Metro Atlanta Real Estate Blog

7 Tips To Improve The Effectiveness Of Your Online Home Search


Do Your Homework Before Getting Started

When it comes to searching homes for sale online, it’s easy to jump right in and start picking out potential dream homes. After all, starting a home search is exciting, and looking at homes can be a lot of fun. However, taking the time to understand the best search practices can save you a lot of time and help you find the perfect home much quicker. In this article, including the video below, I’ll discuss my best tips for maximizing the effectiveness of your online home search.

Essential Tips For Searching Homes Online

Tip #1 - Find a site (or two) that works for YOU.
Tip #2 - Save searches and use auto-notifications.
Tip #3 - Use Google Street View to explore potential neighborhoods.
Tip #4 - Utilize map search options and overlays.
Tip #5 - Learn how to properly use search filters.
Tip #6 - Ignore automated...

Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Home

A young man in deep thought with many questions.

Make Sure You’re Truly Ready To Buy

Are you planning on purchasing a home in the near future? If so, get ready for one of the most exciting and stressful times in your life. To reduce that stress, there are some important questions you need to ask yourself before making the decision to buy a home.

How much home can I afford?

A very important question. Normally, a home should cost between two and three times your gross income. You should also factor in extra costs that you don’t pay as a renter, including property taxes, homeowner's insurance, maintenance, and community association fees. There are numerous online mortgage calculators that can help you with the math and determine an appropriate purchase price. Regardless of how much you qualify for, you should determine a maximum monthly payment you’re comfortable with and stay within that range.

How much do I want to devote to a down payment?

A down payment used to be a solid 20%, but with the numerous loans available today the down payment can be as little as 3.5%. Remember, the larger the down payment, the more likely you will be approved for the loan you want and the lower your monthly payments will be, so shoot for 20% if you can. Mortgages with less than 20% down typically require you to pay monthly mortgage insurance, which adds to your costs. However, you should avoid putting too much down and completely draining your savings.

What do I want in a home?

Make a wish list! This is the fun part. Have you always dreamed of a sunroom? Do you want a huge finished basement to watch the game every Sunday? Know exactly what you want, what you...