Use The World Wide Web To Buy Your Next House

photo of John Michael Pierobon By: John Michael Pierobon

Have you thought of using the World Wide Web to buy your next house? Today, thanks to the vast amount of information available on the World Wide Web, it is not only possible, but actually advantageous to use the World Wide Web instead of a real estate broker to buy a house.

The World Wide Web is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Your real estate broker may not appreciate receiving a telephone call from you late at night, but your ISP does not mind the telephone call your modem makes to get you on line. Also, the information you get from the World Wide Web does not have the bias of your real estate broker, nor do you have to pay a commission. When you have the World Wide Web at your fingertips, you really do not need a realtor.

Most people, before they set out to purchase a new residence, have a fairly good idea of what they are looking for. They have a criteria which may include: price, good school district, proximity to work, safe neighborhood, low property taxes, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, type of floor plan, size of the lot, etc.

There are numerous Web sites which let you query the multiple listing for houses based on your criteria. Here in south Florida for example, Homespot ( will show you all the houses available for sale. Homespot lets you narrow your search by town, price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, etc. Homespot will also provide information about the town and the school district where the house is located.

Once you have found a few houses that you would be interested in seeing, write down the address. Once you have the address, you can do several things.

You can go to Lycos or Yahoo! and use their map resource to obtain driving directions to the house you want to go see, and find out how far (in miles and in minutes) it is from your place of work.

You can query a search engine to find crime statistics and other information about the town where the houses are located.

Also with the address, you can go the Web site of the county's property appraiser, enter the address, and find out not only who owns the house, but also when they bought the house, how much they paid for it, and how much the property taxes are. The property tax roll is, by law, public information.

When you know who the owner is, and their address, you can go back to Webcrawler or Yahoo! and use the people find resource to obtain their telephone number. Call them up and tell them you are interested in buying their house.

If you cannot find a real estate contract to download for free, there are Web sites that sell real estate software packages over the Internet which you can easily customize.

You can even surf the Web to find building inspectors and land surveyors.

Many lending institutions have Web sites that allow you to pre qualify for a mortgage. Some even have Java applets that allow you to input several parameters such as interest rate and length of mortgage to determine the amount you can borrow. Also, there are Web site which compare the various products of these lending institutions. This information lets you make an informed decision regarding the financing of your new house.

If you are looking for a new construction, search engines, such as Infoseek, Lycos, Webcrawler, Yahoo!, etc. have listings of the Web sites of most home builders. These Web sites include floor plans and other pertinent information. For example, I was recently contacted by a property developer in Singapore, inquiring about using virtual reality to show models of high rise apartments they are about to build, in hopes to have all of them sold before construction begins.

So, whether you are looking for a house in Singapore or in south Florida, the World Wide Web can be a great help in your search.

John Michael Pierobon is an Internet consultant based in Fort Lauderdale.
John Michael may be reached by sending electronic mail to

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