We are surrounded by technology that can help us when we are buying a house, but sometimes we get so caught up in the exercise that we don’t think of using it. We fall back on what we are used to, or go with the flow of visiting real estate agents, or using the newspaper for open homes.
I was having a conversation with someone today about how sometimes there is a disconnect between services and applications we know exist, but we don’t think of them outside of the context of our normal daily lives.
For example, have you ever walked past someone in the supermarket, carry on and do your groceries and then realize it is someone you know through business, but you never see them outside of that relationship. Then you feel bad for not saying hello, or for nodding as if you think you might know them. They probably had the same experience.
In my new eBook Buying a House – Using Apps, Maps and Location Based Services, you will find many applications like that. For example you probably know there are web sites where you can go and check real time traffic. You probably didn’t know that there are sites where you can enter a day of the week and time of day and it will tell you that commute time. Either way, you probably wouldn’t have thought of checking how long it would take to get to work, when you were viewing open homes on a nice Sunday afternoon.
What about things like Internet access or cellphone coverage. I know a number of people who bought homes and just assumed their mobiles would work fine and that they would get fast Internet access. I once bought a home, in a hollow in an urban suburb, saw the tenants watching TV and thought nothing more of it. When we moved in, we found that unless we put up a 10 meter high aerial, or subscribed to satellite TV, we could only get one channel.
All of these things can be checked using web applications for coverage charts, but you don’t think of it at the time. What applications or sites do you use when you are looking at buying a house?