Your Guide to Shopping for a Home Online
Say goodbye to the days of solely relying on "For Sale" signs and open house flyers when looking for a home to buy. In our digital world, a few clicks of the mouse can take homebuyers on a journey, viewing communities nationwide. Shopping for a home has officially gone digital.
We know shopping for a home online is not as easy as finding the one you love and instantly adding it to your virtual shopping cart. There are still some traditional house hunting processes, like touring the floorplan and asking questions, that are needed even when shopping online. Luckily, Shea Homes is here to help provide you with a guide to seamless virtual home shopping.
How to Virtually Search For Your Dream Home
Your dream home is at your fingertips. Those looking for a home can instantly visit websites to access home location, price, number of rooms and surrounding amenities. Our Shea Homes website allows buyers to browse a selection of homes across Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California, and North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Florida and even allows you to filter your searches by region, bedrooms, bathrooms, and price.
When starting your search for your home online, we suggest narrowing down your dream home requirements, so you are not overwhelmed by the possibilities. How many bedrooms would you ideally want? Do you want to live in a city or in the suburbs? Are you looking for a flex space that can be used for a home office? To help you narrow down your home search, we have created a downloadable Home Selection Checklist to cross-reference during the virtual home search process.
Download Want Vs. Need Home Selection Checklist
Tips for Navigating Virtual Home Tours
We know that everyone has a busy schedule and it can be hard to find time to narrow down a long list of homes you are viewing online. In lieu of having to schedule an appointment and travel to the home for a walkthrough, homebuyers can take virtual tours to check out every detail of the homes they are interested in.
What types of questions should homebuyers be asking during a virtual tour? Here are a few we recommend considering:
What are the dimensions of the rooms?
Is there an HOA?
How do I qualify for a mortgage?
What community amenities are offered?
At Shea Homes, we have opened our virtual doors to allow anyone to shop virtually for their dream home. Homebuyers can meet with a Shea Homes Community Representative who will provide a 1:1 guided virtual tour of a model home, letting you view the floorplan room by room while asking real-time questions about home features or pricing. You’ll also be able to chat about the diverse amenities offered at the different communities, such as fitness centers, pools, culinary studios, and more.
For more tips and questions to consider, check out our full guide for navigating an open house.
Learn more about the virtual home buying program.
Know How Much Home You Can Afford
As you are home searching, it is important to understand your price points in terms of home cost, down payments, and mortgage rates. This will help you determine how much home you can really afford. Prior to calculating what you can afford, we suggest you first get to know your credit score. You credit score can help determine what kind of loan mortgage rate you get.
Once you understand your upfront financial health, you can calculate how much home you can afford using your income, monthly payments, and credit. As a general rule, your mortgage payment should be no more than 20% of your gross monthly income. During the virtual tour process, you will be able to talk one on one with Shea Homes advisors who can help chat through any financial questions.
Shea Mortgage offers free, online calculators to help you with the mortgage process.
Finding Trusted Advisors
Shopping for a house requires a lot of trust in your lenders, financial advisors, and real-estate agents. It is important to have trustworthy representation dedicated to ensuring a smooth homebuying process. One way to get a feel of various advisors and builders virtually, is to read online reviews and check out real homeowner stories. Facebook reviews, Yelp reviews, and/or homeowner blog stories can be a great place to start when searching for the right team of people to help you during the virtual homebuying journey.
Our team of Shea Homes New Home Advisors are available 7 days a week and are committed to working with those shopping for a home to determine the right home plan based on lifestyle, preferences, and budget. We can also offer additional details about a community or area and are happy to help you discover a community that the right fit for you.
You can chat, call, or submit a general inquiry to our New Home Advisors at any time by visiting our contact us page.
Digital house hunting allows homebuyers the flexibility to tour homes from virtually anywhere. For those ready to embark on their virtual house hunt, our biggest piece of advice is to find the right team of people who you trust to help guide you from the beginning stages to the closing stages of the home buying journey.
This is especially true when searching for homes in another state, or when circumstances prevent homebuyers from viewing homes in person. In these cases, home advisors will play a larger role helping find the right home, be present for any on-site inspections, and guide them through the proper paperwork. At Shea Homes, our knowledgeable sales team and mortgage team will guide homebuyers every step of the way, providing constant communication, home information, and mortgage advice.
Resources For Online Homebuyers