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If you are a new house hunter and have not started looking at online real estate listings, you may not be familiar with the virtual tour, but it’s possible to get a very good look at a property inside and out using video walkthroughs.

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House Hunting and Home Loans in the Era of Coronavirus

April 18, 2020

House Hunting and Home Loans in the Era of Coronavirus
Market experts say the housing market is in “disarray” in the wake of coronavirus headlines; mortgage loan interest rates have hit their lowest numbers in many years. But with the cancellation of public gatherings like the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston and the media festival South By Southwest (SXSW) some worry that going out at all might expose them to the virus.

But like so many other things in American society, workarounds to these concerns are made possible via technology. In this particular case the technology has been used for quite some time. It’s just now VERY relevant; the virtual real estate tour.

If you are a new house hunter and have not started looking at online real estate listings, you may not be familiar with the virtual tour, but it’s possible to get a very good look at a property inside and out using video walkthroughs, 3D walkthroughs that allow you to adjust the angle, height, and position of the view in the room.

It was started likely as an instant-gratification perk for those who need answers about a home, but are too eager to wait to see it in person.

And now we find consumer blogs and real estate blogs discussing this virtual tour option as a go-to for those who need to search for a new home in the midst of the coronavirus news.

And yes, there are still in-person real estate walkthroughs available, but for those who worry about leaving home for any reason outside the necessities (think Washington State or New York City here, rural America is likely far less worried for now) the virtual walk-through is an excellent way to continue your search for a home.

And if you decide to do a real tour of a house for sale? The usual precautions apply. If you wear a face mask, chances are good that the mask will protect only your peace of mind as most drug store face masks don’t have the right configuration to protect against coronavirus.

But if you carry hand sanitizer, refuse skin-to-skin contact like handshakes or even fist bumps, and avoid touching your face, the in-person tour will be fine.

That’s assuming your tour guide and all others you encounter are taking similar precautions, but in the current environment there is nothing at all wrong with informing your realtor you won’t be shaking hands or making physical contact.

In other words, it’s OK to consider house hunting at the time of this writing as long as you respect the coronavirus issue. When is it NOT ok? When you are symptomatic, or when your local officials warn against non-essential travel. Don’t disregard the advice of your local health authority for best results.

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