In the last article of our series for homebuyers we went over how to establish an actual dollar amount of what type of home you can not only afford, but will fit into your monthly budget. This is possibly the most difficult part for first-time homebuyers though. Attempting to select one home out a list of hundreds to even thousands of homes found in your local area can be extremely difficult. How do you select the right one? Is it a big enough property to meet your needs? How badly do you want an attached garage? As well, how safe is the neighborhood and the surrounding area? Now I wish we could easily answer all of these questions that come up when selecting a home. Everyone has his or her own sense of taste though. What we can do though is supply you with the tools to accurately narrow down your home selection.
We operate directly out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. So let’s begin with a website local Michiganders can benefit from. A great website to begin your search with is that belonging to the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors. The site allows for local realtors to post their listings on the site along with their scheduled open houses. Many first-time buyers are looking to establish a family, which is why the site is great for selecting a home within specific school districts.
If you’re looking for a general idea of the home listings available in a given area, we have a great home search tool right here on our site that can help you quickly search the entire area for known listings.
Maybe you’re looking to go the route of foreclosed homes? A great recommendation would be HUD Homes, which will give you a listing of all government owned properties currently available on the market.
Many of the home-based loans people have acquired are generally run through Fannie Mae. So you also have the option to head on over to their HomePath website which will give you a complete listing of the homes Fannie Mae currently has in their possession.
Whatever type of home you are looking for there are tons of resources online that you can use to do your home buying research. Before you start it would be a good idea to write two lists. One list would include the home factors that you NEED and the other list would have home features that you WANT but could live without. Compare each home that you find online to your list to see if it is the right home for you.