Okay, now that you’ve done the groundwork, you can start having some fun. Looking for a home can be a very exhilarating and emotional experience. Make up your mind that you are going to enjoy every minute of it. You do need to understand that there are a lot of variables that you have no control over and some can keep you from getting the very home you want most. Just make sure you don’t become overly invested emotionally too early in the game.

Internet Tools to Help in Your Search

Initially, you can start your search online. There are some fabulous, very detailed websites that have all the homes listed for sale in your chosen area. These sites have all the relevant information, well organized to make your search as easy as possible. They even have photos and some with videos that actually take the viewer on a tour the home and grounds.

These are the top three websites:


  • Zillow

  • Trulia

Although the Internet can be very helpful in your search, you should really have a reputable Realtor who has good connections as a result of being well established in your area. This way you will be much more likely to find a hidden gem that may not yet be listed for sale. A good Realtor can get you an appointment to see a home before anyone else gets a chance. In such a competitive buying market, an advantage like this can make a huge difference.   

Determining What Type of Home You Want

There are quite a few different types and styles of homes to consider:

  • Single-family home vs. rental property for investment purposes

  • Condo offering low maintenance vs. having your own private space with yard

  • Traditional charm vs. modern functionality

  • Short sales and foreclosures

As with most things in life, there are trade-offs and your choice will depend on your preferences. However, it does make sense to research your options. Speak to others with experience owning the type or style of home you’re considering. Ask them about the pros and cons and get down to details. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Home

If you really are not sure what you want in a home, tour lots of them. Don’t be in a rush. This is likely going to be the biggest financial investment of your life. Once you have determined the type and style of home you want, keep on looking.

The purpose of this is twofold:

  1. You will hone your skills in measuring relative value. As you continue to tour more homes, you skills at comparing the various features and prices will evolve. You will also hone in on your priorities, what you want most in a home.


  1. It is important that you have something to fall back on. Once you put in an offer on a home, much of the process is not under your control. Your seller may stick to their price, they may have other offers, or decide to pull their home off the market. Your best bet is to avoid getting your heart set on one home. You need to have other options, as difficult as this may be.