How you locate your perfect new home has taken turn recently! With the introduction of new technology in the late 1990’s and the almost something new in technology that is introduced into the real estate marketplace almost daily, finding that new home has indeed become a family affair.
The amount of information that is now available to consumers, some of which was not even available to most real estate agents, can become undaunting. There are more search engines and websites available for even the youngest member of the family to access, it may become even more confusing as each member of the family tries to find that perfect home, in the perfect location, at the perfect price.
So, one evening, maybe at the dinner table, it is decided that we need a new home, maybe the family has outgrown the present location, maybe they can get out of that rental, maybe the home has grown too large and is becoming a burden rather than an enjoyment. Whatever the reason, each member of the family may pick up their favorite item, their smart phone, tablet, computer or maybe the family entertainment center and start looking at what the world has to offer.
For consumers today, this process can be done anonymously. So, each member of the family is off searching for what is most important to themselves. They can look at the outside of homes, see photos of the rooms inside, maybe there is a video or home tour. There may be some great pictures of the outside recreation areas and even an aerial view of the home and surrounding areas a great way to qualify your perfect home, you might think.
But are you really qualifying a home or just disqualifying potential homes. Today’s technology may have made more information available to the consumer than was ever available before, but the search process though different still revolves around the same issue, disqualifying homes rather than qualifying homes. In years gone by, a consumer, with the limited information they had available, would scour the newspaper ads, read through homes magazines, drive around locating for sale signs or maybe asking a friend if they knew of something for sale, and attending open house events. Consumers, no different from today, did their best to stay anonymous, by withholding their names and contact information as they asked for addresses of homes so that they could drive by.
If you think about it today, consumers do drive by searches each and every time the look at properties online. Utilizing all the great tools is a wonderful way to start your search for that perfect home. You have available the opportunity to search for school information, criminal activity, walkability, recreational areas, proximity to transportation and so much more. You can review so much and save so much time when compared to their predecessors, but it still gets you to the same place, at least for most, a physical introduction into the homes that they think will work for them.
We live in a society today where time is most important. Trying to coordinate activities among the family unit is not the easiest thing to do. Trying to involve all members of the unit in each decision can also become a task in itself. Trying to locate that perfect home to satisfy each and every member of the family may, no less become a major issue that blocks the initial intent, that was to find a home more suitable to the needs of the entire family. Is there a better way?
As a real estate professional with over 40 years of experience, I believe there is! I have assisted numerous families in locating their new habitat. I have seen the changes in technology and rather than fight them I have embraced each change as a better way that I can help my customers and clients achieve their goal and make their dream a reality!
Until there is a simple cookie cutter home that you can purchase off the shelf without ever needing to get physical and see the home in all its glory, I believe you need to speak, as a family unit, with a professional who is concerned for your wellbeing. The goal in many cases is in improving your quality of life by assisting you in finding the right fit in your new surroundings. Together with your real estate professional and with full utilization of the technology available the process can become one the entire family enjoys and is involved in.
Some helpful hints:
- Identify the real estate professional that you feel has the best fit to your unit. Visit their office and see what technology they have available for you. How do they integrate technology into your home search will give you an indication of the dedication to your cause. Do they have an integrated agent web site that allows you to search, change criteria and keep everyone informed of properties that suite your needs? Having the right real estate professional to represent you in your search and purchase may be the most important decision you make.
- Meet with a solid home loan specialist who can validate the proper financial mortgage tool that will fit your family and have you ready to purchase when you find the right home.
- Review with your real estate professional a Wants and Needs Assessment of what will make everyone happy. It may be more than just the number of bedrooms or the color of the house. Your real estate professional can help identify which of those wants are truly needs.
- Create a criteria with the information you gather and then do not be afraid of making some changes, first as you see those homes on line and then as you see them in person. The physical look and feel of the home will be the deciding factor.
- Remember that there are physical things about a home that can’t easily be adjusted. A colonial home can’t easily be made a ranch style and so on. But the color of the outside and in can be changed. Even shrubbery can be cut, removed or adjusted. The important thing is that the house fits you and makes you comfortable. We all want perfect, but sometimes perfect needs to be created from something that is close.
- In the end remember it is more than Where Do I Put My Holiday Decorations, it is more important how does it fit the family unit, both financially and emotionally.