Social media can get a bad rap, but when it comes to buying a home, it can be useful in some unexpected ways. If you’re in the market, consider how sites like Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can help you make the best decision.
Get to know your neighbors
You can learn a lot by spending time in the neighborhood where you are considering buying a home. But if you can get access to the neighborhood Nextdoor, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek at who lives there.
Keep in mind that every area’s Nextdoor is filled with the requisite wild animal sightings, landscaping gripes, and grumps who want everyone to slow down while driving and wait until after 10am to mow the lawn on Saturdays. But if there’s something that stands out as a red flag, you might want to do a little more research into the place you’re looking to call home.
To know what happened in your house
Is it invasive to read through the timeline of sellers on Facebook or look through their Instagram feed? If they don’t have their social media pages set to private, you might be able to get some background on the house. Maybe they posted pictures of before-and-after renovations. Maybe the house had a flood or fire or some other issue that they haven’t disclosed. Maybe those countertops that you thought were real marble are really a $90 DIY paint-over-laminate situation. The more information you can gather about the house and its condition and its history, the more confident you may feel making an offer, or walking away.
To keep up with mortgage rates
Mortgage rates have been all over the place this year, rising one week and taking a surprising dip the next. Following a site like Bankrate or Nerdwallet on Facebook or Twitter can ensure that you know what’s happening, so you can save money wherever possible when buying a home.
To learn more about real estate in your neighborhood
Nextdoor is also a great place to learn about rentals and homes for sale that may not be on the MLS. Both can potentially affect your decision to purchase a home there.
Homebuyers are going to look at Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia—it’s inevitable. But do so with an understanding of what you’re looking at. You can review actual home sales to compare prices in different areas. But trusting estimates on these sites that are typically many thousands of dollars off and not reflective of actual, current sales can be dangerous. It’s best to trust the comparative analysis your real estate agent provides to you.