What are the best online sites to find a house or apartment? I know the area where I want to find a place, but I'd rather not spend a ton of time driving around, looking for yard signs.
One that is somewhat of a fixer-upper *might* work well, so I wouldn't mind looking at foreclosure properties too. I noticed that some of the webpages that provide listings do not provide any info at all on foreclosures unless you sign up for it, every other property has number of bedrooms and baths, price, and so on given. Any suggestions on that front?
I'm a bit reluctant to deal with a realtor due to the pushy nature of such situations -- I don't have a problem with saying NO, just don't want the hassle. At this point, I just want to start doing the initial research/legwork, so I don't know that I should be taking up a realtor's time yet anyway.
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They each have their strengths. One thing to watch out for: when you are seeing previous sale prices on some of these sites, either on a comparable house in the neighborhood or on the house for sale, sometimes there will be a very low price listed showing a recent sale. That MAY be the amount owed when the bank foreclosed, which shows up as a transfer of owner, or sale. So if you see a house you like for $200,000, and other houses in the neighborhood are the same price except for one recent sale of $110,000 for an identical house, it could be the foreclosed price. Or it could have been trashed.
so you're looking to buy and are open to a fixer upper? it's super easy to cruise the craigslist listings and get a feel for the prices in the area you like.
then check out realtor.com. you can call listing agents about places which interest you and if you find one you click with then you go with them.
and fwiw fixer uppers can be the most rewarding and frustrating job ever.