Buying a Home
Thanks to the Internet, being an informed home buyer has never been easier. No longer are buyers completely dependent upon real estate agents and mortgage lenders when it comes to gathering information. House listings are readily available online, as are interactive tools that can estimate mortgage payments and percentage rates. If you have never bought a home before, you can find step-by-step guides to the process online. Even seasoned real estate investors can turn to the Web for news and advice, as the market is constantly evolving. Whatever your needs, the Internet is an invaluable source of information for buying a house.
The purchase of a home is likely the single largest transaction you will ever make. If you're ... read more »
Finding the right neighborhood can be just as important as finding the right home. Maybe ... read more »
As your hunting begins, you will soon find that there is no shortage of properties for sale. While ... read more »
There was a time when the only way to find homes for sale was through newspapers or signs in people’s front yards. Those are still viable options but you can find much more complete and extensive listings online. Many Web sites list properties for sale, complete with asking price, specs, and often photographs. Naturally, you will want to visit a house in person before bidding on it, but using the Web first to research and narrow your choices will save you time and hassle, whether you’re looking to move down the block or around the world.
- There are multitudes of homes listed for sale on the Internet. All of the good property listing Web sites let you narrow your search by specifying your desired location, style, square footage, price range, and number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms.
- We've included national sites in this section but there are also many good regional listing sites. To find listings more local to your area, just type your city and state, or even your county and state, and then "real estate" into your favorite search engine.
- Many newspapers post their real estate listings online. To find a local newspaper’s official Web site, check for it on the U.S. Newspaper List.
- Some houses, particularly ones that have been most recently listed, may not have accompanying photographs. As long as the listing is on a reputable Web site like the ones recommended below, the lack of a photograph is no reason to discount a particular listing.
- Professional real estate sites are often easier to navigate but online classified ads are excellent sources for houses that are for sale by owner.
- A multiple listing service (MLS) Web site provides you great exposure to most of the homes for sale in your area without confining you to one particular agent or agency. The biggest drawback is that these sites do not include properties that are being sold exclusively through one agency. You can find a regional MLS Web site by typing the area in which you wish to search (for example, Sacramento or Long Island) and "multiple listing service" into your favorite search engine.
For online listings from major real estate companies …
is one of the largest real estate companies in America. The company's official Web site features millions of properties for sale with detailed searches. RE/MAX also offers mortgage calculators to aid your house hunting even more.
is the oldest real estate company in the United States. Use the "Quick Search" function on the homepage to search for properties or a Coldwell Banker office in your area.
has long been one of the most trusted names in real estate. The company’s site is very easy to navigate and offers listings for countless properties, both residential and commercial. If you have already searched RE/MAX and Coldwell Banker, Century 21 may offer homes that those other sites have missed.
Keller Williams Realty
has a very polished, dynamic site that features thousands of house listings. While there aren't nearly as many homes to be found here as on the above sites, the site features a helpful home buyers section with articles that teach you the steps of buying a home, questions you should ask your real estate agent, and how a real estate agent can assist you.
To find houses for sale by owner …
For Sale By Owner
is one of the top real estate sites on the Web, with thousands of properties listed by motivated homeowners who wish to cut out the middleman. This site is easy to navigate and listings can be filtered by location, size, and number of rooms in a home.
lists many properties for sale by owner as well as recent foreclosure properties. To view the foreclosure listings
, however, you must either sign up for a seven-day free trial or pay $9.95 per week.
For a multiple listing service …
is a free search tool you can use to find homes for sale by realtors. Click on a state to see what properties are listed for sale. This site also features some helpful real estate news articles.
For alternative online listings of homes …
is the world's largest online source of classified ads, and has a readily available section of housing listings. The no-frills site can be difficult to navigate for newcomers, though. Start by choosing your location from the list of states and cities on the right (there are several foreign countries, too). Next look for the “housing” column in the center of the page; choose “real estate for sale” at the bottom of this column to search for properties.
is best known for its abundant auctions of collectibles but in recent years real estate has become a prominent fixture on the site. You’ll find listings from both real estate agencies and homeowners. Depending on the listing, you can either place a bid on a home being auctioned or purchase it at a set price with the "Buy It Now" option. Make sure to read the site’s guide to buying real estate
on eBay before you get started.
For a listing of foreclosed homes …
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) sells foreclosed homes for less than their market values. Click on your state, and then search listings by location, price, or property case number. Most listings have photos. In addition to its listings, the HUD site is filled with valuable information for all buyers.
takes text messaging to the real estate world. If the listing agent or owner has signed up for this paid service, potential buyers can text message Cellulist when they see a listing for a house they like to get more information about the property without actually calling the agent or seller.
Whether you hire a broker to help you purchase a home is a personal decision. Some people feel ... read more »
Now that you've found a home you like, it's time to do a little more sleuthing. As soon as possible ... read more »
Negotiating the price of a home requires the same level of research and preparation you've put into ... read more »
The process of obtaining a home loan can be arduous and confusing if you're not prepared before you ... read more »
The day you close on your new home can be a very exciting one but if you want it to go smoothly ... read more »
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