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A home is one of the most expensive and most life-changing things you can buy – so it makes sense to step foot in it and look around before you commit to buying. However, you don’t have to view a property before making an offer. In fact, there are many people that buy homes without viewing them first.
This post explains the circumstances where you may want to buy a property without viewing it and how you can reduce the risks of buying a home ‘unseen’.
When to skip the viewing
Buying a home without a viewing may be necessary if you’re planning on moving long-distance. You may not have the time or money to travel out and view properties beforehand. Buying a property unseen allows you to move directly into the home without having to spend time/money travelling to a viewing beforehand. You could always rent out temporary accommodation locally so that you can view homes in person, however this is an added cost to budget for.
Obviously, if you’re buying a home that hasn’t been built yet, this may be another time where you have to skip the viewing. New housing projects in prime locations often get a lot of interest – if you want a chance of snapping up one of these properties, you may have no choice but to buy ‘off-plan’ before the property is built.
Buying homes unseen was also popular in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. For those who are worried about getting sick or spreading sickness, it can make sense to skip the viewing.
Reducing the risks of buying a home unseen
Buying a home unseen does mean that you could end up with a property with unexpected flaws. You can only gauge so much from looking at pictures on a property listing site. This is why it’s often worth taking other measures to make sure the property is right. Below are just a few ways to reduce the risk of buying a home unseen.
Visit the display home
If you’re buying a property that hasn’t been built yet, it’s likely that there will be a display home to look around such as this Dubbo display home. These are prototype homes that you can look around in-person. Your home may have a slightly different orientation, but you’ll generally get a good idea of the space and the feel of the home.
Try a virtual viewing
When it comes to viewing a property in a location that you cannot travel to, another solution could be to ask an agent or seller to conduct a virtual viewing. This involves carrying out a video call with the agent/seller so that they can tour you around on their phone. Check out this guide to virtual viewings at Portolio.
Get on Google Street View
To take a look at the outside of the property and the local neighbourhood, why not try going for an explore on Google Street View? This can give you a good idea of the surroundings. Just be wary that Google Street View may not be up to date and the area may have changed since the photos were taken.
Organise a home survey
It’s worth hiring a surveyor to look around the property to inspect it for hidden damage. They can then relay any concerns to you over the phone, potentially preventing you from buying a property that could be expensive to repair in the long run.