There are so many apps and gadgets to helps us in the house searching process, that we can get most of the work done from home, and browse for residences at our convienence before ever getting in our car to look around. In fact, all these new options for home shopping can be really overwhelming, which is why we have put together a list of the top resources for house hunting.
Google Maps – Real Estate Version
Type in an address in any populated area, and Google Maps can pinpoint local businesses and give you a good look at it with satellite imagery. But there’s a feature of Google Maps designed for house hunters — a “real estate” option is hidden on the “More” menu. Click on it, and instantly Google Maps will display houses listed for sale in the map area.
Google Maps is the best way to get a feel for where homes are located in your area, or even map out a route to travel between them. But when it comes to more detailed searches, we’ll want to head to a dedicated real estate site with a bit more depth.
A big part of finding that perfect home is searching as carefully and diligently as possible. There are a lot of helpful sites out there, each with different interfaces. Finding the one that best suits your needs will bring you a lot closer to picking out your ideal house.
Trulia, highlights houses in your region that have been recently discounted in price. Its main page also shows open houses near by, recent home listings and statistics like median sales prices for the area. Like Zillow, a community-based section gives advice for new home buyers, and a blogs section features articles written by professionals in the field who have useful tips on all things RE. Trulia also offers an iPhone and Android app with GPS map search and images and data on homes for sale.
Property Tax Resources (http://publicrecords.onlinesearches.com/)
While mortgage calculators will help you determine how much in taxes to expect from your new residence, some ignore them completely or want you to input the dollar amount manually. Thinking about taxes isn’t fun, but there are government web sites that are there to ease the pain. Every state has a Department of Revenue with tax records and a wealth of government-provided information.
The Free Public Records Directory collects a massive number of state government sites. Simply enter your ZIP code to view the county’s public records. Official property search tools can give you a detailed description of any address you plug in.
Now that you are armed with mapping software, house finding technology and tax information, it’s time to go out and find that perfect home. We also recommend finding a local real estate agent that can take your house hunting to the next level. A great Realtor can help you find the best neighborhoods, they can give you advice on what to look for when selecting a new home, show you the best houses that fit your criteria, and help negotiate the best deal possible.