House hunting today looks a lot different than even just a few years ago. While you’ll need to see a house in person at some point, it’s not always the easiest option early in your search. Fortunately, technology is on your side and makes virtual house hunting not only easy, but fun!
Start with Your Needs and Wants
Before you jump online, you might start with a list of your needs and wants. This can help make your search more efficient and baseline what you’re looking for in a new home.
It may help to divide those needs and wants into a good-better-best perspective. What are the essential things you need for your new home (e.g., appliances, a garage, number of beds and bathrooms, etc.) or your “good” list? Your “better” items could include an open floor plan, large backyard, and/or a particular school district. Then there’s your dream scenario. This “best” list may include a downstairs bedroom, high ceilings, arched hallways, a pool—the sky’s the limit.
It may feel frivolous, but this initial planning can really set you up for success in the long run.
Use a House Hunting App/Site
Apps and websites like Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, Trulia, and Homesnap are a great place to start virtual house hunting. This list isn’t exhaustive, and we suggest comparing a few options to cast the widest net across the market to see what’s available.
Beyond interior and exterior home photos, some of the apps/sites include virtual tour videos and 360-degree tours of the home. Most let you save searches based on your specific criteria so you can easily go back and see what’s available (or you can set up a notification when something new pops up).
Ask for Live or Taped Virtual Tours
Some agents will offer a pre-recorded video tour or even a virtual live tour. Real estate and listing agents know what buyers want to see. They’ll likely take you inside closets and cabinets and even show you things like the shower or the backyard. This enhanced level of detail could help you make decisions.
Look at Comparable Sales
To determine if a home’s a good value, look at recently sold homes in the area. Are their sales prices close to what the current seller is asking? Make sure you choose homes similar model, a similar size, and have similar features.
Dig into Social Media, Additional Sites and Tools
Once you’re interested in a house, visit the neighborhood’s social media pages and apps like Nextdoor. You could learn a lot through pictures and event posts, and generally get to know people in the area. You can also use resources like GreatSchools.org or the city/county’s government sites to learn more about the area.
The moral of this story? With so much technology at our fingertips, you can get great search results and helpful research from the comfort of your couch.
Don’t let a pandemic, a busy schedule, and/or geography stop you from finding a new home. Need more tips and tricks? Reach out to a Wyndham Capital loan officer today!