5 Home-Buying Tools to Make Your Life Easier
Buying a home is a long process. From calculating what you can afford and researching neighborhoods, to making an offer and moving in—it can be difficult to manage. Fortunately, many online tools and resources are available to help you from the initial search to the final move-in.
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Listing Apps: Zillow® and Redfin
- School District/Neighborhood Rating Sites: GreatSchools and NeighborhoodScout®
- Agent Review Sites: Trulia
- Online Homebuyer’s Guide
- Online Mortgage Calculators
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) makes it easy to view available homes in your area. Most of the major real estate sites also have apps for your smartphone or tablet, which bring their own benefits. You can use location services to find homes in your area, request text alerts when new homes are listed and save notes.
Make sure your perfect home is in the perfect location. School rating sites such as GreatSchools enable you to view school ratings in the area by address or zip code. Sites may include reviews from parents, teachers, and students, rankings determined by experts, graduation rates, and student-to-teacher ratios. Neighborhood rating sites such as NeighborhoodScout can provide crime statistics, unemployment rates, the median real estate price, population density, common languages spoken, available modes of transportation and more.
You want a real estate agent who is dependable and knowledgeable. Learn who those real estate agents are by checking agent review sites such as Trulia’s agent directory. You’ll commonly find reviews from buyers and sellers, a map of the real estate agent’s current and previous listings and sales, a short bio for the agent, his or her years of experience, and contact information.
Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or an experienced veteran, everyone can use a little guidance through the complex home-buying process. Click here to learn more about Navy Federal Credit Union’s homebuying guide, which can help you through the entire homebuying process—from the initial prep work through closing.
Unsure what your price range should be? Wondering what mortgages you’re eligible for? Confused about the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages? Interactive online calculators, such as those offered can help you answer these questions. Using your current income and expenses, you can determine what monthly payment you can afford. By calculating your debt-to-income ratio, you’ll also develop an understanding of how much you may be able to borrow.
For more information from Navy Federal Credit Union on home-buying education and budgeting assistance, click here.