Buying a Home

Lesser Known Online Tools for Homebuyers

January 20, 2016

House hunting has gone digital in recent years. In fact, an overwhelming majority of buyers turn to the web at some point during the homebuying process, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

If you’re in this camp, you have probably already visited a variety of homebuilder websites, along with the usual suspects:, Trulia, NewHomeSource and Zillow. But did you know that there are many other, lesser known online home search resources at your disposal? Following are a few sites to help with your house hunt that you might not have considered:

  • Google Maps. Sure, Google Maps can provide turn-by-turn driving directions (complete with street-level views!) to all your destinations, but this go-to tool for getting places can also aid in your new home search. Google Maps allows users to scout out—and see reviews and ratings of—shops, restaurants, service providers (e.g., hair salon, dentist) and other businesses in a particular area. It can also help you estimate potential commute times to and from work. This, in turn, can help you narrow down your home search to a specific city or community.
  • Houzz. If you haven’t heard about, you’re definitely missing out! This innovative platform for home enthusiasts allows you to browse images of homes, create home design idea books and locate and connect with homebuilders and designers near you! And after you find your dream home, you can use the site for decorating inspiration! Check out Richmond American on Houzz.
  • If you have school-aged children, you probably want to want to live in a top school district. That’s where comes in! This free, online educational resource provides profiles, reviews and ratings for 200,000 schools across the country. Use the site to pinpoint the best public, public charter and private schools in your search area—or to verify that the community you have your eye on makes the grade.

Want more information on popular home search websites? See Choosing a website for your new home search. Want help finding the right Richmond American community and home for you? Contact a new home specialist at 888-500-7060 or visit

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