Not ready to purchase? Go to an open house!
Think open houses are just for people who are in the market to buy? Think again. While it may sound like a waste of time to visit open houses if you're not actually ready to purchase a home, you can learn a lot that will prepare you for when you finally are ready.
The benefits of attending an open house
One big benefit of checking out open houses is the opportunity to learn more about what you want in a home — your deal breakers as well as your negotiables. You'll also get a more realistic idea of what's available in particular areas and in your price range.
Speaking of neighborhoods, going to an open house provides more incentive to get to know an area better. Take advantage of the trip you've just made to go exploring. You may find that a particular "dream neighborhood" doesn't offer features or amenities that you'd really like or need, so you can cross it off your wish list — saving you time later.
The rise of the "virtual open house"
Over the past few years, virtual reality has become an important tool for real estate marketing. Potential buyers can now tour homes virtually using smart phones or VR goggles.
VR can give you the freedom to explore homes in neighborhoods you might otherwise not get to. It also means that open houses can be open 24/7 without ever bothering the seller.
Prep now, save time later
Of course, there's more to the home buying process than open houses. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be when you finally hit the pavement to hunt for a home of your own. Open houses are also a great way to meet real estate agents and find one you really connect with.
In the meantime, Bank of America offers a wealth of tools and resources you can begin to explore as well.
- The new First-time Homebuyers website helps you learn what you need to know about the ins and outs of buying a home.
- The online Bank of America Real Estate Center® allows you to search for available listings and find out the value of homes in your area.
- The mortgage payment calculator can help you figure out how much home you can comfortably afford.
- Get information on different types of mortgage loans.
- Better Money Habits® is a financial education website with articles, graphics and videos designed to help you learn everything you need to know about home buying and other important financial topics.
Whether you're planning to buy this year, next year or another few years down the road, I'm here to help. Contact me for more resources that could be available to you.