Written by Doowon Yang on 07/11/2019
96% of home buyers search online when looking for homes. Between Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, and other, there are more listings online than ever. While having options can be a good thing, it can be overwhelming to try and narrow down your home search. This article is meant to help buyers find ways to go from the many thousands of listings to the 10 or 12 you actually want to visit.
Think about your lifestyle, and your favorite places to visit in your weekly routines. Do you do a lot of grocery shopping? Go on a lot of shopping trips? Go to yoga every morning? Want to be able to swim in Barton Springs? Use Google Maps to search the location of all of these. That will give you an idea to pick places to start with. Another good thing to look at is what retail shops are located in the area. You can assess the quality of the neighborhood by which the presence of stores such as WholeFoods, Trader Joe’s and Starbucks.
Never overlook commute times in rush hours when choosing an area to live. I-35 and MoPac can be a nightmare in the morning. Choosing the right neighborhood could mean the difference between spending one hour in the car or twenty minutes. Be sure to calculate travel times during rush hours using Google Maps.
Access to public transit should also be considered. The presence of Metro Rail, Bus Rapid Transit, and Commuter Rails is a great indication of the demand of the properties in this area, which can have a positive correlation with property values. A great place to start is look at the routes in the area transportation website to see which are the popular routes.
If you have a family, attending a good school is often your top concern. There are some great resources available online to look for good schools in the area. A top rated school in the neighborhood often follows up with higher property taxes, low crime levels, and good road quality, so it is a great way to start in your search for homes online. We recommend checking out greatschools.org and schooldigger.com to get started. They are great resources for data on school ratings, test scores, and reviews from parents.
Use these three criteria to get your search started. It is by no means comprehensive, but it should be enough to get started. Once you have a list of homes and neighborhoods, we highly recommend you checking them out through open houses. Be sure to check out our prior post on making the most of your open houses.