find the right home

Who isn’t online these days? We’ll grant you that there are still a few holdouts who think the internet is just a fad – but you’re obviously not one of them, because you’re here reading this article! We thought we’d talk a little bit about how helpful search engines can be when you decide it’s time to find the right home.

These days, most people begin their search for a new (or used) home on their computers. And why not? It’s a great place to get a feel for the areas you want to live in, what type of homes are in your price range, and a lot more. It can help you narrow down your choices so you don’t have to physically go look at every house that’s for sale in Las Vegas. (When it’s 106-degrees outside, that’s a good thing.)

Of course, once you get your preferences well defined, you definitely want to find an experienced and reputable Realtor® to work with – for a whole host of reasons that we’ve written about before. Such as: Is Your Realtor® Negotiating the Best Deal For You?   What To Look For in a Home Tour With Your Realtor®. And even How to Know You’re Hiring the Right Realtor® in the first place. (Not to mention a few dozen other reasons you want a Realtor® on your side. You can find those on our blog, too.)

But there is a lot of helpful information you can glean from doing your own searches online for properties. It can range from the basics to specific things that are important to you (that may not be a big deal for other people). Consider the sort of things you can discover:

1. See the neighborhood – thanks to Google Street View. Have you seen that meme that says, “Google Maps gives us the ability to see the world – and we spend our time zeroing in on our own home.” It’s true, right? (Sort of makes you want to go search for Italian Villas on there right now, huh?) But in this case, it’s a good thing. You can get a feel for the type of community, zoom out to get a sense of the larger area – what shopping and such are nearby, see if there are a lot of apartments in the neighborhood, are you going to have to deal with a daily school zone (good – and bad!). It’s a great way to get a good sense of the homes you’re considering and help you weed out the ones that won’t work no matter how nice the house itself is.

2. Check out the crime statistics. For many people, this is a major consideration for several reasons. Perhaps especially those with children, senior citizens, single parents, and so on. These stats are usually available on many websites with information gathered from local police departments. It’s a good thing to know – one way or another.

3. What’s the history of the home? Local Assessor’s records can tell you who the previous owners were and how many times the home has changed hands – with the date and the price. (Helpful information to figure out if foreclosure or a short sale occurred – and how long the home may have possibly been unoccupied. An important consideration following the Great Recession.) It can also give you a good sense of potential resale value – if you’re not planning on living the rest of your life at that address. Although your Realtor® can also assist with this information, too – again – it’s a way for you to narrow your focus to find the right home to begin with.

4. Find out information about the HOA. Let us just say that contrary to what you may have heard, not all HOA’s are bad. In fact, we’ve written about that in more detail, too (Do Homeowners Associations Get a Bad Rap?). But some have developed, shall we say, a rather dubious reputation. By digging a little deeper online, you could find out that your new HOA is one of a surprisingly large number of HOAs that have been reviewed online. If so, it’s time to put your feet up and start reading. You’ll probably find a variety of rants, and some raves. But remember, most people only take the time to write about bad experiences, so you need to take many of these comments with a grain of salt.

5. What municipality the home is in, and what are the city or county requirements. Thinking of running a business from home? See if it’s legal. Are you allowed to convert a garage into living space? Not every community lets you do that. If you have specific plans for your home and property, it’s worth making these types of inquiries before (rather than after) you buy.

Goodness knows that there’s more information available at our fingertips today than at any other time in history. Sometimes, doing a search like this may not only help you with a decision as big as where to buy your next home – but also remind you that ….. uhhhh ….. maybe it’s time to review the privacy settings on your own online identity, right?

And as the questions arise while you’re doing your online research to find the right home, be sure to write them down. Because your friendly neighborhood Realtors® at New Home Resource are available to help you get them all answered!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit   Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!