Philip Ottaviani's Blog
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Gone are the years when consumers swore that they would never buy anything on the Internet. Today not only are people buying books, clothes and shoes online, people are buying music, pictures and pets online. They're also plopping down money and buying household appliances and furniture online.
Buying a house online may be the last thing you want to do
Each of these are products that people once passionately vowed that they'd never get off the Internet. During the Internet's early days, Americans were adamant that they would never share their banking or credit card information online.
Who would have known that several years later some of these same adults would be shopping for a house online. Yet, that's just what people are doing.
However, not only are people shopping for houses online. People are actually buying houses online, houses that they haven't walked through or toured. Videos, pictures and detailed listings are major tools that real estate websites use to attract home buyers. But, that doesn't mean that buying a house online is always a good choice.
Weighing the facts and the pros and cons of online house buying
To get the most out of buying a house without taking a tour, follow the same steps that you'd follow if you were shopping for a house offline. For example, set a budget that details the total amount that you're willing to spend on a house.
Within this price include items like closing costs, realtor commissions, inspection fees and title fees. It's also important that you weigh the pros and cons of buying a house without taking a tour of the home. Among the not to be overlooked pros and cons are:
- Competitive offers - You could get a house at a great price if you buy a house online. On the other hand, should a house receive numerous offers, you could find yourself in an aggressive bidding contest. Develop an attachment to a house and you might think it makes good sense to put in the highest bid. Because you haven't seen the house yet, this could prove disastrous. As with any other deal, know when to walk away.
- Title deeds - There are reputable and non-reputable companies doing business online. Get title deeds checked. Make sure that a house you're thinking about buying online has been thoroughly inspected by a licensed inspector.
- Fine print - Read through the fine print on the mortgage contract. Depending on the contract details, you could be positioning yourself to pay a house off early or you could be getting ready to sign a contract that's full of loopholes.
- Quality lender - Only deal with quality mortgage lenders. Do that and buying a house online could end up saving you time and money.
Don't turn away from pros and cons of buying a house without touring property
Shopping for a house is not easy. It doesn't matter if you're shopping for a house online or offline. There are risks involved in both situations.
Even if you walk through a house, you might not be aware of all issues that are associated with the property. For example, you might not know about the mold in the bathroom linen closet or the leak in the basement.
It's awareness that could help you to avoid costly problems down the road. The more awareness you have of the pros and cons of buying a house without touring the home, the more you could set yourself up for house shopping and buying success.