Pro Tips for Virtual Housing Hunting
By Shawn Hays
Executive Officer, Anchorage Home Builders Association
If you’re planning to buy a home but you’re not quite ready to view several dozen homes in person, start by looking at homes online. You’ll be surprised by the number of online showrooms, photos and even 3D videos available of homes to help you narrow down your search. Websites such as Realtor.com, Redfin.com, Trulia.com and your local custom home builders have detailed information about home interiors. Below are a few expert tips to help you organize and find information to support your virtual house hunt.
Create a List. If you are navigating many websites or watching hours of home videos online, make a list of the homes you enjoyed viewing. Keep careful notes of the listing descriptions. By creating a note taking system that works for you, you’ll be able to easily compare properties when you are ready to narrow down your list. Don’t forget to make a list of questions about the property you may have for the realtor.
Ask About Floor Plans. If you’re not physically walking through the home, it might be challenging to visualize the space by only scrolling through photos online. Ask a realtor for a copy of the home’s floor plan. Once you have an idea of the layout and size of the space, you’ll be able to get a better grasp of the photos or videos of the home.
Research the neighborhood. Not all websites with home listings will give you a sense of the neighborhood. To help get a complete profile of the home and make an informed decision about the area around your home, conduct a general online search about the neighborhood. You’ll be surprised the amount of information you can learn about the activities that happen in the area or the local school system.
Drive by the home. If you are ready to get out of the house while maintaining social distancing, what better way than to drive by the homes you are considering. You’ll gain a better understanding of what amenities are nearby and a sense of the community. If you are not working from home or will be returning to work soon, try out your work commute.
For more information on how to find a home in Anchorage/Eagle River, contact Anchorage Home Builders Association at 907-522-3605.