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 neighborhood and get a feel for whether it’s the kind of neighborhood 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 neighborhood—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 neighborhood while they’re sheltering in place, including:
- Check out local publications and social media. Many neighborhoods have their own newspapers, magazines, or other publications, which can give you insights into the neighborhood vibe. You can also search Facebook groups or use neighborhood-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 neighborhood 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 neighborhood, 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 neighborhood, stay-at-home orders don’t have to stop you. With a little bit of creativity, you can explore neighborhoods near and far—without ever leaving the comfort and safety of your home.
See also: Would you buy a home Sight Unseen?