There was a time not so long ago when buying a house was a difficult but strictly local ordeal. In order to find and purchase a home, you either had to live in the area and see a “For Sale” sign in person, travel ahead of time to the community and hunt for a house over at least several days, or call up a real estate agent and see what he or she could offer.
Those days are largely gone. Today, everything from building a home to signing the final papers involves some sort of technology. The list of advances could go on for pages, but here are four of the ones that have been responsible for the most change.
Today, you could find every two-bedroom/three-bathroom home in Eugene, Oregon in about two minutes of searching on Realtor or other websites that list homes around the world, all while sitting right where you are now.
As time has passed, the competition has forced websites to include additional demographic features that encompass research into public safety, school districts, and neighborhood noise levels.
These online property search services have gotten so competitive that some companies such as Zillow offer services and links to get pre-approval for a home loan. In other words, just about everything from the initial search to making the purchase can now be done by house hunters online.
In the past, landlords regularly had a difficult job collecting money, whether by mail or in person. But recently, many landlords have moved to an online platform where residents can pay for services entirely on the web, as well as reserve amenities and request maintenance help.
These websites have even begun to appear in neighborhoods with POAs now using them to send out updates, reserve amenities, and collect annual fees.
Landlords also have the ability to hire agencies to assist with some of the really tough jobs. Aside from helping to collect rent and run maintenance, some agencies will handle evictions and field almost any other resident concerns.
These services are especially desirable for people who own a property they want to rent out, but don’t have business experience; or for landlords who own large numbers of properties and don’t care to deal with the number of issues that come up with so many properties.
Building costs bear a direct correlation to the final price and value of a home. One of the hidden costs of construction is the cost of maintenance of vehicles and equipment.
New technology and software now predict and advise supervisors when maintenance should be performed. The idea is that such tools will lower the costs of major repairs and thereby reduce the cost of homes.
Other technological advances in manufacturing and development have also made the speed and efficiency of turning out products much faster and often at a higher quality. This enables contractors to build better and stronger homes that can also be sold for a higher price.
Drones have gone from little more than a fun toy to an invaluable resource for almost every industry. In the housing market, drones are used to scope out a property prior to building, and also to take pictures for house listings.
One of the biggest complaints among homebuyers is that backyards are often made to appear larger or more spacious than they turn out to be in reality. A drone is able to take a bird’s-eye view photo or video that gives potential homebuyers a more accurate sense of the size of the front and back yards, as well as the position of the house in relation to the rest of the property.
Another advantage that drones provide is a good aerial view of what lies near the house, such as natural water sources, the neighbors’ homes, and trees and other natural features of the area.