The coronavirus is completely changing the real estate industry, and stay-at-home orders have presented unique challenges for buyers. Not only are they unable to tour properties in person, but, in some areas, they also can’t walk around the neighbourhood and get a feel for whether it’s the kind of neighbourhood they want to call home.
But just because you can’t explore an area in person right now doesn’t mean you can’t get a feel for a potential neighbourhood—and whether it’s the right fit for you, your family, and your new home.
A recent article from realtor.com outlined strategies buyers can use to “test drive” a new neighbourhood while staying safe at home, including:
- Check out local publications and social media. Many neighbourhoods have their own newspapers, magazines, or other publications, which can give you insights into the neighbourhood vibe. You can also search Facebook groups or use neighbourhood-specific social media apps like NextDoor to get a feel for the area.
- Take a (virtual) walk. You may not be able to visit a neighbourhood in person right now, but thanks to Google Street View, you can take a virtual walk and explore the area.
- Call a real estate agent. A real estate agent that specializes in the area can give you key insights and details about the neighbourhood, and help you determine whether an area is the right fit for what you’re looking for.
So, what does this mean for you? If you’re in the market for a new home and want to get a feel for the neighbourhood, stay-at-home orders don’t have to stop you. With a little bit of creativity, you can explore neighbourhoods near and far—without ever leaving the comfort and safety of your home.