Buying real estate sight unseen
We get a lot of requests for information from people who would like to live in New Orleans. Sometimes, they are out of town and want to find the right place to use when they visit – a second or vacation home, if you will. Occasionally, we find that one of those buyers in interested in buying real estate sight unseen because they believe it’s a bargain.
Here’s why I think it’s worthwhile to spend the money to come to town and see these homes for yourself.
It may be right next door to a blighted property. While the price may, on paper, seem like a deal, there’s a reason that some properties are listed below what you might consider market value. If the location is one that suffered substantial damage during a hurricane, the house might be a complete renovation. The block, however, might be a not-so-good surprise when you see it in person.
You may not like the area. Pictures can only show you so much. Actually driving around a neighborhood to see if it fits your wants, needs and lifestyle is priceless.
You may not like the quality of the finishes. Yes, you can see in the photos what the faucets and light fixtures and floors look like. But being able to touch them and see them for yourself can’t be replaced.
You may not have a clear grasp of the inspection issues. The ability to be present and have time to really talk to the home inspectors cannot be underestimated. Sometimes what looks like no big deal on a report can be an item that you might consider a deal breaker if you were able to see it for yourself or hear the inspector’s take on it personally.
I’ve worked before with sellers who purchased their home without seeing it first. Only once have I heard them say they would do it again. Starting your home search online is convenient and a time saver in weeding through what you don’t like. But when it’s time to put your signature on a purchase agreement, online isn’t enough.