Lisa Santilli - Classified Realty Group



Posted by Lisa Santilli on 11/20/2017

Shopping for a new home is difficult and time-consuming. With all of the homes listed for sale, itís tempting to want to visit all of them. However, if youíre juggling house-hunting with your work and personal life, then you likely wonít have time to set aside many hours to visit several homes.

 This is where you can use technology to your advantage. With free, modern tools online you can find out plenty about a house and the neighborhood itís in without ever having to go and visit it. Better yet, you can do so in just a few minutes right from home.

 In this article, weíre going to teach you how to become a real estate investigator from the comfort of your own couch, helping you save time while hunting for the perfect home for you. 

 Know what youíre looking for

While itís okay to browse homes for pleasure, when it comes to getting serious about buying a home youíll want to keep your search as specific as possible. Think about what you or your family need in a house and neighborhood, rather than focusing on idealized versions of those things.

A good way to do this is to sit down and make a list of your budget and the five most important things youíre looking for in a home. These could be things like distance to work, being in a certain school district, or having a certain number of bedrooms. Once you have these details in mind you can begin your search.

Search tools

There are a number of search tools for locating homes near you. The key to searching, however, isnít the tool you use but how you search. Refer to your list for things like room numbers, square footage, and location.

If you donít come up with as many hits as youíd like, try setting up email or text alerts so you can be made aware of the new results for your area.

Once you have a list of about ten properties, youíre ready to start researching them further to see which sellers you want to contact to view the home.

Researching a potential home

Many people are surprised at the number of things you can learn about a home just from a Google search. However, Google will be an indispensable tool in your search for the perfect home.

Letís start our search on Google Maps. Type in the address for the house youíre researching and see if there are any photos of the home that arenít on the listing page. Next, enter the satellite view of the home to get an idea of the layout of the home and property.

While youíre in Google Maps, itís a good idea to browse the local area for businesses, hospitals, schools, parks, and other services that might affect your decision. Then, set a driving route between the house and your place of work to find out how long it would take you to get to work if you moved there.

Once youíre done in Google Maps, head back to the Google search page and browse the results for the address. This could show you information on previous owners, prices, and crime statistics. All of this will be useful information in your search.

Repeat this search method for the rest of your homes on your list and youíll be narrowing down potential homes to visit in no time.





Posted by Lisa Santilli on 1/9/2017

Put your money to good use with these house buying secrets. First of the secrets to house buying deals could have a positive impact on your overall financial health. As a first step, avoid taking on large one-time or recurring expenses six to eight months before you purchase your home. Clean up your credit Review your credit reports with the top three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Notice any inaccurate items on your report? Write the credit bureau that posted the items. Also, contact relevant vendors, altering both the bureau and vendor of the errors. Provide evidence that confirms that the postings are incorrect. Follow-up with bureaus and vendors, as needed until all erroneous items are removed from your credit reports. Also, pay off any outstanding debts that arenít on your credit reports. At the least, become current with all of your bills. Good credit scores could save you thousands over the life of a mortgage. Size matters Look for a house thatís large enough to meet your current and future needs. But, donít buy a house thatís too big. For example, if you plan on having two children but are currently childless, look for house buying deals on a three bedroom home versus a four or five bedroom house. Age could yield savings If you or your partner has repair skills, be open to buying an older home. You may get the space that you need for a lower price, especially if an older house passes thorough inspections. Check out the neighborhood Research crime history, schools, community events, economic development and businesses in neighborhoods where you want to buy a house. No need in buying a house in a high crime neighborhood or in an area that has a poor school district. Money that you save with smart house negotiating bids could evaporate with one to two home invasions. Steer clear of impulse house buying deals Donít let your emotions determine which house you buy. You may feel warm when you step into the expansive back yard or check out a stylish master bedroom and the spacious en suite, but that feeling wonít hold if you canít afford to buy furniture after you close on the house. Instead, be honest when identifying how much house you can afford. Include interest and repairs when you consider the total amount of money you can spend on a house. Leave enough money in your paycheck to pay all of your expenses and pay for entertainment. Donít put the squeeze on yourself. New furniture can wait If you currently live in an apartment or another house, keep your furniture. Spruce your new house up with accessories like silk flowers, baskets and rugs. You can buy new furniture, a piece at a time, after you get accustomed to paying the new mortgage.