If you’re in the market for a new home, a virtual home tour is one of the safest, most convenient ways to explore houses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, builders, real estate agents, and sellers had to get more creative about how to show homes to potential buyers, so the quality of virtual tours is better than ever. Segal & Morel, serving customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, provides virtual tours and floor plans for their luxury homes on their website. Here, we offer some helpful tips for getting the most out of your virtual tour.

Make a List Of Must-Haves

Regardless of whether you’re interested in a virtual or in-person home tour, knowing what you’re looking for ahead of time makes the process easier and less overwhelming. Write a list of needs and wants you’d like to include in your new home. Ideas for living area layout, number of bedrooms, desired cosmetic features such as lighting fixtures, and extras such as a finished basement or deck all are important to include. Of course, your list will be unique. Brainstorming and writing down everything you think of can even spark new ideas when taking a home tour.

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

Mortgage preapproval gives you an idea of what you can afford and can help you avoid wasting time looking at houses you’re not in the market to buy. A preapproval letter also shows builders you’re serious about purchasing a new home and makes it easier for them to advise you on what will work for your budget.

Check Out Floor Plans

Looking at a floor plan and having it handy during your virtual home tour makes it easier to follow along and envision how rooms are oriented and connected. It also can help you visualize room size and ceiling height. Print floor plans before starting the tour so you can make notes as you go along.

Jot Down Details

Keep a pen and paper handy to write down specific details about what you like and what you don’t. The nice thing about a virtual home tour is that you can pause, go back, and rewatch if there are certain things you’d like to scrutinize. This is a good way to discern details that may not have occurred to you, such as the positioning of electrical outlets, windows, appliances, and lighting. If you’re building a new home, you’ll collaborate with designers and builders to create a space that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle.

Don’t Forget to Look Outside

Some builders who offer virtual home tours also provide videos that show what the exterior of a home, yard, and neighborhood look like. For example, if available, checking out a video of drone footage of the area can give you a great idea of nearby amenities, the natural beauty of the area, and how a community is situated.

Ask Questions

After you’ve toured a few homes, don’t hesitate to contact the builder and ask questions. If you’re comfortable with an in-person showing, set one up so you can get a real feel for the home and neighborhood.

Explore the Area

Before beginning any home search or taking virtual tours, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the community. If you’re nearby, take a walk or drive around. You also can research schools, transportation, commute times, recreational and cultural activities, restaurants, shopping, and other pursuits that interest you by checking out neighborhood groups on the internet and local information on a builder’s website.

Be Patient With Yourself

It’s best to look at virtual home tours on a larger screen if possible – it can be really hard to take in all the details on a smartphone. Technical difficulties happen, and virtual home tours aren’t for everyone. If you get frustrated or feel like you can’t gather the information you need from a virtual home tour, don’t hesitate to contact a builder to help walk you through it or schedule an in-person showing. With a little patience and persistence, you’ll soon be enjoying the home of your dreams.

Contact Us to Learn More About Finding Your New Home

Segal & Morel offers virtual and in-person home tours in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that can help you find a home that fits your style and needs. Our 50 years of experience in construction is built on a foundation of quality materials, craftsmanship, and exceptional service. Our green, Energy Star® certified homes enable you to live in comfort while keeping costs low and minimizing your impact on the environment. Contact us online or call our office in Easton, PA, at 610-923-8422.