- There is no one-tool-fits-all for home hunters.
- Realtors aren’t generally allowed to discuss schools and crime, so relying on these resources is a must
- Going online can be helpful to research your property’s history and condition as well
If you haven’t already been to my Buyer Tool Kit, do so now! I’ve tried to create a one-stop shop for every resource you need – online and offline – for home hunting in the Fort Hood area.
In the meantime, I’ve tried to collect here some of the best online resources for completing your home shopping and purchase with as much information as possible!
Your local agent’s website is a great page to browse homes. If you are looking in the Central Texas area, reach out to me and I can set you up on the local CTXMLS to view homes, as well.
I’ve created a map of a fraction of the neighborhoods in the Fort Hood area, with market data and video on each. This is a great place to start learning about your future neighborhood!
Your Mortgage Budget
Freddie Mac is a secondary mortgage lender – buying loans from lenders and selling those loans as securities, like a stock market.
But they also have some of the best mortgage budget tools. I highly recommend them when planning your monthly spending budget.
Realtor reviews are all over the place. There is not a one stop destination for reviews. But if you are looking for agents, here are the top four places to check out what folks are saying about local agents.
This is probably the best place for agents and brokerages to request reviews, because doing so will help their website show up on Google more often. You can also look for top contributing local guides on Google maps.
Facebook is important for agents to market themselves and their listings. And half of agents are already addicted to it anyway. It is a natural place to solicit reviews for their business pages.
Agents have a love-hate relationship with Zillow, but it is definitely a fact that it is the #1 most visited real estate website in America. Many agents have profiles, and often are reviewed there.
Yelp is a tricky one. I’ve been reviewed several times, and yet they keep deleting them. I am not allowed to solicit reviews, either, so it just sort of is there. But it is still a leader in local reviews and search, and worth checking out if there is anything there on an agent.
Realtors are not allowed to recommend schools. Pointing folks toward a certain school is considered a fair housing violation. Therefore, it is important that you do your own due diligence and pick a school district early in the process, if that is an important criterion.
Be sure to visit your local schools’ websites as well to glean more information!
This is perhaps the most popular school search site, and has maps and info on all sorts of schools – public, charter, and private schools.
It’s certainly worthwhile cross referencing Great Schools with School Digger.
Like schools, Realtors are not exactly allowed or comfortable answering the question “is it a good neighborhood” because of possible equal housing violations. Therefore, you are on your own again, but fortunately, there are numerous third party resources to get the feel of an area.
I also recommend driving the neighborhood you are possibly buying in in the late evening on a weekday to get the best indication of what to expect.
Sex offenders are reported here, including their name and picture.
The Killeen Police Department helpfully reports their crime data to this centralized service, which shows you a map of the recent crime reports in the city.
If you’re curious to follow along, you can listen to the local police scanner here. Doing so probably won’t help narrow down your home search, but I thought it was interesting to include.
For areas outside Killeen like Copperas Cove, SpotCrime attempts to do the same thing that Killeen does, mapping out the recent criminal reports.
Lastly, for an easy visualization, Trulia has a neat crime heat map to quickly identify the concentration of activity.
Flood zones, radon, property history, and more. Here are some ideas for finding out the nitty gritty of a home.
- FEMA Flood Maps
- Fort Hood area Tax Information (Bell County, Coryell County, Lampasas County)
- Building permits (Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Nolanville)
If you are buying in the Fort Hood area and haven’t already reached out to me, a local real estate agent, please do! And again, I recommend spending time looking at the resources here on my site, including the Buyer Tool Kit and articles I’ve written about everything I can think about that touches on purchasing a home in the Fort Hood area.