Between browsing through listings, coordinating visits, and planning your finances, buying a home can be quite a strenuous task! Here are some useful and user-friendly digital tools that will help you save time at every stage of your house-hunt.
1. Before you start your search: apply for an pre-approval online.
Having a mortgage pre-approval in hand before you start visiting properties is crucial because it determines your buying limits, protects you against rate spikes during your search, and shows sellers that you are a serious candidate in the case of a bidding war. Find out more about the importance of being a pre-approved here.
2. During the search: set up a Centris property alert.
Property alerts are a convenient way of keeping your eye on the market and staying informed about new listings. No more scrolling through hundreds of irrelevant properties every day – simply enter your criteria and budget, and wait for new listings to be emailed directly to your inbox.
3. Looking for a hot deal? Sign up for an investor’s mailing list.
Investor mailing lists are handy if you’re looking for a property listed below market value, with high expected returns on your investment. Whether you’re shopping for a rental property or for a home to live in, this tool is a must-have for the financially-savvy real estate buyer.
4. When comparing options: use our online mortgage calculator
When you’ve found a few options within your price point, use a mortgage calculator to compare the monthly payments, amortization schedules, and closing costs for each property.
5. Before putting in an offer: apply for a property evaluation
Property evaluations, or CMA’s (comparative market analyses) are usually used by sellers to find the current market value of their home, but they also help buyers plan their offer on a home. To draft a CMA, a real estate broker or a professional evaluator will look at the sold prices (not the asking prices) of similar listings in the last 3 years, and will compare each home’s features to the home being evaluated to find its fair market value. Property evaluations are not the same as municipal evaluations, which are conducted once every 4 years by city evaluators and very often do not take into consideration the unique characteristics of the home.
Good luck with your house-hunt!