Virtual House Hunting: Everything That You Need To Know!
Post Covid house hunting has got a dynamic twist with the ease of virtual tour. Now you don’t need to go physically for house.
So you’re ready to buy a house. If you think house hunting is like trying to find toilet paper during a pandemic, you’re not alone. Most buyers say finding the right home is the most challenging step of the home-buying process. But don’t let that get you down. If you strap in and stay focused, you’ll find the home of your dreams!
To keep calm during your home search, it helps to know that most buyers search for 10 weeks and view nine homes before they find the one they purchase. In the middle of all that, it can be easy to lose focus and forget what kind of house fits your budget and lifestyle. But our house hunting tips will show you exactly how to buy a home that’s right for you!
What Should I Do Before House Hunting?
Before you hit the pavement with a handful of listings, make sure you check off these boxes first:
Know how much house you can afford. While it’s important to sit down and write a list of must-haves for your new home (especially if you’re married), it’s a dumb idea to go looking for one without considering how much you can afford. You’ll risk falling in love with a house that’ll pulverize you in monthly payments! Don’t buy a house unless you pay in cash.
Save for your down payment. If you save anything less than a down payment of at least 10–20% of the total house price, the extra amount you’ll pay in interest and fees will suffocate your other financial goals. We recommend a down payment of 20% to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) for the life of the loan. You can use our mortgage calculator to enter your down payment amount and test out different house prices within the budget.
Find a real estate agent. An agent gives you access to a multiple listing service (more on that later) and simplifies the rest of your home-buying steps toward a great house and a great price. You can’t afford to go without a great real estate agent!
Virtual house hunting got a pandemic boost
While the use of digital technologies in Indian realty began several years ago, it has increased since the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Developers, agents, individual home sellers, buyers, tenants, landlords and even vacation renters are all opting for online tours of the properties.
A virtual tour is a three-dimensional, 360-degree walkthrough, which gives one a sense of the size and space of the property. For such tours, a client should ideally use a virtual reality (VR) headset. The augmented reality solution also provides a home buyer with an aerial view of the housing complex.
“Nowadays, clients insist on virtual tours which can be a short video of the house or even a live video call through Google, Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp. Besides the tours of the house, the clients also insist on seeing the view that a house offers, such as the garden, pool, main road, building on the opposite side, etc., as well as the recreational amenities such as the gym, walking track or even the car parking area that the complex has to offer, like in DLF One Midtown, Moti Nagar, New Delhi.
Benefits of virtual house hunting
1. Although real estate has always been a physical buying process, the COVID-19 pandemic has controlled buyers from visiting properties. To overcome this, developers have intensified the use of virtual technologies, to showcase their products to the buyers. Buyers, in turn, use these tools as an initial screening mechanism.
2. A virtual tour is usually done before a physical, in-person visit. “What makes a virtual tour crucial is that buyers are able to get an actual and accurate feel of the product, before investing. Today, amid COVID-19, virtual technology is the only way that offers better project detailing and that too, to the entire family, at one time and at one place.
3. Moreover, these tools expand the reach of a project, from within local markets to out-of-town and even international buyers. A good virtual tour can help a buyer make a well-informed purchase. With lockdowns being enforced, developers, brokers and channel partners have also adopted virtual reality to sell.
4. Apart from offering views of the project, online platforms and websites also allow home buyers to access information about the project, the building, the apartment and the floor plan. For example, leading online real estate portal employs technology focused products to reach out to potential buyers, owners and tenants, including online booking platforms, real-time video connections and virtual tours.
5. One major advantage of virtual home tours is the safety it offers during the pandemic and we also saved on a lot of time that would have been spent to see various properties. The entire family was involved in short listing the house. It was easier to shortlist the house online. We went for the site visit only once, as we wanted to see the property, decide on the floor and also understand the layout of the flat better.