home search tools

Decades ago, home buyers combed the Sunday newspaper to find houses for sale. They hopped in their car for a “Sunday drive” around neighborhoods they liked, keeping their eyes peeled for For Sale signs or better yet, an open house.

Today, buyers use web searches and mobile apps to search hundreds of thousands of properties for sale. They can zero in on neighborhoods they like to find potential listings and “walk inside” home with virtual tours that give buyers almost a first-hand feel of what the listing is like. (more…)

: As DART light-rail arrives at D/FW International Airport on August 18, Ebby Halliday Realtors announces Rail Station Proximity Home Search on ebby.com. (Photo: DART)

As DART light-rail arrives at D/FW International Airport on August 18, Ebby Halliday Realtors announces Rail Station Proximity Home Search on ebby.com. (Photo: DART)

Commuting time is a huge factor for many homebuyers, and mass transit is making strides for people who commute without cars. If you’ve had a hard time deciding on a home due to limited information about trains and buses, your home search just got easier.

The timing is perfect, too, as DART rail reaches from the suburbs to downtown and now to D/FW International Airport so now does Ebby.com deliver a new search feature that can show you great homes for sale that are close to light rail. It’s a popular feature in cities such as Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

“Whether it’s frequent trips to the airport, commuting to your job at the Medical Center, shopping at Mockingbird Station, or enjoying the occasional concert at the American Airlines Center in Victory Park, with ebby.com’s new Rail Station Proximity Home Search you’ll be the first to know about homes for sale – and for lease – near the rail station of your choice,” says Randall Graham, vice president and director of marketing for Ebby Halliday Realtors.

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Shopping for a home can be nerve-wracking. When you’re actively looking for a home, most often you’re dealing with a deadline, a budget, and an unrealistic wishlist. It’s hard, trying to make concesssions with your spouse and trying to compromise on what is a need and what is a want.

Our home search was no different. We knew what we wanted in a home (at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, a sizable backyard, an address inside the city limits and a low price) but it took a long time to refine those points. And this was in a time before good real estate photography was a must for agents!

I kept imagining myself as one of those super-picky clients on HGTV’s House Hunters, when I should have been looking at things more like the clients in Property Brothers.

After about a million and a half showings (thanks for being patient, Ken Lampton!), we found the perfect little fixer-upper in East Dallas. Even after signing and initialing out lives away (OK, 30 years), I kept up the search. Only this time I wasn’t dealing with deadlines, budgets, and a second opinion.

Looking for houses when you’re not looking for your house is immensely liberating. It also helps you glean inspiration from what other homeowners are doing to build equity (even sweat equity, but we won’t go there!) and make the most of their investment.

So even five years into our 30-year mortgage, I’m keeping the home search alive.

Do you have a unique real estate story? I want to hear it! Email me at jo@candysdirt.com!