The 9 Most Surprising Places People Have Gotten Great Real Estate Advice

published Sep 13, 2021
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Your real estate agent can be a goldmine of information. Still, there are little nuggets of homebuying gold all around — you just have to know where to find it. 

I personally find these nuggets on TikTok. It has a super-specific algorithm and keeps a steady stream of real estate agents, stagers, and designers in my feed, along with super cute dog videos. My 90-year-old grandma also clips me articles from the newspaper, and has a keen sense of emerging real estate trends. (We talk about mortgage rates and new developments popping up in Denver a couple of times a week when I call to read her emails to her, because she has absolutely no interest in a home WiFi connection.)

Aside from TikTok and my grandma, though, there’s real estate advice to be found all over. Here are nine unexpected spots Apartment Therapy readers and staffers have found great advice. 

Local Networking Events

“I work remotely, so I recently started attending networking events hosted by my city’s chamber of commerce to meet new people. A lot of real estate agents and mortgage lenders show up to these events, so I use that time to pick their brain while munching on free snacks!” — Sarah

The Water Cooler 

“The water cooler: A coworker and I had never really bonded before I happened to bring up my particular house-buying issue, which he happened to have gone through just a few years prior. We both hit the same unlikely snag in our buying and selling process, and he was able to give me advice from the other side of it.” — Josie


“For some reason I was matching with a lot of Realtors on dating apps. Maybe it’s because I put in my profile that I was ‘new to town’ and I was a potential lead? Regardless, I now know a lot about the Seattle market. I don’t plan to buy here anytime soon because the home prices are insane. But I still own a home that I’m renting out in the Chicago suburbs, and one of the best tips that I got while on a date was that throwing an extra $100 to $200 toward my principal every month will trim some years off my 30-year mortgage.” — Angie

35,000 Feet in the Air

“On a plane! (I think that could be the case for advice about lots of things.) I’ve gotten some good homebuying advice and have also given some rental advice about NYC to my seat neighbor during flights in the past. It helps because chances are one of you is from the flight’s destination, or at least familiar enough with the city, so it’s natural to strike up a conversation about living there and/or wanting to live there. I might be in the minority here, but I love airplane small talk.” — Michael 

Rich People 

“Talking to people who have more money than you about what they do can be super eye-opening because much like financial literacy, a lot of real estate know-how is generational and handed down.” — Anonymous

Facebook Groups

“Right now the Facebook Group ‘Into the Unknown’ is excellent for people looking to move from cities to the unknown ‘burbs, exurbs, and country.” — Allison

During a Property Inspection 

“Walking the entire home inspection with the structural engineer/inspector taught me a lot about serious things to look for that aren’t obvious. He saved me from buying two properties which had costly issues and confirmed my good choice on the third property — still my home! My favorite thing he did was crawl into the crawlspace of one property and stuck a screwdriver into the floor joist under a patio door. The screwdriver went right into the wood, softened by water damage. So glad I dodged that!” — Jennifer


“I’ve become friends and worked with a real estate agent through Instagram! We had a passion for taking architectural photos around NYC and he showed me all of the great locations he had access to and taught me the world of real estate. He would invite me to the office, go to exclusive showings, and teach me about things to look out for which ultimately helped me purchase my current apartment with his guidance.” — Brian

A Coworking Space

“I work a few days a week from a coworking space, and there are a couple of real estate agents I overhear talking about things that are holding up their closings and what negotiations their clients are making after inspections.” — Joe