How to find your dream home online

How to find your dream home online

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer

Most prospective home buyers house hunt online long before they approach an agency.

Online house hunting is just so convenient - you can access thousands of homes for sale at the click of a mouse from the comfort of your home or office.

For some viewers, the volume of information available on property search portals can be overwhelming. This is why Private Property has gone to great lengths to create an easy-to-navigate site with clearly marked sections like:

  • How to find an agent.
  • Advice on a wide range of property topics.
  • Other relevant features and filters that assist in an online property search.

Your goal with an online search should be to narrow down your search and shortlist the homes you would like to see in person. Then contact the estate agent or agents who are marketing those properties.

Price range

Before you start your online search, you should know what price range you can afford. Check out Private Property’s affordability calculator.

Assess your finances and apply for pre-approval for home loan finance. Your bank or a bond originator will be able to tell you the price range of homes to start searching in.

Be sure not to stretch your budget to its limit. Searching for homes within your budget will allow you the flexibility to submit a higher offer on a home without placing yourself under undue financial strain.

Location

A newly renovated home may be picture perfect, but its location will determine its real value. Before contacting the listing agent, consider the property’s proximity to your place of work and the amenities that are important to you.

Different neighbourhoods suit different kinds of lifestyles. Narrowing down your selection to a few suburbs will help filter your property search. See Private Property Neighbourhoods here.

Old vs new

An older home may have the features you want, but it may cost more in upkeep. Newer homes are usually smaller but will require less maintenance from the start.

You need to strike a balance between character and the cost of maintaining a home. So, in your online search, keep an eye open for clues as to whether the property you admire needs some work or is a new home ready for you to move in.

Virtual tours

Virtual tours of homes have become the norm during the Covid-19 lockdown, adding a whole new dimension to searching for property online. Virtual tours give you a far better idea of the property before you decide to go and view it. Many buyers have even put in offers to purchase without seeing properties in person after viewing them online.

With technology increasingly more accessible and user friendly, it is now easier than ever to look for a home online. The Private Property website and mobile app is an excellent place to start.

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