign on the dotted line without going to visit the home in person.
4. Don’t Neglect to Get the House Inspected
A house inspection should always be one of the last steps you take before finalizing the paperwork. When you get a home inspection, the contractor will look for glaring problems.
Some of the problems that they’ll check for include structural damage, heating and cooling problems, termites, asbestos, foundation cracks, and shoddy roof parts. When you get a professional inspection you will verify that the property is move-in ready and worth every dime.
The last thing you’d want is to sign on for this 30-year investment, not knowing that you’re going to have to put several thousand dollars into the property just to make it livable.
5. Photos and Videos are Great, But Look Into Virtual Tours
Technology has advanced today, to the point that you can get a better representation of what it is like to live inside the home. Photos and videos are helpful, but make sure that you look into virtual tours.
Virtual tours will help you digitally go from room to room so you understand more about the space you’ll have and the attributes of the entire home. This will save you some time and will help you narrow down your options without having to go visit the property in person.
6. Avoid Overspending Your Budget
Even if the home seems perfect for you, never overspend. You don’t want to have a foreclosure or bankruptcy on your record.
When you bite off more than you can chew, it takes your new house from a dream to a nightmarish burden. Rather than allowing yourself to get to the point of resenting your own home, create a budget and stick to it so that you live within your means.
7. Don’t Rush Into a Home That You’re Not Happy With
At the same time, don’t settle when it comes time to buy your new home. If you need to save up more for a down payment, it’s better to wait, rather than buy a house that you don’t really like.
It takes far more to get move when you’ve purchased as opposed to rented, so take your time and find the home of your dreams.
8. Make Sure to Research the Whole Neighborhood and Zip Code
When you buy a home, you’re also buying into the entire area. Research the neighborhood and zip code to find out about the crime rates, property values, schools in the area, transportation systems, and more.
This will help add some context to your purchase so that you don’t go into it blindly.
Make Online House Hunting a Useful Endeavor
Online house hunting can be one of the best ways to find your next home. However, it’s important to put the right tips to use.
Let these tips help you as you shop for the best home for your needs. Check back for more info on real estate, business and so much more.