You’ve decided it’s time to buy a home. You’re making headway with your homebuying checklist. You’ve researched down payment options and mortgage rates. You have a clear understanding of what you want and what you can afford. It’s time to start browsing open listings. Where do you start? All the real estate apps you downloaded last night.
Join the club. According to the National Association of Realtor’s report on real estate in the digital age, 81% of older millennials, 80% of younger millennials, 78% of Generation X and 68% of younger baby boomers found their homes on a mobile device in 2019.
And there’s no surprise why. Apps have introduced a new level of convenience to the homebuying process, allowing you to search for homes by location and filter listings by your needs and wants. Evaluating a home and booking a viewing can take a matter of seconds.
But as with all digital developments, mobile house hunting brings a new set of opportunities and challenges. Consider the tips below as your embark on your cyber search.
Find an app for that. Apps can help make parts of the homebuying process, including looking through listings, creating your monthly budget, calculating your mortgage, getting a preapproval and even finding home décor and paint colors, simpler and faster.
Stay up to date. Databases are constantly updating to add new homes, reflect price adjustments and remove sold homes. That’s why most mobile real estate apps allow you to set alerts for changes to individual property listings and specific locations. Activate those notifications for listings you’re interested in so you’re the first to know if the price drops.
Expand your search. While filters can be helpful in narrowing your search, they can also limit your results and keep you from finding the right home. Try expanding your search area to include counties that surround your dream location and setting the filters to broad ranges. This way while you’re looking for your two-bedroom, two-bath condo with a view, you don’t skip over the nearby three-bedroom renovated bungalow listed at a killer price.
Contact your real estate agent when you find homes you’re interested in. Mobile app databases can often be outdated. If you find a home you’re interested in, have your agent review the listing on your behalf and schedule a viewing.
Go see the home. Just as the jacket always seems to look better on the mannequin, listing photos can help to conceal flaws while making houses look newer and rooms look larger than they are. If you think you’ve found the one, work with your agent to schedule a tour so you can get a better sense of the state of the home and assess the neighborhood.