It goes without saying that the act of buying itself has changed dramatically in just the last five to ten years. Everything from luggage to jeans to music is now available in so many forms and through so many different technologies that it is often difficult to keep all the options straight.
Big purchases, like smaller ones, have benefited from the advent of new economic tools as well. Twenty years ago, it was stocks and bonds. Ten years ago, it was cars. Now, it's your next house. How can technology help buy a house? You just might be surprised.
A Map of Everything
The distances the average home buyer can cover now when looking for a house are literally astronomical compared to what they were before. To see a house in 1995, a buyer would need to be physically present at curbside. Now, a web browser or mobile phone app can not only display the location of the home, but a picture of the property itself.
While this by itself might be enough to convince the average person that technology has done its job, what about the neighborhood?
A Map of Everything Else
Normally, a home buyer would want to ask an agent from a firm like Keller Williams Realty about the neighborhood, the relative prices of other homes in the area and how many homes have been sold recently. The locations of schools, grocery stores and parks might also be of some interest.
Not only is all of that information now a click away, but it can be stored, analyzed and viewed historically. The financial advantages alone for a buyer are enough to recommend utilizing this kind of technology from the beginning of the home buying process to the end. But the ability to know exactly how far your front door is from your kids' school? It's never been possible before. At least without a lot of extra work.
Dollars and Cents
Once a home buyer has used several orbiting satellites to find their next property, a few more clicks are all it takes to dial up a lender. There are now sites that allow buyers to invite lenders to make offers for loans in sortable lists. The man-hours required to replicate this kind of information twenty years ago would have been prohibitive even if a buyer had a team of people helping them.
Not only does this make the buying process better, but it can save a future homeowner tens of thousands of dollars in interest and extra fees.
Many home buyers aren't aware of the tools that are already available, and few can predict what comes next. But if you are looking to buy any kind of property, technology is making it faster and less expensive every day.
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. The information in this article is credited to Keller Williams Realty.