About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

November 25, 2014

Real Estate Today

As many of you know in past lives I have been a mortgage loan officer and a residential real estate appraiser.  I have also been a buyer and seller of my own homes.  I have quite a bit of knowledge about the topic; however, it is not current since I have been out of that world for the past 16 years.

Well, I got into it again recently by buying a home.  For the past several years we have been renters.  I discovered some very interesting things involving, for me anyway, technology and the purchasing process.  I thought I would share some of that with you today.

First off we talked to our agent, Phillip Updike, and got the ball rolling.  He suggested a few houses and also a website for finding homes. was the site and fortunately for me they had an Android app of the same name.  We also found another one called, also with an app.

My wife and I used them both on our phones (she has an iPhone) and tablets.  They provided a huge amount of information in a very convenient format.  It stopped the numerous phone calls that would have been done in the past asking us about houses in which we may be interested.  Also it prevented us from calling our realtor with nagging questions like, "Is there anything new on the market today?" 

Both of these programs are very similar.  You can filter the house you may be looking for by location, price range, number of bedrooms and/or baths, etc.  The results are usually very close to what you are seeking.  I will warn you that if you filter by price be careful.  We found that the house we eventually bought was not on our list until I increased the price range by just a little bit.  If I had not done this I would never have found the house; although, I know Phillip would have.

They gave you photos of the house and property in the majority of examples I viewed.  It will also give you a map, places of interest in the surrounding area, the listing agent contact information, area schools, many things you would like to know and some that you never may have considered.  Excellent tool for house finding.

The other thing that surprised me that really should not have is the use of email.  I have sent and received emails regarding the mortgage loan, title insurance, questions from and about all areas, informational emails and the list goes on.  Now in reality I was planning on writing about this after all was said and done, so I have kept almost every email regarding our purchase.  When all was said and done I had about 210 emails, also included Zillow’s pictures of the house, loan documents, closing documents and Title Insurance.

I do not know if it was due to the excellent work done by everyone concerned or the capacity to have everything I could possibly need at hand in email.  But I will say this was the smoothest home purchase I have ever dealt with.  That is as a buyer, seller or banker. Thanks to all who helped!

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