How to Use Trulia to Find Your Dream Home in Orange County

Many people turn to Trulia for help when looking for a new home, which is great because it is a pretty helpful real estate website. It has robust data on sale and rental listings.

But some questions must always cross your mind when using the site, like:

  • Is Trulia better than Zillow? 
  • How do you choose a budget? 
  • What are the best schools in Orange County? 
  • And most importantly, what city are you most interested in living in? 

This blog post will answer all of these questions and more! We will also explain why using a realtor when buying a house is often a good idea, even when using Trulia.

Before tackling the questions, here are six fundamental things to keep in mind

  1. Start your search early– The sooner you start looking, the better. This will give you a chance to understand what is out there and what you can afford.
  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage– This will help you know exactly how much you can spend on a house. Pre-approval means that the mortgage lenders have looked at your financial information and decided how much money they are willing to lend you.
  3. Create a list of must-haves– What are the things you absolutely must have in a house? Write them down, and be sure to keep this list handy when you are looking at houses. Most people’s must-haves often include a big backyard, a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms, a garage, etc.
  4. Think about your budget– How much can you afford to spend on a house? Keep in mind that you will also need to pay for things like property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintenance. It is vital to be realistic about what you can afford. You don’t want to start looking at houses out of your price range.
  5. Check out the neighborhoods– Think about what neighborhood you want to live in. Do you want to be in a city or a suburb? What is your budget? Are the schools good?
    When checking out neighborhoods, be sure to drive around and look at the houses, parks, and schools._
  6. Be prepared to compromise– It is unlikely that you will find a house that has everything single thing on your must-have list. You might have to compromise on things like the size of the house or the number of bedrooms.
    Be flexible; the must-have list is more of a guidance. You might not find your dream home, but you can find a home that you love and meets most of your priority needs.

Now that you know what to keep in mind when searching for a new home let’s get to the questions!

Is Trulia More Accurate Than Zillow?

zillow search oc realtor 

Trulia vs Zillow is a question that many people ask when deciding which website to use for real estate search.

In general, Trulia seems to be more accurate than Zillow. This is because Trulia derives its estimates from data gathered from multiple sources, including the MLS listings (Multiple Listing Service).

On the other hand, Zillow relies mainly on public data from which it calculates its zestimates. This means that Zillow’s data may not be as accurate as Trulia’s.

How to Choose a Budget for Buying a House

When looking for a new home, choosing a budget that you are comfortable with is essential. You will need to consider two things: the price of the home and the cost of living in the area.

The house price is pretty self-explanatory – it is simply how much money you will need to buy the house.

On the other hand, the cost of living is the amount of money you will need to live in the area. This includes things like groceries, utilities, transportation, sewage, and entertainment.

It is also important to remember that your total monthly housing costs (including mortgage payments, property taxes, and homeowners insurance) should not exceed 30% of your income.

To simplify it, the following are the main factors to have in mind when budgeting:

  • The amount of money you have saved for a down payment. This will usually be around 20% of the home’s total cost.
  • Your monthly income. You will want to make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payments, as well as other housing costs.
  • The cost of living in the area you are looking to buy a home. In some areas, the cost of living is higher than others. This entails transportation, food, and other living expenses.
  • The type of home you are looking for. Some homes require a higher monthly mortgage payment than others.
  • The current interest rates. The lower the interest rate, the more affordable your mortgage payments will be. So, it is vital to keep an eye on the current interest rates when budgeting.

What Cities have the best Schools in Orange County?

This question does not have a simple answer. The best schools in Orange County will depend on your family’s needs and preferences.

Some things to consider when looking for schools include the type of curriculum, the extracurricular activities offered, and the school’s location.

Additionally, each city in Orange County has its unique school district. So, you will want to research the schools in the city you are interested in before deciding. Some areas with generally good schools are:

  • Firthcliffe
  • Cornwall-on-Hudson
  • Walton Park
  • Harriman

What City are you most interested in living in?

Again, this is a question only you can answer. When deciding what city to live in, you should consider your lifestyle and budget. Do you want to be close to the beach or inland? Do you want to live in a smaller city or a larger city?

Once you have answered these questions, you can look at cities that fit your criteria. Some great cities to consider for lovers of the beach are Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Laguna Beach.

If you prefer to be inland, some good options are Irvine, Tustin, and Fullerton. 

Besides the type of place it is, whether beach or inland, you should also consider the schools, as mentioned earlier. 

Some parents want to be in a district with good schools, and others don’t mind if the school is not rated well as long as it is close by.

Should I Use a Realtor or Trulia for my new house?

Trulia offers many features that are helpful when looking for a home. For example, it has a mortgage calculator that helps you estimate your monthly mortgage payments.

Additionally, Trulia has a Crime Map showing crime data in different areas.

However, while Trulia is a great resource, it is essential to remember that it is not a substitute for a realtor.

A realtor can offer you expertise and knowledge about the process of buying a home that you may not be able to find on Trulia. Additionally, a realtor can help you negotiate with sellers and provide guidance throughout the entire process.

One of the main reasons you may want to use a realtor is that you want someone knowledgeable about the area and can help you find the right home for your needs.

Another reason is that realtors have access to MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a database of all the homes for sale in an area. This means that you will be able to see all the available homes, rather than just the ones that are listed on Trulia.

Realtors can also help you negotiate the home price, and they can assist you with the entire buying process.

Other benefits of direct realtors

  • Realtors can help you find houses that aren’t on the market yet.
  • Sometimes realtors have access to more property information than Trulia does.
  • They can help you with the closing process.
  • Working with a realtor from the area can help you know the area better.
  • They can provide you with a list of resources, like home inspectors, painters, etc.
  • If something goes wrong with your house after you buy it, a realtor can help you get it fixed.

So, if this is your first time buying a home, using a realtor may be a good idea. 

Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a realtor or not is up to you. Some people prefer to use a realtor, while others find that they can navigate Trulia just fine on their own. It all depends on your needs and preferences.

What’s the Best Way Get a Real Estate Agent

There are various ways to get a real estate agent, but OC Realtor Direct is among the most efficient ones. This is a service that allows you to connect with Orange County top local agents who will help you find the perfect home.

Best part is you get access to loan officers, who can help you get pre-qualified for a mortgage. And because this is all done online, it’s a very convenient way to find an agent.

So, if you’re looking for the best way to get a real estate agent in Orange County, OC Realtor Direct is the way to go!