With so many diverse rural and suburban communities spread throughout the Greater Chattanooga area, house hunting can be a challenge.
Driving through neighborhoods and asking friends and family for recommendations used to be customary ways to find a new home, but today searching for houses online has become the new standard.
Websites such as Realtor.com, Redfin.com and Trulia.com have maps, photos and even virtual tours of homes for sale. Below is a guide to using technology to help find your new home.
Check for updated content
If you’re looking to purchase a home within the next six months, you’ll want to utilize a website that updates its content frequently. Real estate agents have access to up-to-the-minute data from a multiple listing service and are a good starting point for accurate and recent information.
Look for details
Almost all websites and mobile apps with home listings have photos and maps. Not all websites have details about the type of neighborhood in which a home is located.
Does the area have a good school system? What crimes have been reported in the area? At what price points have homes in the area recently sold?
You should utilize websites that provide a complete profile of your future home and neighborhood so you can make a more informed decision about your purchase.
Sign up for notifications
In a hot market or desirable neighborhood, affordable homes are sold quickly. Look for websites that allow users to sign up for email or text alerts and notifications on homes sold or new listings. This is a useful tool if you’re looking to purchase a home in the next three months.
Don’t overlook mobile apps
Another resource to boost your new home search are mobile apps. Most apps have features that allow you to easily share listings with family and friends via text message, email or social media.
Phone numbers and emails are optimized on apps, which makes it easy to contact listing agents.
Consult a new home directory
If you’re having trouble finding a new home that fits your needs, you might want to seek out a custom homebuilder. A homebuilder can create a design that fits your specific needs.
Beware of dated or misleading websites
Make sure the website you’re navigating reports on delinquent homes, sold homes or pending sales. You do not want to fall in love with a home that’s not available.
Websites make money by selling ads, so the Realtor next to the home listing you’re reviewing might not be an area specialist. Be sure to ask questions to determine his or her knowledge of the area in which you’re looking to purchase a home.
To find a quality custom homebuilder or a professional Realtor in the tri-state area, visit the online membership directory of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at HBAGC.net.