How to Find a House in a New Town

How to Find a House in a New Town | Te Amo Too

  1. Google, Google and Google. As soon as my husband accepted the job offer in Virginia I started doing my research online. At first I was excited about the city which led me to google things like “what to do in Richmond”, but soon after that I wanted to be prepared for the biggest purchase of our lives: our first house. This led me to more Googling – “what I should know about Richmond”, “moving to Richmond”, “good school districts in Richmond”, basically any Richmond combination I could think of!
  2. Download the Realtor.com app for your phone. I tried a couple other ones but I found that the Realtor one consistently had more listings and accurate school assignment. The best way to do your search is to open the map and draw a circle around the area you’re looking for. It will give you a list of active listings in that area and you can filter through. We chose single/detached homes, with at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and the price point we were willing to pay for. After your search is filtered you should sort with the newest ones first and save the search. Start marking a few favorites, even though you’re not buying it tomorrow, that way you can study the market and see how fast good houses come and go.
  3. Ask around. The first people we met were people from my husband’s work place. We asked around to find out where everybody lives. When we first moved to South Carolina we considered renting a place that was a little bit further away from my husband’s work, but people talked us out of it. When we moved to Virginia we asked around and noticed that everyone had some kind of a commute. So we became more flexible and considered some areas we were not considering before. We also asked around to find out if someone had recently bought a house and had a good realtor. Someone always knows somebody who has just done that! One of Paulo’s co-workers had a great experience with hers and gave us her contact. We called the next day and it turns out she’s great! If anyone needs a contact from someone here in Richmond let me know.
  4. Do a drive by. We had a lot of favorite listings so before talking to our realtor about each one, we drove by all of them. When you do a drive by you can see what pictures many times can’t show. You can see if it’s a good area, a good lot, a good view and eliminate the ones you don’t even want to go in. This happened quite a few times: some were too close too a noisy highway, some were too close to other houses, some didn’t have backyards, some were in neighborhoods that we didn’t quite like it … and the more you drive, the more you’ll know the area and you’ll be able to tell where you want to live.
  5. Talk to your realtor about the options and be prepared to listen. Good realtors are awesome resources! Don’t ignore them.

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