Buying a house can be a complicated matter, so it’s best to enlist the help of a qualified real estate professional. A realtor can answer questions and provide guidance through the home buying process. You can help make the process easier by being as prepared as possible, so make use of one of the best tools at your disposal — the internet! With a little research, you can develop a fuller understanding of the ins and outs of the home buying process and be better equipped to communicate your needs and concerns to your realtor. Consider using one (or more) of these 5 online resources to help navigate the home buying process.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Otherwise known as HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development manages a wide range of housing-related policies and programs and works to enforce this country’s fair housing laws. HUD can be a great resource for home buyers, especially first-time home buyers.The website features a number of useful articles on buyers’ rights, financing a home, insurance and more.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) monitors banks and other financial institutions to make sure that consumers are protected from improper and damaging practices. Visit the CFPB website for tools and information on checking your credit report, identifying verified lenders, reviewing mortgage options and closing on a house.
Homeowners Insurance Guide
Find out everything you need to know about homeowners insurance with a free 20-page guide from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. The guide offers an overview of the types of insurance available to homeowners and gives advice on topics such as shopping for insurance, determining the amount of coverage needed, and what things are and are not covered by insurance. Be aware that the guide is intended as a source of general information. Specific questions should be referred to a licensed and qualified insurance agent.
When looking at a potential new neighborhood, it helps to know what’s in the area. Enter an address in the AroundMe mobile app and get a list of nearby businesses and services including hospitals, gas stations, restaurants and movie theaters. AroundMe is a free app available for Android and iOS smartphones.
Home buyers look at a number of different factors when choosing a place to live, and for parents especially, a good school is one of those factors. Aside from the benefit to your child’s education, living near a good school can add value to your home and to the surrounding community in general. Find real and useful information on area schools at GreatSchools.org. Schools are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, based on factors such as test scores, academics, student involvement and college readiness. School summaries also include discussions of any disciplinary and/or attendance issues.
Do you have questions about buying or selling a home in the Philadelphia area? We can help you find the answers you’re looking for. Get in touch!