Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Kinlin Grover Real Estate



Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 5/10/2018

Shopping for a new home is difficult and time-consuming. With all of the homes listed for sale, itís tempting to want to visit all of them. However, if youíre juggling house-hunting with your work and personal life, then you likely wonít have time to set aside many hours to visit several homes.

 This is where you can use technology to your advantage. With free, modern tools online you can find out plenty about a house and the neighborhood itís in without ever having to go and visit it. Better yet, you can do so in just a few minutes right from home.

 In this article, weíre going to teach you how to become a real estate investigator from the comfort of your own couch, helping you save time while hunting for the perfect home for you. 

 Know what youíre looking for

While itís okay to browse homes for pleasure, when it comes to getting serious about buying a home youíll want to keep your search as specific as possible. Think about what you or your family need in a house and neighborhood, rather than focusing on idealized versions of those things.

A good way to do this is to sit down and make a list of your budget and the five most important things youíre looking for in a home. These could be things like distance to work, being in a certain school district, or having a certain number of bedrooms. Once you have these details in mind you can begin your search.

Search tools

There are a number of search tools for locating homes near you. The key to searching, however, isnít the tool you use but how you search. Refer to your list for things like room numbers, square footage, and location.

If you donít come up with as many hits as youíd like, try setting up email or text alerts so you can be made aware of the new results for your area.

Once you have a list of about ten properties, youíre ready to start researching them further to see which sellers you want to contact to view the home.

Researching a potential home

Many people are surprised at the number of things you can learn about a home just from a Google search. However, Google will be an indispensable tool in your search for the perfect home.

Letís start our search on Google Maps. Type in the address for the house youíre researching and see if there are any photos of the home that arenít on the listing page. Next, enter the satellite view of the home to get an idea of the layout of the home and property.

While youíre in Google Maps, itís a good idea to browse the local area for businesses, hospitals, schools, parks, and other services that might affect your decision. Then, set a driving route between the house and your place of work to find out how long it would take you to get to work if you moved there.

Once youíre done in Google Maps, head back to the Google search page and browse the results for the address. This could show you information on previous owners, prices, and crime statistics. All of this will be useful information in your search.

Repeat this search method for the rest of your homes on your list and youíll be narrowing down potential homes to visit in no time.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 4/12/2018

House hunting can be time-consuming. With so many houses currently on the market and so little time to spend visiting homes, itís important to narrow down your search as much as possible before attending a showing.

Fortunately, in todayís digital world, itís possible to learn a great deal of important information right from your phone or computer.

In todayís post, Iím going to give you some advice on researching the homes youíre thinking about making an offer on. Weíll talk about researching the neighborhood, and--of course--the house itself.

Putting together all the stats on the home

Letís start with, arguably, the most important thing to research: the house itself. When you want to learn about a home, the best place to look is usually the real estate listing. Since most of us discover homes through listings, odds are youíre already on this page. However, thereís a lot of information in a listing, so take the time to go through it and gleam whatever you can from the homeís description.

Next, Google the house address and click on listings from other real estate sites. Oftentimes, a house that has been sold before will have multiple listings across the internet with different data.

Once youíve scoured the listings, head over to the county assessorís website to look at records of the homeís ownership. This will tell you who bought and sold the home and when. Thereís much you can learn from this data, especially if a home is being sold frequently. You can also use this information to contact previous owners to ask them questions about the home that the current owner might not know the answer to.

Snooping around the neighborhood

If the house is nearby, simply driving through the neighborhood can tell you a lot. You can visit the neighborhood during rush hour to see what the traffic is like, for example.

However, it isnít always practical to take the time to visit a house that you arenít sure youíre interested in. So, whatís the next best thing? Google Maps.

Visit the neighborhood on Google Maps to see whatís in the area. Are there a lot of closed businesses? That could be a sign of a neighborhood in decline. Check for nearby things like parks, grocery stores, and other amenities that could influence your buying decision.

Next, use Googleís ďstreet viewĒ feature and explore the neighborhood. You can see what kind of shape the other homes are in, and find out the condition of infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.

Note addresses of comparable homes in the neighborhood and look up their purchase prices. This will give you an idea of whether the home is being priced appropriately.

If youíre having trouble finding information on a home, such as sale records, try contacting the local assessor. They should be able to point you to a database that will help you in your search.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 2/25/2016

When searching for your dream house a lot of emphasis is typically placed on the location, size, and style of the house; ensuring everything you desire is perfectly in place. †When buying a home you can't let your emotions cloud your sense of reason. †You need to carefully examine all factors closely and perform the due diligence necessary to ensure you are making the right decision. Read Through Recent Newspapers and Archived Articles: Local news papers and other publications are a great resource for the most current information. †Archived news articles on the other hand may alert you to past issues or on going controversy in the area. †A little extra time spent reading will pay off in a long run when compiling your pros and cons list. Talk To The neighbors: The residents of the neighborhood are the best source of first hand information. †Getting a feel for the neighborhood's demographic will help determine if it is the correct environment for your family. Confirm there is a neighborhood association or alternative platform to discuss the welfare of the neighborhood. Get Details On Recent Home Improvements: Home inspections will provide you with information on where improvements may be needed. †Determining the quality of the improvements that have already been completed is also important. †Ask to review receipts from previous renovations to help gauge the quality of the materials used and the longevity of the improvement. †For example, if the house was painted a year ago, and the receipt reveals a lesser quality paint was used, you can expect to re-paint in a year or so. Review Tax Records: A review of the past and present real estate tax records will provide you with a better understanding of the area's tax rate, and property evaluation. †It's good to know how regularly homes are evaluated and how often property taxes are increased. There is so much to consider when buying a home. †Be certain to take all factors into consideration when making your decision.