If you are in the market for a home, you should know there have been significant changes in the real estate industry in the past few years. The world of house hunters has wholly turned to the digital side, as most consumers are now going online at a rapid pace to search for information, photos, or more details to empower their buying decision.
According to SaveMax, you can now use online tools to help you with house-hunting. A study by The National Association of Realtors and Google affirms that nine out of ten home buyers now rely on the internet as their primary research tool.
Moreover, real estate-related searches on Google have grown by 253% over the past four years. Depending on their preferences and budget, new home shoppers complete an action on a real estate site the day they start looking for a home.
Online Tools and Resources That Help You Buy a Home
If you want to buy your first home, various online tools and resources can help you get the job done.
You may wonder how most people can proceed with the 20% down payment to qualify for a home mortgage, but the reality is that more than half of these homebuyers have bought a home with a down payment of 6% or less of their home’s value.
If you qualify for an income-based loan, you may not have to pay private mortgage insurance. Generally, when you spend less than 20%, you will end up paying private mortgage insurance until you have paid 20% of your home’s value. Consider choosing a mortgage calculator to determine what solution is available and ideal for your situation.
It’s vital to ensure that your total debt should be no more than 36% of your monthly income. Thus, when you want to calculate your monthly housing budget by taking your total income, subtract your fixed expenses (such as car payments), variable expenses (utilities, credit cards), and monthly savings.
Free Credit Reports
If needed, you can ask for a free credit report every year, and it would be best to consider getting a copy before the mortgage company runs your credit. By doing so, you will avoid any surprises.
However, free credit reports are often 40 to 60 points above or below their actual value. If you are genuinely concerned about your credit rating, getting a paid credit report might be the best solution.
Find the Right Real Estate Company
All home buyers, whether new home shoppers or experienced shoppers, rely on real estate agents to turn their online research into reality. Most real estate sites offer free searches and different tools for buyers, sellers, or renters.
In addition to searching or sorting options such as price, location, or size, home shoppers can subscribe to e-mail updates to be notified when new homes that match their criteria are added. You can get updates on what’s selling and for how much in your favorite neighborhood.
Studies have shown that real estate agent-related searches on phones or tablets grew by 300% yearly. Most real estate sites offer a free smartphone app so that you won’t miss anything. Additionally, you can chat with a real estate professional to help you with your real estate queries.
Make an Offer
Once you have found your dream home within your price range, it is time to make an offer. You can call the number on the online listing or choose to discuss it with the real estate agent who’s selling the house on the homeowner’s behalf.
Use Real Estate Technology to Find Your Dream Home
Buying a home may seem overwhelming and time-consuming, especially if you are a first-time buyer. With many steps and factors to consider, you should turn to real estate technology to simplify the finding and purchasing process.
To ensure that you are ready to own a house, consider the following steps:
- Build a savings account (for a down payment or closing costs on loan)
- Review your credit report and, if needed, improve your credit score to qualify for a lower interest rate
- Always buy a home within your budget comfort zone
- Check out the neighborhood
- Try out your potential commute
- Find a real estate agent familiar with the area where you want to purchase a home
If you are ready to find your dream home, use online tools and virtual resources to simplify the buying process and enjoy your purchase.
Images by Depositphotos