So you’re in the market for a new home…now what? The first step is starting your online search. It’s important to discover what homes are selling for in your area before you set up a budget and scope out potential neighborhoods. But which website do you choose? Here’s a rundown of a few of the top choices:
Great for market research & pulling comparables
Whether you have an agent or not, there are those buyers who want to do the research themselves. If you’re one of them, Zillow is a great choice. You can enter a zip code or city name and a map appears with homes for sale in that area. Narrow down your search criteria by mainstays like bedroom count and price, or choose to filter by more advanced options. With one click, you can see all the homes on the map that have recently sold with the sales prices, which is great for pulling comps to make sure you get a fair price.
New additions include Homes Coming Soon and a filter for New Homes (pulls up new home construction only). Plus, there’s the ever popular (though not new) Make Me Move listings, featuring homes with prices posted by real homeowners who don’t have a home on the market, but want to inform potential buyers exactly what would make them pack their bags.
Great for neighborhood data & notifications
Trulia puts a lot of emphasis on researching neighborhoods, not just homes. Crime, schools, commute times, amenities and demographic data are all easily accessible from the map view. Like many similar websites, you can save the homes you want to look at again, but Trulia also offers a Saved Searches feature. With Saved Searches, you don’t have to enter the same home search criteria every time you visit. You can also create an alert and ask it to deliver daily or monthly emails with the latest listings that match your criteria. Set up multiple alerts based on different criteria and even tell Trulia to only notify you of open houses.
Trulia now offers the option to “unlock your personalized home suggestions.” This beta feature lets you put in a city, then tells you to give a thumbs up to your favorite homes on a sample list. You are then given a look at homes similar to the ones you chose. They also recently introduced a Pinterest-esque board feature that lets you share your favorite homes with friends, family and agents.
For buyers who know they want new construction
For those only considering new construction homes, NewHomeSource.com is the most comprehensive option. No weeding through resale homes to find a diamond in the rough. Everything listed on the website represents new homes, either to-be-built, under construction or ready for move-in.
One great thing about NewHomeSource.com is their education. Not only do they have a great search engine to help you find the right home for you, but they have an entire section of their website dedicated to guiding you through the homebuying process from contract to close. Learn everything you need to know about financing, selecting options and upgrades and the building process.
For buyers who have identified a homebuilder
Once you’ve identified which builder you want to build your home, it pays to go straight to the builder’s website. Builder websites will provide the most comprehensive and accurate look at inventory. They also tend to provide the most information about the neighborhood and community amenities. This is also the best place to see floor plan options and get directions to a sales center.
RichmondAmerican.com was recently updated to provide more features for homebuyers. We have a fully integrated mobile site that gives you complete access to all our inventory on the go. Quickly narrow down your search from the homepage. Our interactive floor plans give you insight into the lifestyle each home affords. From there, find a model home and get directions to a local sales center.
Want personalized assistance? Contact a Richmond American New Home Specialist at 888.500.7060. Or go to RichmondAmerican.com and click Chat now at the top of the page.