You can buy a house in your underwear? Is that for real?! Well, kind of. We are lucky to live in the Internet age—with infinite possibilities at our fingertips 24 hours a day. We buy so many things online now that have never been available before. You can buy seemingly anything online–clothes, music, gifts and even real estate! Check out all the things you can do from the privacy of your couch:
The first step in starting your real estate search is to secure financing. To successfully get your dream home in this market, you must be organized. Once you are pre-approved, you will be ready to write an offer the moment you find “the one.” There is no worse heartbreak than finding your dream home and risk losing it because the financing is not lined up. Many lenders have online applications, so you can apply for a mortgage in your underwear from the comfort of your couch, if you so desire. If you need a suggestion for a reputable lender, ask your agent for guidance.
A huge benefit of shopping in today’s market is the ability to look at photos and property descriptions online at anytime of day or night. Websites like realtor.com, Zillow.com, trulia.com and local agent sites are rich sources of local for sale listings. You can quickly search through available listings and see what is out there—the good, the bad and the amazing! This will help you both to know what options are out there and to know which properties you’d like to cross off your list.
The bad news is, you’re going to have to put on some pants. As great as it is stalking looking at properties online, photos are not always directly correlated with reality. Home tours are really the only thing you can’t do in the privacy of your own home. The good news is, it’s time to start the fun part—home tours! Your Realtor® will be your BFF during your real estate transaction, to guide you through the nitty gritty of your purchase. A local agent is critical because they are tuned into what is going on in the area and have the expertise you need. Local info is always best straight from the source. Don’t get me wrong, viewing listings online is a great starting point. Yes, you can view 50 photos of a property and watch a high-resolution video tour; but no matter how many photos and how beautiful they are, it’s just not the same. A photo is worth a thousand words, as they say; but your feet through the door are worth far more.
This is easier said than done, as it is a stressful time, but buying a house should be one of the most exciting times in your life. Be sure to use an agent that you like to talk to—before you know it, you may end up spending many a late night phone call together! The internet is a great resource for your home search. However, real estate is and always will be a localized and personalized process. Technology can give you infinite property photos and easy mortgage approvals, but there is no substitute for that moment when you walk into your dream house and know you’ve found “the one.”
Lisa E. Priest is an avid fan of technology and an East Texas Area REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or email [email protected] or at BuyPalestine.com.