The markets are still crazy during this recession, but it seems like home prices are finally nearing a stabilization point.  If you are one of the many people looking to secure a new property during this great time for buyers, then you should be using all of the tools available to you for maximizing your search span and gains.  Since my wife and I have been looking for homes for the past year, I felt I should impart some of the tools I used to help us determine the homes wanted to consider for your new residence.  Click to read more…

Everything begins with a good real estate agent.  If you have someone who is going to work hard to help you find your dream home then you are most of the way there.  The information I am providing in this article are meant to supplement the real estate agent role, not replace it.  And in fact, the first tool I am going to talk about was only made available to us as a result of our agent providing us access.

MLS Listings are the lists of all properties that are being sold in a given area.  Each home has different categories associated with it (Age, Type, Sq Footage, Price, etc) and is represented in a large table in a web page.  Our agent set us up so that when new properties matching our desired criteria hit the market, we received an automated email with a link to the listings with the newest ones at the top in bold.  We could then dive deeper into each property to view details, see pictures, and see a map of the location.  This was very helpful in seeing all of the different properties that matched our prerequisites.

If your agent hasn’t provided you access to the web listings, then I believe you can purchase access individually.  If you don’t really want to pay the extra amount then you can turn to as your secondary tool of choice.  This website integrates with Google Maps to allow for someone to view approximate prices of any property, anywhere.  It generates the prices based on the sale history of the home and a comparative market analysis against other homes of similar characteristics in the area.   You can zoom in on a home after searching for its address and see the prices of all neighboring properties.  Very convenient and helpful.

In addition to these major listing sources, there are also listings that aren’t as widely publicized at Craigslist.  Sometimes a seller will avoid agent and listing fees by selling the property themselves and will then post to places with a lot of traffic (like Craigslist), but less organized centralization.  You have to be very dilligent to keep up with the listings here because they change a lot throughout the day and there often repeat posts over time.

These tips will hopefully get you on your way to a new home and making the most of the technology available to save you time and money.

Happy House Hunting!  Oh, and Happy Computing! 🙂

This entry was posted on Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 10:40 am and is filed under Basic Computer Use, Useful Programs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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