If you’ve ever bought a home, you know that there is often a gap between the impression a place makes from its online images vs. what you actually see when you visit in person. Pictures are nice and a good screening tool, but they don’t come close to substituting for walking through a home.
So of course, it’s important to actually be there physically to see a place you may want to buy. After all, it’s probably not cheap, or a trivial impulse purchase. It’s an expensive item that someone can also call home.
Thus, it stands to reason that the more time you have to look at a place before buying, the better. Along those lines, I came across this article on Yahoo! Finance that talks about how someone did more than just visit a home and tour it before considering it for purchase. Rather, the guy discussed in the article actually did a preview of the home. Meaning, he apparently had the chance to spend 12 hours in the place.
Talk about an extended tour! This is a good amount of time, where someone can really learn a lot more than they could in just one or two quick visits.
I happen to think this is a great idea – particularly from the perspective of the buyer. If you’re going to be shelling out serious money for a home (as most people seem prone to do), and a lot of this money will come from money you borrow through a mortgage, it stands to reason that you should spend some time analyzing what you’re getting.
When I bought a place, I made sure to make several visits to contenders. I wouldn’t be surprised if the real estate agent was sick of us, but it just made sense to look at a place at least 3 times before making a decision. Also, those visits shouldn’t be 10 minute walk-throughs as dictated by the agent; rather, they should be at your pace. If this means 30 to 45 minutes, why not?
If someone could go even further and spend half of a day in a place, that could really make a huge difference in terms of noticing things that you might not otherwise catch. Also, you can get a sense of whether or not the place just “fits” with you, if it is comfortable or not.
From the perspective of a seller, I think it might not be as great, but it could still be a good opportunity to close the deal to a seller who’s really interested and working through a final decision.
Considering that many people will search through online reviews for phones, gadgets, and other lesser expenses – it makes sense that much more time and attention should be put toward making a decision on a home. This is something people have to (usually) borrow money to purchase. Given that I’m an advocate of eliminating mortgage debt from one’s balance sheet, I think this seems like an interesting concept!
My Questions for You
If you have purchased a condo or house, how much time did you spend looking at it before coming up with a final decision?
What do you think of the notion of getting a bigger block of time to comfortably spend time in a place, like 12 hours?
Why do you think it is that some people will spend so much time analyzing smaller purchases, but will give proportionately less time to some bigger ticket items?