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What You Need to Start
Some of the most important criteria you need to consider early when beginning your home search are:
- School district
- City / Neighborhood
If you haven’t narrowed down these items yet, it’s time to start working with your lender and agent on doing so.
Next, write out the following and share it with your agent.
- 3 “Must Haves”
- 3 “Would Likes”
- 3 “Must Not Haves”
This list will be helpful to keep you focused when it comes time to selecting homes to view and ultimately selecting the final home to make an offer on.
Where to Search
Where should you search? Zillow? Trulia? Realtor.com?
In general, any of these sites will work. Your real estate agent also likely has a site that links directly with the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that agents use directly to upload and view homes for sale. Also, your agent should be able to invite you to the local CTXMLS portal, where you can search the local MLS directly.
When to Begin Searching
You probably have already searched homes in the Fort Hood area before reading this. But if not, go ahead. It is a great way to get a feel for prices and styles of homes.
Your real estate agent is not allowed to advise on which school district is best. Doing so is considered a fair housing violation. But they can point you to third party resources and websites. If you are particular about being in a particular school, it is critical that you let your agent know directly as soon as possible so they know to narrow the search to your preferred areas.
Getting a feel for the area and neighborhoods can be challenging, especially if you are not local. Google Maps Satellite and Street View can get you a close approximation of what the neighborhood looks like.
On this site, I have tried to produce video, including aerial footage, of some of the most prominent Fort Hood neighborhoods.
You may want to consider if you care about whether your neighborhood is an HOA or not. Fort Hood has only a few HOA neighborhoods, so if it is important to you, the options may be limited.
Set Up Home Alerts
If you are a week or more from actually viewing homes, you will want to have a listing alert set up. With listing alerts, you set the criteria you are looking for in a home. You will automatically get an email when a new home comes on the market meeting that criteria. This lets you keep tabs on which homes are available and move quickly if a really good one pops up.
The best home alerts in the Fort Hood area is in the CTXMLS portal, which unfortunately only real estate agents can access and set up your account with. Talk to your Realtor about getting set up with a CTXMLS listing alert.
In the CTXMLS listing portal, you can also save your favorite listings and keep track of which ones you are interested in viewing when it comes time to schedule showings with your agent.
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