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If you are in the market to purchase a house, it can be difficult to know where to begin. With house listings available online, you may think that you only need to browse them to find the home of your dreams. You can level up your online home search by following these tips and asking yourself some questions.

Set a Budget for Your Online Home Search

To get an idea of what the real estate market is like in your area, set your budget and look at current listings. Get approved by a lender first and be sure to factor in your other expenses. Lenders may approve you for a higher amount than you’re comfortable with, however, the higher your mortgage, the more interest they will receive.

With other expenses like car payments, daycare, and utility bills, it might be smart not to accept the full amount. Set the maximum you can afford in your online search filter. You may also want to set a minimum to eliminate homes that are in disrepair. One thing to consider about price is that you never want to buy the most expensive home in a neighborhood. This suggests that it may be overpriced with less potential to increase in value over time.

What Size House are You Looking For?

Homebuyers usually know the size of the house they are looking for. In fact, it can be one of the most important factors when purchasing a home. To make sure there’s a bedroom for every member of your family, filter out houses that aren’t big enough.

Some people won’t look at homes with only one bathroom because if there is a plumbing issue or you are renovating, you won’t have a spare bathroom to use. Enter in the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a maximum if you don’t want a house that is too large.

Are There Things You Must Have?

If you’re buying a vacation home and you want it to be waterfront, limit your searches to only those properties. Car enthusiasts might need a garage. On real estate sites, you can check off features that are non-negotiable, and the search results will only show homes with these features. Use this filter if there are specific things that you must have for your new home.

Set the Location in Your Online Home Search

In any given town, there will be neighborhoods that maintain or increase in value. Real estate experts say that location is the most important factor in your investment. Decide which areas you are interested in buying property. Factors may include school ratings, convenience to amenities, and proximity to busy roads. You can draw circles around the areas you are interested in to only see homes in those locations.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

Real estate websites are no substitute for a qualified buyers’ agent. We recommend hiring a Realtor and then using online searches as a tool. If you find a listing for a home you are interested in, send it to your agent and they can set up a tour. Your agent may also alert you to available homes before they are listed online.

OBX Home Inspections serves the Outer Banks of North Carolina with inspection services. Contact us to schedule an appointment.