Window Shopping for a House
Posted by Trish Milburn Jan 15 2015, 12:01 am
After a year of culling — selling stuff on eBay and Craigslist, donating to Goodwill and other charities, and just tossing stuff out in the garbage — today my husband and I are meeting with a Realtor about putting our house on the market.
We’re not deciding our next step definitely until we see when the house sells and for how much, but that hasn’t stopped me from window shopping for a beach home via the Internet. It’s possible we’ll only snowbird at the beach in the winter months, but even with that there are ways of virtually window shopping.
My favorite site for looking at homes for sale is Trulia. I can put in price ranges, how many bathrooms and bedrooms I want, location, etc., and it gives me a listing of homes within those parameters. I love to look at the photos, if for no other reason that decorating ideas and, honestly, pretending I’m at the beach basking in the sun and sea breeze instead of freezing my patootie off with single-digit temperatures. I look at primarily the homes within a reasonable price range, but sometimes I take off the maximum price and look at the really expensive places just because I want to see what they look like inside. Unless one of my books is made into the next big blockbuster film, I’m not going to be buying a million-plus-dollar house like this beauty in Destin, Florida. But it sure is fun to tour one virtually. And hey, it can be research for future books. You never know, I might write about a millionaire cowboy at some point.
If we go the snowbirding route and just rent for a few months, my favorite site is Vacation Rental By Owner. Again, it offers the ability to select size, number of rooms, location, etc., and you can virtually tour them. We’ve used VRBO several times while booking beach vacations in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and Orange Beach, Alabama, and been happy with our choices.
Have you ever used either of these sites? Are there others that are good for checking out potential homes, other than looking directly at individual Realtors’ websites? Do you like to browse for your dream home or decorating ideas?