According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 80% of people interested in purchasing real estate use the Web in their search. If you are looking for homes for sale it can be a very daunting task. The Internet is a very powerful medium and is very useful to doing just about any research, the purchase of real estate is no exception.
Buying a house involves many different aspects, and the Internet can help you with most of them. 1. Area Research: If you are planning to buy a home in a certain area you are probably interested in finding out about the schools in the area, crime statistics, demographics, etc. If you are coming from out of state or from an area a major distance away and you don’t know specifically which town you would like to move to you could be broad in your search. For example: If you are moving from Ohio to New Jersey and you know you want to buy a home in Central New Jersey then you can go to Google and type in “Counties in New Jersey.” Once you see a map of the counties you can search within the county that you’re interested in and search Google again for “Townships in Ocean County NJ.” Then you take that list and search again to find the crime statistics etc. It takes a little time but you need to know this information so you don’t waste time looking for a house in an area that doesn’t match your needs.
2. Financing Real Estate: Obtaining a mortgage involves different aspects. You want to find reasonable rates and analyze your monthly payments. In addition, and also very important, is receiving a mortgage pre-approval. The pre-approval is important when dealing with a Realtor; a real estate agent will often expect a mortgage pre-approval in order to show a house and usually when you want to give an offer on that dream home of yours. There are many mortgage calculators on real estate websites and, obviously, on mortgage broker and mortgage banker websites. To find the best mortgage rates you still need to shop around but the Internet makes it much easier, since most mortgage websites allow you to apply online.
3. Finding the Perfect Home: Now we finally get to the whole point; your interest in finding, and buying, that perfect house! You can be broad and search for “homes for sale in central NJ” or be more specific with “homes for sale in Jackson NJ.” This depends on if you know exactly what you are looking for. In the end, however, most of the real estate websites that allow you to search the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) offer a broad area to search from. MLS’s can span multiple counties. Once you find a real estate website that covers your area, and you are comfortable with, you can inquire about the individual properties for sale from that Realtor. I hope this helps in your real estate search. Happy hunting!