Real estate reality television shows may strive to make it look easy, but the fact is that the process of finding and selecting a home to purchase or rent can be both difficult and time-consuming. Family and work distractions are real, but necessary, and make it harder to concentrate on the process. If you are planning to rent or buy a home soon and would like to make the process as simple and productive as possible, the following tips can help.
Set realistic boundaries for your search
The first way to simplify the process of finding your new home is to decide on specific boundary points for your search, both geographically and financially. Some points to consider during this process include:
- considering whether you need to live in a certain school district
- considering how far you are willing or can afford to commute to work
- considering whether you will need to remain within the service area for public transportation
To do this more easily, most cities, towns, and counties provide online mapping services through their planning and zoning departments that show boundaries for school districts, mass transit lines, and other basic services. If you are moving to another state, the U.S. Census Bureau provides a mapping tool to help you identify school districts in all fifty states.
In addition to the geographical aspects mentioned above, deciding on specific financial parameters, such as the maximum rental amount or purchase price you can afford to pay is an important part of narrowing your search process.
Utilize technology to save time
Now that you have some ideas of where you want or need to live and how much you can afford to spend on housing, you can use the information to plug into online residential listings search apps and websites. In addition to area and price, these technological tools will allow you to further narrow your search by specifying details, such as the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, type of heat, and parking options.
Get professional assistance
The last, and possibly most important tip for enjoying an easier, more productive home search involves enlisting the help of professionals with proven experience in your local housing market. Whether buying or renting, partnering with the right real estate professional will give you the ability to sift through available rental home inventories and residential listings more easily. This will help you focus on the properties that most closely match your needs and allow you to enjoy convenient viewings to help you decide. In addition, these professionals can also help with lease agreements, purchase offers, inspections, and other details after your find the right property.