The key to maximizing your potential in the real estate market is data and, importantly, access to data. If you can access information, you can make better decisions. Before the internet had a hold on society, the average buyer had to rely on realtors. Today, things are very different. Yes, realtors are still important, but their role has changed. Far from being oracles that offer infallible advice, realtors are now another source of information. They can offer their take on a property, but they aren’t the only voice you have to listen to.

Property Databases Are Great If You Know How to Use Them

Go online and you can find an abundance of resources that will help you to make better decisions. For starters, you can use property databases to find the right place in the right area. Much like insurance or travel comparison websites, you can use these databases to find your ideal match. From the type of property you want to buy to the number of bedrooms, price range, location, and more, everything can be tailored to suit your needs. In fact, such is the power of the internet that you can actually look up the best places to live.

Description: House, Property, Hand, Keep, Businessman, PresentationSource: Pixabay

Sites such as Niche offer zip code ratings for every US state. For example, let’s say you’re looking at properties in Michigan. Niche will let you know which areas have the best schools, jobs, local amenities and more. In this instance, zip code 48084 is ranked as one of the best in Michigan. It has a population of 15,725 and is rated A+ for schools. Anyone looking to buy a property should be searching for this type of information. Not only will it lead to a better quality of life, but it’s also a shrewd move from an investment perspective. The best property in the best area will always hold its value better than those in bad areas.

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Do Your Sums Before You Search

Along the same lines as researching the best areas to live, you can also do some prep work when it comes to budgets. Before you start searching property databases, you need to know what you can afford. Mortgage calculators and advice from lenders will help in this regard. However, you also need to factor in additional costs. For example, between July 2020 and March 2021, the UK government issued a stamp duty holiday. This basically meant that first-time buyers could save money on certain fees. Without using a free online stamp duty calculator, some buyers won’t have known this. Therefore, they may have underestimated their budgets. There is also guidance on timescales with regards to vender and location.

 Description: Sale, Sold, Hand, Signature, House, PurchaseSource: Pixabay

You can use similar tools in the US. Even though the fees may be different, the same principle applies. You need to know what it’s going to cost and what you can afford. A house might seem like it’s within your budget. However, once you factor in taxes and fees, it might not be. Without this knowledge, your property searches will be useless. Therefore, it’s important to use things such as fee calculators and zip code searches before you start.

Once you’ve established a base, then it’s time to scroll through property databases and talk to realtors. An informed buyer is an effective buyer and, thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to get a handle the real estate market.