Finding Your Dream Home
There are many ways to find your dream home. You may stumble upon it at an open house, while surfing the Internet or through your friendly neighborhood real estate agent. In addition to these popular ways of landing a home, there are some less-obvious methods, such as buying foreclosed properties or attending auctions.
On the Web
More than 80 percent of home buyers begin their home search on the Internet, according to The National Association of Realtors. Thatís because looking for a home online offers huge benefits: you can do it from the comfort of your home, and it is a great way to narrow down and preselect the properties youíll want to check out in person. Best of all, thanks to todayís sleek technology, web real estate sites allow you to view photos of a homeís interior and exterior, while 360-degree virtual tours and videos bring your prospective dream home to life on you monitor.
Real estate agents
Nearly 90 percent of homes are sold through real estate agents. For a list of available properties, real estate agents often consult the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a registry of available homes in a specific area compiled by member brokers. However, some home sellers prefer to keep a low profile and choose not to publicize their properties in the MLS. An expert agent can give you the edge over other house hunters. Many agents receive early alerts before a property goes on sale, so keep in close touch with an agent who knows which homes are hitting the market!
Newspapers and magazines
Newspapers still command a large share of real estate advertising. They feature a listing of the largest number and the latest properties that you can view on open house days, along with viewing schedules and addresses. Often, you can also find the papersí printed real estate information online. HomeFinder.com, for instance, carries home listings of more than 130 newspapers! For those who prefer to start out with a more traditional home hunting option, home magazines offer a photographic shopping tour for available homes with published prices in a specific geographical area Keep in mind, though, that printed home listings become outdated quickly, and some homes might already be under contract.