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Would you buy a home without a walk-through?

For most people in New York, the process of purchasing a new home is personal and hands-on. It may involve scoping out properties online, comparing what is available with your wish list, and making multiple visits to the homes that are most appealing to you. Being able to step into the home and examine its hidden spaces may help you make a decision when several properties are similar.

The opportunity to physically inspect a property is not always available to every home buyer, especially those who live outside the U.S. Since the demand for U.S. real estate is still high among foreign buyers, it is not unusual for those in other countries to purchase their homes before they ever set foot in them.

The new age of home buying

In a lot of ways, technology aids those looking to buy a home outside their own country. If you live in Brazil or elsewhere, you can see a property using tools such as FaceTime, Skype and others. For example, you can contact a real estate agent, attorney or friend in the United States who will attend an open house or schedule a viewing. Your contact can create a virtual, real-time tour, which may give you a better idea of the character of the building than photos from a website.

There are some factors to keep in mind if you are considering making a real estate purchase without physically visiting the property, for example:

  • Using this method may improve your chances of purchasing property that may sell quickly in a hot market.
  • The U.S. has many real estate websites you may not be able to access overseas, so you can seek help in finding information from that resource.
  • Photographs of homes can be deceiving, often making rooms seem larger or brighter than they are.
  • Seeing a home virtually does not always give you a complete picture of what you are buying, for example, how the home smells, how complicated it is to reach by car or simply if you would feel comfortable living there.

Overall, purchasing a home without physically seeing it is nothing new. Many international sales of commercial properties happen without the new owner visiting the U.S. Additionally, the process of a newly built home often begins long before contractors lay the foundation and is typically based on drawings or floorplans. With the right assistance in the United States, you may be able to make your purchase of your new home worry-free and satisfying.

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