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Having trouble finding your dream home? You’re not alone. The anxiety that comes with the journey of finding a new property to buy can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. Fortunately, with the advent of the internet, searching and finding homes is easier than it has ever been; there are tons of websites dedicated to helping you find the home of your dreams. In this article, we have reviewed 10 of the best home buying sites online right now and come to a final verdict as to which one we feel is the absolute best. Your dream home could be just a few click away, and the right website could help you find it. Keep reading to see what your options are!
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1. What Are Best Home Buying Sites?
The best home buying sites have lots of sales listings as well as search tools that make it easy for you to find properties that meet your particular specifications.
2. Should I Use A Home Buying Site?
If you’re looking to purchase your next dream property, then the answer is–yes! In the past, finding homes for sale meant driving around looking for “For Sale” signs or contacting a real estate agency to ask for assistance. These days, you can search for and take virtual tours of houses from the comfort of your couch. Home buying sites have made this all possible.
How We Reviewed
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It was crucial that we provide you with the most accurate information possible. We thoroughly researched each company on our list of best home buying sites. We ended up deciding that the most important parameters to judge these websites by are ease of use, site popularity, and special features.
Overall Price Range
Each of these websites is free to browse in search of potential rental and for sale homes. Most of them allow you to create free accounts you can use to access many of the features they offer. Some sites have premium memberships that cost around $-$$ monthly; however these paid memberships are meant for real estate agents who are looking for leads and posting their own listings. For the most part, you should be able to search through the best home buying sites without having to drop a dime.
What We Reviewed
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The first website, and one of the best home buying sites around, is Zillow.com. This site make it simple for you to find the real estate solutions you are looking for. As soon as you land on the webpage, you are greeted with an extra large search bar that lets you search for properties near any location. The web interface is easy to navigate, and if you create an account on the website, you’ll get access to useful features that will make your experience using the website even better. It’s nice to be able to view all your favorite properties all in one place.
- Lots of search options
- Offers home loans
- Can help you find a real estate agent
- Property valuations are sometimes inaccurate
Finding your dream home is easier than ever these days thanks to sites like Trulia.com, which is a site that lists many of the rental and for sale properties in your area. Trulia’s search tools makes it easy to find houses that fit your criteria. You can narrow down your search and zero in on the homes that are within your budget and have all the features you want in your dream dwelling. And, like with other sites, you can create an account on Trulia and keep all your favorite listings stored in one place.
- Allows you to save searches
- Gives you an option to “favorite” listings
- Site is easy to navigate
- Has free mortgage calculation tools
- Doesn’t offer any home-buying services
HomeLight.com is another one of the best home buying sites you can use to search for homes and get estimates on how much your monthly payments may be. Rather than functioning as a listing board for rental and for sale homes, HomeLight helps you find properties by pairing you up with real estate agents that serve in your area. After answering some simple questions, the site will show you the profiles or different agents close to you and give you the opportunity to contact them. Once you’re paired with an agent, you can tour homes and make further plans.
- Helps pair you with real estate agents
- Can assist you with buying or selling
- Doesn’t let you directly view properties
- Requires you to contact an agent
If you’re looking for a home buying website that gives lots of details and has easy-to-access information, you should check out RealtyTrac. This site provides you with real estate news, home listings, agent finder tools, and other tools that anyone looking to purchase a home will find useful. All of the listings are laid out very compactly, making it easy to view multiple properties at once. Signing up as a paid member of the site opens up the door to numerous benefits that will make the task of finding a home even simpler.
- Offers a paid membership tier
- A hub for real estate info
- Compact layout
- Best tools are only for paid members
- Site is not user-experience oriented
Another great website that functions as a search engine and listing board is Realtor.com. This is a classic real estate site that gives you valuable information about your current home while also allowing you to search for new properties to rent or buy. You get access to of information regarding various aspects of your home including its valuation, equity, and mortgage. You can also search for homes, take virtual tours of them, ask questions to sellers, and contact real estate agents all on the website. Realtor’s comprehensive approach to real estate-related matters makes it one of the best home buying sites.
- Gives you valuable information about your current home
- Offers a pro member tier
- Helps you find real estate agents
- Best seller tools are only for pro members
Redfin is one of the best home buying sites because it doesn’t overwhelm its visitors by throwing a bunch of data at them as soon as they arrive on the website. For the most part, you’re given 2 basic choices once you reach Redfin–search for homes or sign up for an account. Their search tool is unique in that it allows you to search for homes based on school locations. All you have to do is type in the name of a school and you’ll be treated to listings of all the available homes close school. This is a handy tool for parents who want their children’s school to be close to their home.
- Lots of search options
- Clean website layout
- Low listing fees
- Doesn’t have many tools for buyers
- Doesn’t show listings for some areas
- Not the most popular listing site
As you can see, when you’re looking to buy a home, there are lots of places for you to search online–Movoto.com happens to be one of those places. It’s another solid listing website that has an easy to navigate, clutter-free interface. You can browse all the listings for free or sign up for a premium account if you’re a real estate agent looking to find business. Because it isn’t as popular as other similar sites, it doesn’t have as many listings. However, this doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out. Some of the best finds are in places you would never think to look.
- Has a cutter-free interface
- Offers premium accounts for real estate agents
- Isn’t as popular as some other sites
Craigslist.com is a completely different beast when it comes to websites that have property listings. While many of the other website we have looked at are custom platforms tailored towards prospective home buyers, sellers, and real estate agents, Craigslist is a website that accepts postings of any kind. Literally anything can be sold there–including rental and for sale properties. The big upside to Craigslist it that it puts you in direct contact with landlords and sellers. Other sites require you to deal with a real estate agent; however, with Craigslist, that isn’t always the case.
- Easy to use
- Allows for you to contact sellers and landlords directly
- Not tailored towards real estate sales
- Not very organized
- Very few useful search filters
ZipRealty.com just so happens to be another great place to search for your dream home. One of the main reasons it made our list of the best home buying sites is due to the fantastic search tool on its homepage. This tool allows you to narrow down your search from the get-go. Instead of only letting you to search by location, it also gives you the option to input other variables, such as your desired price range and the number of beds/baths the property has.
- Has a great quick search tool
- Has a blog with informative real estate info
- Easy to navigate
- Fewer listings than other websites
The last of the best home buying sites we looked into is Homes.com. It’s has many listings to look through, and they’re all laid out in a well-organized manner, making it easy to browse through house descriptions and find the information you need. This is the absolute best feature of the website, as it gives you colorful charts and graphs that show you all the specifics of each property. And, if you can’t find the data you’re looking for, there is a “Request Info” button you can use to contact the seller and learn more about their listing.
- Provides lots of information on houses and the housing market
- Gives lots of technical data
- Has an intuitive, user-friendly interface
- Abundance of info can be overwhelming
After careful consideration, we decided that Trulia.com deserves the #1 spot on our list of the best home buying sites. It is easy to see why Trulia.com is better than other websites. The site homepage gives you a navigation bar, a search field, pictures of homes that are close to your location, and that is about it. It doesn’t overwhelm you with a bunch of unnecessary data.
One of the biggest reasons Trulia.com is the best out of all these sites is that it is free and also one of the most popular real estate sites around. You’ll find more listings on Trulia than sites which only offer paid listings. From a buyer’s perspective, Trulia.com deserves a solid 5/5 rating. If you are thinking about investing in your next dream property, you can’t go wrong by starting your search on Trulia.