Real Estate on the Web
An overview of online real estate services available to homebuyers -- from house listings to mortgage loans.
The proliferation of online real estate services has fundamentally changed the way millions of Americans shop for homes. Rather than trudging in and out of dozens of houses with your real estate agent, you can now surf the Web to spot the most likely candidates and concentrate your energy on them. (See Househunting Online.)
And efficiently screening houses isn't all you can do online. In fact, the Internet has useful information for almost every aspect of the house purchase process. You can:
- Determine how much house you can afford and calculate monthly payments for different size loans.
- Check your credit report before applying for a mortgage.
- Compare mortgage rates among different lenders.
- Find current information on government loans.
- Get the latest tax rules that affect homebuyers.
- Gather community information on schools, crime, earthquake hazards and other areas of interest.
- Find sales prices of comparable houses.
- Find a real estate agent.
- Find a home inspector.
- Read articles on all aspects of buying a house from private mortgage insurance to closing escrow.
General Real Estate Sites
Here are some useful places to start your online real estate search:
- www.realtylocator.com is a great place to check out real estate information online. It provides over 100,000 real estate links nationwide, including property listings, real estate agents, lenders, neighborhood data, real estate news and information resources on everything from home inspectors to home improvement, from movers to maps, from appraisals to escrow. For answers to your burning, unanswered questions, Realty Locator also provides an open discussion forum for real estate questions and answers.
- www.ired.com, sponsored by the International Real Estate Digest, provides links to 50,000 real estate-related websites throughout the world, primarily geared to real estate professionals.
- For up-to-date real estate news, check out www.deadlinenews.com, www.inman.com and www.realtimes.com.
- Finally, Yahoo! has its own real estate search engine at list.realestate.yahoo.com, including links to mortgage loans, home listings, city maps, school reports and community profiles, yellow pages of real estate agents, home inspectors, title companies, credit reports, and real estate glossaries and news.
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