The Rise of Virtual House Hunting During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has urged us to rely more on the internet for our basic needs. We can accomplish a whole day’s worth of errands without even needing to step a foot outside the door. Stock up our fridge and pantry? Check. Settle the bills? Done. Buy a birthday gift for Grandma? Finished.

But what about house hunting? Did you know that you can also buy a house without getting up from your couch? And no, this doesn’t mean you’re just looking at listings and then calling the real estate agent to make an offer. You can visit the house as well and inspect it, see if it’s up to your expectations. You can do so through virtual reality (VR).

Because of the pandemic, businesses and industries have made it their mission to revolutionize their system to better fit for a world that practices social distancing. Real estate is quick to embrace 3-D technology to help their buyers tour houses while remaining safe from the coronavirus.

The Technology Behind Virtual House Hunting

Virtual house hunting is not new. This system has been around for a few years now, what with the rise of VR technology. But the pandemic just made it a popular mode of buying houses. And because online shopping is all the rage right now, it makes perfect sense that house buying is also treated as such.

Matterport in Silicon Valley, one of the prominent companies specializing in VR property technology, developed a system for virtual house tours. But the company says that they offer more than just the standard 360 tours that most people can watch on YouTube. Their 3-D technology offers walk-throughs for the buyers so they could really imagine themselves physically walking through the house.

Benefits for the Buyers

One of the most tedious things about house hunting is traveling more miles just to visit a couple of houses up for sale. What if you’re planning to move to the other side of the country? Does that mean you have to travel all the way there only to spend a couple of hours there?

This may be easily doable before the pandemic. Anyone could easily book a quick flight or take a train ride to wherever they want to move into. But now, traveling alone is a threat to our health safety. So we want to minimize the travel as much as possible.

With virtual house hunting, buyers are saving time and money and preserving their health safety. They’re able to visit houses in places with the best mortgage rates without ever needing to hop on a plane.

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How to Go on Virtual House Tours

Admittedly, as a buyer interested in going on virtual house tours, you do need equipment. First, you’ll need to buy a VR headset. But with the prevalence of this tech today, it’s not difficult to purchase one. In fact, in 2020 alone, the sales of VR headsets rose by 22.5 percent.

There are many high-end VR headsets being sold by Oculus and Samsung. But, if you’re not interested in shelling out a few hundred bucks, you can opt for Google’s cardboard reader. It will only cost you about $5, which is cheaper than other headsets and it’s widely available online.

Once you’ve got your headset, your phone or laptop, and a stable internet connection, then you’re set to go on a virtual house tour in search of your new home.

House hunting can be such a tiring quest. It’s not easy, visiting house after house, not being able to find one that’s perfect for us. But virtual house hunting has helped with that. Now, we’re able to visit houses while saving time and effort, and keeping us safe from COVID-19.

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