When the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to the United States in early 2020, many people held their breath. The impact this virus would have on our economy was unknown at the time, and many people braced themselves for the worst. But instead of a housing crisis, the real estate market soared, thanks to a change in consumer priorities, and record low mortgage rates. This post describes how to make the most of a new real estate trend: virtual home tours.
Those working in industries unharmed by the pandemic (such as the tech industry) jumped on the opportunity to buy a home at such low rates, driving up prices and giving real estate professionals plenty of work to stay busy while working from home. But the housing market boom wasn’t the only thing that changed because of COVID-19.
How people bought homes changed as well. And if you are looking to buy your dream home soon (no matter if you are moving far away or staying in the same city), you’ve likely begun to notice the shift already. Not only are open houses a rarity, but many home tours are taking place virtually. If you want to see a house in-person, you have to schedule a time so that the home can be cleaned for your arrival. And even then, touching things is kept to a minimum and masks are required.
But this new way of house hunting can still get you your dream home; you just have to do a little finessing to make the situation work for you. So before you get bummed that you can’t pop by a bunch of open houses in one weekend, check out the advice and home tour printables below from the team at Hippo. You’ll be surprised at just how pleasant this new process can be!
What You Need to Know About Virtual Home Tours
Virtual tours are without a doubt the safest way to view a home, by allowing you to stay in the comfort of your own home while viewing potential houses. However, seeing a home virtually doesn’t allow you to inspect every nook and cranny as you would during a traditional home tour. To help bridge this gap, it’s important to have a variety of questions ready to go when touring homes virtually. This way, you can ensure you get all the information you need for each home without risking your health.
Below are a few questions you can consider asking your real estate agent when conducting a virtual tour:
- Can I get a copy of the floor plan before the tour?
- What is the plan of action should something happen to our connection?
- Can you bring the camera to the windows so I can see the view?
- Will this tour be recorded so I can view it again later on?
- Do you smell, see or hear anything of concern when walking around the home?
- How loud is the neighborhood?
- How much natural light does the home get?
- Can you give me a tour of the front and back yards?
- Do the floors or walls have any scuffs?
These questions are included in Hippos Virtual Home Tour Checklist, including space for you to add information on the price, square footage and address of the home. You can download the editable checklist on their blog.
Having these questions on hand when touring a home virtually is crucial. It’s also recommended that you schedule your first virtual tour during the day so it’s easier to see everything. If you want to tour the home again afterwards, try scheduling your next tour at night so you can view the home in a new setting. Other virtual tour tips include asking for more photos and videos from your realtor after the tour is complete and double checking your connection before the tour begins to avoid running into internet issues while trying to view a home.
What to Look For In Your Next Home
Now that you understand just how to tackle the virtual aspect of home tours, it’s important to also consider what exactly you are looking for in a new home. This will make the entire home-buying process much easier, and give you a better idea of what to keep an eye out for during your home tours.
One easy way to compare each house against your goals is by creating a house profile. Using the following printable from Hippo, you can mark off the condition and features of each aspect of the home. This includes the condition of the carpets, the age of the appliances, the type of backyard and even the average monthly utility cost.
Once you complete house profiles for a few homes, you’ll see how easy it is to compare features of each potential home. After all, you’ll likely be touring a lot of homes in a short period of time, so these profiles will help you keep all the crucial information straight.
Finding your dream home is an exciting and fast-paced experience. And just because you aren’t touring homes in the traditional way, that doesn’t mean the process can’t be fun. Use these printables to jot down the most important information and let yourself relax knowing that you don’t have to memorize everything yourself. And once you find the one, you can keep that house profile as a souvenir of the most unique house hunting adventure ever.
We hope you found this blog post How To Find Your Dream Home During a Pandemic useful. Be sure to check out our post How a Virtual Tour Can Save You Time And Money On Your Move for more great information!
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