By Julia Reinert, Martin Communications

Six months ago, purchasing your dream home looked different than it does today.  It was rare for a buyer to undergo the entire experience virtually as that was typically reserved for extenuating circumstances, a reason that prevented buyers from traveling to their new location.  Since then, the onset of a global pandemic has forced home builders to provide alternative options for the sales, design, financing and closing of their products.

So how do you navigate these new waters to ensure that you are aware of proper processes before you begin the home buyers’ journey?  NewHomesandIdeas.com has laid out the below roadmap to help direct you through the “new normal” for purchasing new home construction.

Know Before You Go

Researching for your new dream home is still relatively the same. According to a 2019 report put out by the National Association of Realtors, more than 85% of all home buyers began their initial search using online or referral sources.  However, at some point in the process most buyers want to visit model homes, design centers, and community amenities before moving forward.  Like most industries, homebuilders have taken every precaution to provide safe environments.  If you are eager to tour a home or make a design studio appointment, your best course of action is to visit your preferred homebuilders’ websites for the latest information on their current practices.  It may be required to call ahead or make an appointment and policies in place may include but are not limited to wearing masks, temperature checks, hand sanitizing, and limiting the number of people in one space at a time.

Meritage Homes, a leader in green building standards, boasts a website landing page dedicated to their sanitation and safety procedures.  HHHunt Homes also touts a link on their home page informing the public of their commitment to the “health, wellness and safety of our team members, residents, families, customers and guests.”

Not only are these companies abiding by CDC regulations and guidelines but they are also setting expectations for their clients and their employees.

Virtually A Different Experience

The effects of COVID-19 have only increased our dependency on online information, encouraging homebuilders to take the guesswork out of virtual buying by offering streamlined processes via 3D Matterport Tours, digital floorplans, videos, and even social media channels.  It is unlikely that this trend will disappear anytime in the future as a new Zillow survey shows that “1 out of 3 buyers would prefer taking a virtual or video home tour instead of touring a home in person even after the current coronavirus outbreak ends.”  In fact, another Zillow survey confirms that “36 percent of Americans would be more likely to try to buy a home entirely online.”

Whether you want to conduct every step of the experience from the comfort of your sofa or just some of them, your options to connect with your homebuilder and own the process are endless!

Let’s say that you are interested in Arcadia West by Meritage, a new home community on the Cary Greenway in the heart of West Apex.  You can view floor plans, download their brochure, explore their community video and more, all without stepping foot outside. Still have questions?  You can contact a Raleigh Division team member or access their live chat tool.  To make things even easier, the Meritage Homes website features an article about their virtual homebuying process to better explain how you can “Find, tour, finance, and purchase the home of your dreams without ever leaving your couch.”  Once you have discovered their Meritage difference and their energy-efficient building process, you can utilize their online payment calculators, get approved online and receive mortgage assistance and advice, all online.

Photo: Arcadia West by Meritage Homes

You can also go high-tech and view an augmented reality video such as the one for The Enclave at Leesville by HHHunt Homes.  Though they are still taking contact information for their interest list, you can get a visual of what this exciting community will encompass.  Located in the desirable Brier Creek area of Durham, NC, Enclave at Leesville will feature low-maintenance living and planned amenities.  Residents will enjoy convenience to premier dining, shopping and entertainment!

Photo: The Enclave at Leesville by HHHunt Homes

Let’s Get Social

There is no doubt that social media has changed almost every aspect of our lives and the home buying process is not exempt.  In the wake of COVID-19 restrictions and a complete, world-wide lifestyle change, homebuilders have used social media to keep their followers informed and educated.  Social posts including photos, videos and links to 3D Matterport Tours have been instrumental in helping buyers to view their options virtually.  Adams Homes social media campaign is doing a great job of informing and enticing the public to view their product and communities in the manner that is best for them. Their “newly sold” posts capture their homeowner’s excitement while exhibiting safe practices and social distancing and their available home posts display beautiful photos as well as links, videos and more!

Adams Homes, one of the largest privately-held home builders in the country builds new home communities all over the southeastern United States such as The Preserve in Benson.  The Preserve, featuring award-winning floor plans is conveniently located to both I-95 and I-40, easily accessible to Raleigh and Fayetteville.

As you can see, purchasing your new dream home really has never been easier.  No matter your personal preference, homebuilders have options available to help you achieve your new home buying goals.

Photo: The Preserve by Adams Homes

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