Where do you start when you’re ready to look for a new home? Your first thought might be to jump in the car and begin touring new home communities, and that’s perfectly valid. But without focus and a few ideas about what you want, you may be burning a lot of gas and time and seeing little in the way of results.
Virtual home tours are a great starting point. They were already popular before the pandemic, but in the last few years, the benefits of virtual tours have become more apparent, and the number of virtual home tours has been increasing. The pandemic accelerated the use of many virtual services, especially those for home buying. In 2021, 35% of marketers used virtual reality to market products and services.
Should you buy a home entirely via an online platform? There are many things to consider when purchasing a home, and some intangibles are not easy to gather from a virtual platform. But virtual tours are an excellent place to start the homebuying process while also avoiding the time and hassle of loading the family in the car and driving to multiple communities.
Here are our tips for getting the most out of a virtual homebuying experience:
Location will likely be the first factor you will want to consider. Do you want to live in the city, the suburbs, or in a more rural area that has a small-town feel? Consider the different price points in each of these types of communities and how this affects the size of home you can afford.
Next, take some time to talk with family members about the most critical priorities for your next home. It could be helpful to make three lists: must-haves, nice-to-haves, and the icing on the cake.
For instance, four bedrooms, great schools, and a community pool and recreation area may be must-haves. Maybe your nice-to-have is a park nearby and walking trails for family fitness. Perhaps the icing on the cake is a nearby fishing pond.
Keep your location preferences and critical priorities in mind as you begin to browse communities and homes online.
Take Virtual Tours of Homes by Different Builders
Once you have identified some locations you like, look for available homes online. There are many excellent new home communities that offer the charm of small-town life just a short drive from the excitement of the city.
Visit some new home community websites. Do they have homes for sale with virtual tours? Can you do a virtual home walkthrough or even a tour of the community’s amenities? These options give you a place to begin investigating.
Most new home communities offer several builders for potential residents to consider. Take virtual tours of homes in the community built by different builders. Look for an easy way to compare prices and features the builders offer. This comparison will give you an idea of your options and whether the community fits your needs and budget.
Does the house look like a place you could comfortably live? Can you see yourself walking in at the end of a long day and sighing with relaxation? Perhaps enjoying family time at the pavilion and pool?
Write Down Your Questions
When touring a home or neighborhood virtually, it is easy to forget some of the most important questions to ask. Builder’s warranties, HOA policies, utility providers, and future development plans in the area are a few things you may want to learn more about.
If you write down the questions while shopping online, you’ll have those in hand when you are ready to visit a few communities in person. When touring physically, you’ll quickly be able to compare neighborhoods based on similar criteria.
Explore the Area
It’s just as important to know what’s around your new home and neighborhood as it is to have the ideal home. Once you’ve selected a few communities from virtual tours, take a little time to explore the surrounding areas. You can even do this online to narrow your search further before visiting in person. Online tools like Google Maps and Google Earth make this much easier than you might think.
Lilyana by Hillwood is conveniently located in beautiful Celina, Texas within the growing Collin County. The appealing area and proximity to Frisco and Plano make it an ideal location for a busy family, with shopping, dining, major corporate centers, and entertainment just a short drive away.
Investigate the Schools
One of the most critical priorities for families buying a new home is to ensure that the schools have academic excellence and extracurricular variety that keep students engaged in learning.
Lilyana is located in the highly rated Prosper School District, and children in the community attend Johnson Elementary School, Rogers Middle School, and Prosper High School. Lilyana Elementary School, located within the Lilyana new home community, is slated to open in fall 2023.
Make an In-Person Visit to the Communities You Like Best
A virtual tour is a wonderful tool to help narrow down your search. Once you have a pared-down list of the new home neighborhoods that excite you the most, go! Set an appointment to visit and get a feel for the place.
This stage is where the intangibles are most important. What is the feel of the neighborhood? Is it a place you could call home? Do the amenities measure up to the online version? Are your most-used services close to home?
Come Home to Lilyana by Hillwood in Celina
The families coming to Lilyana by Hillwood are not looking for a house; they’re looking for a home. They want a place to live whole, happy, and satisfying lives, which is what our residents have found here. Find your new home by viewing our builders and the designs they offer at our community.
Lilyana welcomes you and your family to come and see our beautiful community. Contact our builders to schedule an in-person tour of model homes and Lilyana’s many amenities.