Tips for Online House Hunting

Tips for Online House Hunting

If you’re looking for a house right now, chances are you’re doing a lot of it online. According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of home buyers search online at some point during their house hunting process.

So, where do you even begin? First, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with our online database of homes for sale in Western North Carolina. We have a fully customizable, interactive map of homes for sale in Asheville and beyond that will be an essential tool in your house hunt.

Once you have that down, it’s time to start hunting.

Know the Home You Want

There are hundreds of homes for sale, and not every one of them will have everything you’re looking for. Before you begin your search, get a general sense of where you want to live. Things to consider are size, number of bedrooms, number of floors, number of bathrooms, and location. If you’re a buyer looking for a certain style like modern, Arts & Crafts, or Victorian, consider that as well. While it might not matter to some people, consider if you want an older home or a recent construction. Many of these features can be filtered out in our system.

It’s also important to consider how much work and money you want to put into your new home to make it your own. Many aesthetic and layout features can be changed with the right amount of money and time. Painting a room is simple, but knocking out walls to make an open floor plan will cost some money. If there are must-have design elements, know what they are and how much you’re willing to invest.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

While it’s not an absolute essential, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will let you know how much you’re able to spend. This will save you a lot of time, as you won’t be looking at homes that are well out of your price range.

If you don’t get pre-approved for a mortgage, calculate a budget for yourself based on your income, savings, and how much you can realistically spend on a monthly mortgage payment. If you’re able to set an affordability window before you start searching, you’ll have a much smaller pool of homes to sift through.

Really Read Home Listings

Home listings have a lot of information. If a house stands out to you based on the first image and price, read everything else about it carefully. Many listings feature a short description of the home and property, as well as all of the features of the house.

If there are pictures, look at every one of them carefully. Try to picture how you would use that space. Find a floorplan, and walk through it in your head to see if you like the flow from room to room. Many listings have virtual walkthroughs available. If the home you’re looking at has one, spend as much time with it as you would with a normal open house.

Map it Out

Google Maps are a fantastic resource for homebuyers. If you think you’ve found a winner, pull up the address on a map and start digging.

First, go to Street View. Does the neighborhood look nice? Are the streets paved or unpaved? Are there sidewalks? Keep in mind that when you’re buying a home, you’re also buying the surroundings. If you need a sidewalk to walk your dog or a long driveway for the kids to play in, make sure those features are present before moving forward.

Next, start mapping out some trips. How far is the home from your friends and family? Your office? Your kids’ schools? Your favorite restaurant? Pull up everything that is a must-have in your life and plot the course from your new door to the places and people you need in your life. Ask yourself: am I okay with this commute time?

If things look good on paper, try driving by the home. We don’t recommend unsolicited visits to the homeowner, but do drive through the neighborhood if you can and see how it holds up in person.

Take Notes on Every Home

You’re going to look at a lot of homes. Make sure you remember which ones stood out to you. When you look at a listing you like, copy the link to a document and take a few quick notes about it. Write down all the pros and cons that stood out to you, all of the questions you want to ask a realtor about it. You don’t want to forget your favorite home just because you were disorganized!

It’s also a good idea to take some notes about your own lifestyle. Measure out the rooms you live in now so you can compare them to listings you’re looking at. If your sofa feels cramped in your current living room, note that so you can look for a bigger room in your next home. Keep notes on essential things about yourself and your lifestyle so you remember to tell your realtor.

Moving Forward with Buying a Home in Asheville

Once you’ve scouted a home for sale in Asheville, it’s time to contact a realtor. The Keller Williams Asheville team is here for you. We have countless decades of combined experience helping sellers and buyers in the Asheville area, and we’re ready to get you into the home of your dreams.

A realtor can help turn your wish list and notes into a real house hunt with real results. Our expert realtors will also be able to point you towards hot new listings that you may have missed in your search.

Buying a home takes time and consideration, but it should be a fun, rewarding process. Start browsing today and you’ll be in your perfect home before you know it.