Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, June 26, 2020

A stay-at-home guide to searching for a new home

People across the Tennessee Valley are still spending a lot of time at home in response to COVID-19 distancing measures, so conducting a house hunt online has become the new standard. While you might still want to hire a Realtor to help you with your search, you can begin looking at area inventory via realtor.com, zillow.com, redfin.com and trulia.com. Use the tips below to enhance your online search.

Check for updated content

There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a home only to find out it’s no longer on the market. If you’re looking to purchase within the next six months, you’ll want to see updates in real time. Real estate agents have access to the latest data from a multiple listing service and are a good starting point for accurate and recent information.

Look for details

Almost all websites and mobile apps with home listings have photos and maps, but not all websites have details about the type of neighborhood in which a home is located. Does the area have a good school system? What crimes have been reported in the area? At what price points have homes in the area recently sold?

Websites like areavibe.com provide a complete profile of your future home and neighborhood so you can make a more informed decision about your purchase.

Sign up for notifications

In a hot market or desirable neighborhood, affordable homes are sold quickly. Look for websites that allow users to sign up for email or text alerts and notifications on homes sold or new listings. This is a useful tool if you’re looking to purchase a home in the next three months.

Don’t overlook mobile apps

Another resource to boost your new home search are mobile apps. Most apps have features that allow you to easily share listings with family and friends via text message, email or social media. Phone numbers and emails are optimized on apps, which makes it easy to contact listing agents.

Consult a new home directory

If you’re having trouble finding a new home that fits your needs, you might want to seek out a custom homebuilder. A homebuilder can create a design that fits your specific needs. Check out a list of local homebuilders HBAGC.net.

Beware of dated, misleading sites

Make sure the websites you reference report on delinquent homes, sold homes or pending sales. You do not want to get your heart set on a home that’s not available.

Websites make money by selling ads, so the Realtor next to the home listing you’re reviewing might not necessarily be an area specialist. Be sure to ask questions to determine his or her knowledge of the area.

Ready to take your home search to the next level? To find a local Realtor or custom builder, visit Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at HBAGC.net.