Do’s and Don’ts in Digital House Hunting

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By Marilyn Royce

While the majority of buyers still go through the home buying process the traditional route, there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals purchasing homes online. Though buying a home online is not quite as simple or as quick as buying an everyday item online it is fairly simple and straightforward, especially if you know a few of the do’s and don’ts of digital house hunting. 

Do: Get your finances in order

Much the same is if you were physically viewing homes, you will need to have a price range in mind before you begin your home search. This will narrow down your home search by eliminating homes that are out of your budget. You should also take the time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you do find a home you are interested in, being pre-approved for a mortgage will speed up the buying process. 

Don’t: Go it alone

Shopping online for a home is just as complex as traditionally purchasing a home. With so many homes to look through it can take quite a bit of time to root out homes that do not interest you. With a real estate agent by your side you can sift through houses, narrow down your search, and negotiate with sellers.  In the end working with a real estate agent will help you negotiate in your favor and ensure your contract is fair. 

Do: Request a virtual tour

Just because you aren’t going to physically walk through a home doesn’t mean you can’t take part in a tour. Virtual tours are a great way to see areas of the house that are not visible in photos. Areas such as bedroom closets, cabinets, and outdoor space are more visible during a virtual tour. 

Don’t: Skip the inspection

An inspection is always recommended when purchasing a home, even if you are hunting for your home virtually. Ask your inspector if he or she can record video of the inspection or take pictures. When the inspection is completed you will have the complete report, video, and photos from the inspector. 

Do: Have your insurance in order

In order to get a mortgage from a lender you will need to have homeowners insurance. You should begin the process of obtaining homeowners insurance by researching insurance companies, policy options, and rates. 

Don’t: Forget your needs

While you may change your mind on some items you want to have in your home, you should try to stick closely to your needs.  For instance if you need to have 4 bedrooms to fit your family, you should make sure that is a priority during your home search. If you find a home that has most of your needs you can readjust your wants if necessary. 
Virtual house hunting is perfect for individuals who have to move quickly due to a job transfer or for those who are searching for a second home or investment home in a different state. With the right real estate agent in place, buying a house online can be a fairly simple process.