Is it just me? Every time I pick up the iPad I find that my wife has been on some estate agent website looking at house. She tells me that she doesn’t want to move, and if we’re honest here the real reason is just to have a snoop around other peoples’ homes. Y’know, getting an idea of their decor, how they’ve used the space and so on.
When did this turn into a pastime?
I’m sure way back before house-buying went “digital” we never really made a special trip to the local estate agent to look in the window unless, heaven forbid, we were actually looking to move house. Why are we so obsessed with looking at houses online if it’s not just to see the decor ?
Like Facebook, I think it’s also our own nosey nature that pulls us in. It brings us onto social networking sites or, in this case, places like Zoopla. We get chance to have a look behind the glass, and it’s not often that you get chance to walk through a complete strangers house.
The internet has now become the first port of call for many. Want a question answering? Google it. Want to see what that house in Granger Drive looks like? It’ll be online. Even if it’s not for sale you can swoop down via Google Maps or virtually hang around outside with Streetview. Instead of ringing an agent, we’ll naturally now head straight for the net. Plumb this technology into Google Glass and, if interested in buying a property but you’re unable to actually go there and look yourself, the estate agent could take you on a live virtual tour. Simply ask questions, talk to the representative and guide them around the property as you wish. Remote control house buying could be the next stage – a leap on from video and picture overviews and a whole lot more interactive too.
So, in a few years we could find a house online, view it online and even get all the conveyancing done across the web too. That latter part, which involves solicitors and heaps of paperwork, is currently planted firmly in the paper-and-pen age, with old paper documents and plans still pushed across desks in order to transfer the ownership of a home. However, finding a solicitor is made easier by sites like Saga.co.uk, where you can even get services offering a reimbursement on your fees if a deal falls through.
It looks like I’m going to be having a load more houses showing up on my internet history and more apps dedicated to buying and selling houses for quite some time to come.