Shopping for a home can be stressful. Making sure the neighborhood is safe and finding the best school for your child are some of the many things to worry about when finding a home that is suitable for you. Thanks to the Internet, house hunting can be made easy. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about a house you may be interested in and its surrounding neighborhood.
These six websites are great for house hunting:
1. Crimereports.com is a must if you’re concerned about the safety of your prospective neighborhood. Crime reports lists the names and addresses of all sex offenders in the area; it also displays a map that details the types of criminal activity along with the time and location of the crime.
2. Areavibes.com lets you get a feel for the neighborhood before you move there. When you enter the address, ZIP code, neighborhood or city that you want to know about, a letter grade is given in each of these areas: amenities, housing, cost of living, crime, education, housing, employment, and weather. The site even offers comparisons to national averages.
3. Forsalebyowner.com lets you buy a house directly from the homeowner. Contact information for the homeowners is available on the site, so you can ask them anything you want about the house. If you are interested in selling your home, for $40 you can receive a pricing report for your property. The site also provides an education center that teaches homeowners how to sell, negotiate, and price their home, among other things.
4. Realtor.com is the official site of the National Association of Realtors. Its listings are sent from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and refreshed every 15 minutes. Realtor.com also allows you to check the price of your current home; however, every home is not available. The site is good for house hunting because it offers advice from realtors on how to go about the homebuying process.
5. Trulia.com has more than 4.5 million real estate and rental listings nationwide. The website also has more than 10 top-rated apps for mobile devices that are ideal for house hunters on the go. The site provides school information, price comparisons to other homes in the neighborhood, public records, and the amount the home has been sold for in the past.
6. Zillow.com has more than 1 million homes in its database. The site features a virtual map of homes that are for sale in the neighborhood you’re interested in. Zillow also gives you a “zestimate” of how much the rent or mortgage would be each month.