BUYING A HOME SIGHT UNSEEN ON THE BIG ISLAND
In most home purchases the buyers will spend hours touring homes before finally settling on “the one,” however, in recent times and with the widespread pandemic, buyers are leaning towards more sight unseen home purchases. While at first this sounds terrifying and the thought of buying a home sight unseen may send chills down your spine, rest assured, it is not only possible but also feasible.
There are many reasons as to why you may be purchasing a home sight unseen such as, relocating, health and safety due to COVID-19, transportation, availability, and so much more. In some states open houses and tours are not currently allowed, which has forced buyers to purchase sight unseen, luckily, due to this, sellers and agents are going above and beyond to ensure the home buying process is as stress-free as possible for all parties involved. There are four easy steps to follow when purchasing a home sight unseen, and if followed properly, can make the purchase of your next home a breeze.
Research is the first and foremost most important thing that should be done in any home purchase, but especially when purchasing a home sight unseen. Do as much research as possible to ensure you are familiar with the neighborhood, surrounding areas, schools, shopping/dining, entertainment, recreation, etc. A good house can be in a bad neighborhood so by doing your due diligence prior to touring you could eliminate homes that may have looked perfect on the inside but not provided you with everything you were looking for.
Touring homes may be a little different than normal, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t possible. Virtual tours have been available for nearly the last decade, but have drastically improved within the last 3 years. In addition to viewing a 3D tour, your agent may also be able to set up a personal viewing. If this is possible, it will help immensely as your agent is able to video call you in, walk the home “with” you, answer questions, and put themselves in the buyer’s shoes allowing them to see all the home’s features first hand.
Having an agent your trust is vital in purchasing a home sight unseen. They are your eyes, so be sure you trust them with such a large investment. Regardless of whether you are seeing the home via a 3D tour, or a video call, it is always a good idea to have a copy of the floorplan in front of you to help you distinguish the flow of the house as things often do look quite different on and off the paper. As areas within the Big Island are so different, it may be a good idea to have a video done at different times of day
Inspections and appraisals in some areas were forced to also go digital for a time, where both the appraiser and inspector were required to view images of the home to complete their forms. While reputable companies should be able to see any damage or potential problems via photos, if a virtual appraisal or inspection is being ordered, it is always a good idea to hire more than one company so you can compare the findings side by side.
As the country moves into new phases, there are areas that are permitting both inspections and appraisers to enter a home to complete their findings, in this case, you may not be allowed to be present, but you can set up a time to video call and discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding either the appraisal or inspection of your new home.
I can refer expert inspections that understand Hawaiian homes and can offer excellent resources.
Closing the Deal has never felt so good! Your offer was accepted, you’ve completed your inspections, and now it’s time to get the paperwork complete. As the Corona Virus sweeps through our nation many notary services have now started allowing online and virtual notary services so in some cases, you may be able to complete all of your purchasing agreements completely remotely. If office visits are allowed in your area, you may be required to set up a meeting where you can complete all the needed forms, however, remote signing is becoming a widespread commodity across the globe.
The old saying, “There’s no place like home” has never seemed more fitting. Regardless of how many virtual tours, video calls and photos you’ve seen, you’ll enjoy exploring your new home for the “first” time as you walk through the front doors as a homeowner.