Judie Docs, Executive Officer, North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA), CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM

If you are planning to buy a home but you are not quite ready to view several dozen homes in person, start by looking at homes online. You will be surprised by the number of online showrooms, photos and even 3D videos available of homes to help you narrow down your search. Websites such as Realtor.com, Redfin.com, Trulia.com and your local custom home builders have detailed information about home interiors. Below are a few expert tips to help you organize and find information to support your virtual house hunt.

Create a List. If you are navigating many websites or watching hours of home videos online, make a list of the homes you enjoyed viewing. Keep careful notes of the listing descriptions. By creating a note taking system that works for you, you will be able to easily compare properties when you are ready to narrow down your list. Do not forget to make a list of questions about the property you may have for the realtor.

Ask About Floor Plans. If you are not physically walking through the home, it might be challenging to visualize the space by only scrolling through photos online. Ask a realtor for a copy of the home’s floor plan. Once you have an idea of the layout and size of the space, you will be able to get a better grasp of the photos or videos of the home.

Research the neighborhood. Not all websites with home listings will give you a sense of the neighborhood. To help get a complete profile of the home and make an informed decision about the area around your home, conduct a general online search about the neighborhood. You will be surprised the amount of information you can learn about the activities that happen in the area or the local school system.

Drive by the home. If you are ready to get out of the house while maintaining social distancing, what better way than to drive by the homes you are considering. You will gain a better understanding of what amenities are nearby and a sense of the community. If you are not working from home or will be returning to work soon, try out your work commute.

We are your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic.   So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at www.ncbia.com or call 440-934-1090.   We also have a job posting board (under the Industry tab).

Just Built!  Our 24/7 Virtual Parade of Homes!!!  Allows you to look at some of our builders’ new homes and communities on your mobile device or computer at your leisure (including our remodelers) We know time is our greatest asset and via our NCBIA Virtual Parade of Homes, we save you time looking for a new home or a community that fits your lifestyle.  The Virtual Parade of Homes is open online 24/7.  Many of the homes featured in our ALL NEW Virtual Parade host regular open house hours for those consumers who are looking to tour the actual homes.  You can click through to builder websites to see what they have to offer.

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Homeownership is truly a cornerstone of the American way of life.  North Coast Building Industry – Come Build with Us!