Did you know that close to 90% of us begin searching for real estate online? And why shouldn’t we? We do everything else online. I’ve talked to many people that don’t even own a desktop computer as they do everything on tablets and phones. So why should shopping for a house be any different? But there is a lot that the online listing is not telling us about a property. Sure, we can see the general layout of the house, the furnishings, a map to where the house is located, and usually the best parts about the house. I mean, people usually save the very best photos for the listing, right? But what is the listing not telling us?
Nothing beats an in-person showing and even people buying overseas understand the benefits of seeing a home in person. I understand that some situations don’t lend themselves to an in-house viewing, but this is why a real estate agent that takes virtual tours and personal photos can really benefit. Here are some things that an online listing is not going to show you.
#1. The neighborhood.
It’s almost impossible to tell what a neighborhood or the neighbors look like or act like from the listing. The property listing is only showing the house, of course, so you’re not going to see the next-door neighbor’s house, what’s behind the house, or even across the street from the listing. At the very least you’ll be able to see what view you have if the view is impressive and feature worthy, but that’s about it. All the other photos are going to be just of the house in the property itself.
A drive-by is often the best way to determine if you like the neighborhood or not. Are there junker cars next-door, an eyesore across the street, or are you next-door across the street from the city dump or less than appealing business?
Talking to neighbors can also give you a sense of what the neighborhood is like. Do the neighbors like the neighborhood? Is there anything you should know about the neighborhood? Do neighbors have dogs that incessantly’s bark all hours of the day and night? Simply chatting with neighbors next-door or across the street can give you a good sense of what the neighborhood is like.
Related: Things to Remember When Relocating
#2. The noise.
More than simple neighborhood dogs, neighborhoods can be in the flight path of the nearest airport, next to a train track, or Interstate 90. If noise is a huge factor, visiting the property during different times of the day can give you a good sense of what the noise will be like once you live there.
Read More: How to Buy a House
#3. The smell.
So far, we have not invented “smell-a-vision” and as far as I am aware listings don’t come in the “scratch and sniff” form. This is why nothing beats visiting a property in person. Perhaps there are odors from a local mill, garbage dump, or dairy farm nearby that are deal breakers. You’ll never get a sense of the odor until you visit in person.
The house may look perfect in the perfect neighborhood until you drive up and realize that the road on which it sits is a five-lane, highly trafficked highway. This may or may not be a dealbreaker. Some people may love the quick accessibility to a commute route while others with small children or pets see it as a safety hazard.
Check out two more items I didn’t mention – Academia.edu
Nothing beats seeing a home in person and if you’re planning on moving here from out of state or even overseas, I’d be more than happy to videotape any listing in which you are interested. Knowing as much about a property beforehand is really the key to making an informed real estate decision. I always suggest that buyers do a drive-by on any potential listings to see if the location and area will work for them. If not, cross it off the list and let’s view the next one in person.