Internet Research Tips for Real Estate Buyers
Posted by Scot Karp on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 3:55pm.
Google really is your friend when doing real estate research on the internet (or research for anything, for that matter). Here are a few small “hacks” that will make it easier to find information and histories on properties, neighborhoods, and even Realtors® in South Florida and beyond. As in any transaction, information is key to making an informed real estate purchase.
Explore Google Maps
Google’s maps are a hugely valuable resource for real estate buyers. Many agents (like us!) already include maps and even street views in their listings, but it can be handy to open up Google Maps to view the neighborhood at large. Take a look at a community from a birds’ eye view and note where green space is, the location of schools, major roads, shopping etc. in relation to the property you’re considering. Use the “get directions” tab to plot your commute to work. Take a look at the cycling and walking directions to see where bike paths and separated walking trails can be found in the area.
Use street view to get a feeling for the neighborhood beyond just the curb appeal of the property you’re looking at. How do the neighbors’ properties look? How about one block away? There is no substitute for seeing a neighborhood in person, but using Google maps can certainly help in the research process.
Find Homes Using Google’s Search Tools
Many people go to Google and type a search query in the search bar without realizing that Google offers a number of interesting search tools to help refine the search. One handy tool is searching by time frame. To do so, start a search as usual, and then sort your results by selecting the Search Tools button, and using the "Any Time" drop down. You could search for news on a neighborhood but from only the past year. Or use a custom timeframe to find pages on the internet that are older than 6 months for a property address to see any past listings.
Another handy tool is being able to search pages you have already (or have never) visited before. This can be helpful if you’re looking for a particular article you previously read, or conversely if you’ve already weeded through many pages and want to see new content. Choose the "All Results" drop down for this tool.
Partner With a South Florida Realtor®
Many real estate MLS feeds offer only a basic level of information publicly; for access to more detailed information on a property, partner with a Realtor®. For example, many public versions of MLS listings don’t provide the history of price changes on a property – key information for understanding a seller’s bargaining position. Futhermore, partnering with a local Realtor® like Scot Karp means you could get access to view a property that has yet to be listed on the MLS.
While the internet is certainly a great starting point in your search for your next luxury condominium or oceanfront estate in South Florida, there is no substitue to working with a seasoned professional. When you're ready to start your search for luxury real estate in Boca Raton and beyond, contact Scot Karp.
Scot Karp, Director
Ultraluxury Condominium Division
PREMIER ESTATE PROPERTIES
Boca Raton, Florida
"RANKED IN THE TOP 250 AGENTS NATIONWIDE BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL"