Shopping for houses

In today’s internet and email-centric real estate market, it’s easy to use Scrivener to research the home buying process and to keep track of which properties you’ve considered or taken a look at.

I am currently in the process of buying my first house. I went first with Omni Outliner Pro, but I’m finding that it’s too fiddly for what I’m doing.

Instead, I am now importing the listings of properties that my Realtor and friends send me. If I go see a place, I take pictures, which I import under a folder named for the address of the place, along with the web archive of the real estate listing. I name the images after the rooms so I can keep everything straight, and I write notes for each “document”, noting my impressions of the rooms in question. And finally, I can move the whole folder to a “Rejects” or “Missed opportunities” folder, so I know at a glance which places I’m not going to get when I go back through all of my notes, hoping to find a gem I missed in the rough.

Being able to do a global search of all of the text in my research makes it easy to find a property when me and my special lady friend are discussing various houses, and being able to link to the google map of the neighborhood helps us remember why that awesome house is going for so cheap.

Scrivener is the perfect research tool for buying a house, and I suspect any big purchase that you’re mulling over.