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Old 08-29-2019, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Kansas City North
4,152 posts, read 7,448,616 times
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Never bought any without looking, but when we moved out of town in 2006 I did a lot of on line searching before we went on our house hunting trip. I had a list of several houses I really, really liked based on what I saw on line, but when I saw them in person a lot of them were disappointing. We did buy one of the houses on my list, though.
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Old 08-29-2019, 02:48 PM
 
1,159 posts, read 806,773 times
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You would have to be one special kind of low intelligence to purchase a house sight-unseen.
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Old 08-29-2019, 04:03 PM
 
328 posts, read 401,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpydove View Post
You would have to be one special kind of low intelligence to purchase a house sight-unseen.
I disagree. When we were stationed in Hawaii and got orders back to the mainland there was no way we could make a house hunting trip and base housing was being renovated so it wasnít an option. There was nothing in decent shape on the rental market. That meant buying a house. We found a great realtor and had her send us pictures and video of the exterior and interior of prospective homes and used google earth to get a feel for the area. Once we narrowed it down our sponsor in my husbandís new unit did the drive to and from base and sent us video and took a look at the houses to make sure the realtor hadnít overlooked anything. We decided on one, made an offer, had all the inspections done and didnít see it in person until we arrived CONUS two months later.

It was a great house and we were happy there for four years until it was time to move again!

Buying sight unseen means you need to have people you trust on the ground acting for you and itís more important than ever that you do your research and due diligence (and ask the right questions) during the process but Iím not the only one I know who has had a successful outcome.

We arenít ďlow intelligence,Ē we are military families. We know how to be flexible, adapt and thrive when faced with all kinds of challenges. Buying a home sight unseen was a minor one in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,853 posts, read 825,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
I bought my present and last home before I got to walk through it. They were in developments so I got to walk through the model of my house, but not my actual house.
That's common with newly built developments and is not the same as the risk one takes buying a house long distance based on just photos and sayso.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,831 posts, read 19,068,598 times
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We've bought a couple of them without being able to see inside first, but we were able to see the yard, neighborhood and location.
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Old 08-30-2019, 04:05 AM
 
53 posts, read 13,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
A client of mine just did this, bought from the other side of the country, couldn't have been much further away without being in a boat. Closed a couple weeks ago. So far so good

We spent a lot of time in the home on the phone, texting and sending pictures, and did a facetime with them on my speaker phone when the inspector was there so they could ask him questions. It was still a lot of pressure! -Particularly when there was a choice between two homes. The pressure was somewhat eased because a nearby relative of the client did come and walk through once and give them his opinion too, so it wasn't just me .

It doesn't hurt that it's a very nice home in one of the more high-end, HOA manicured, new planned neighborhoods in the area. All the homes are by the same builder. They're all very similar. The colors all still match. There is no one oddball down the street. It is what it is, and what it is shows well in the pictures. Not much to be surprised about.


That kind of house and that kind of client, I can see it, and I would do it again. Or an investment property that the client isn't particular about anyway.


An older starter-range home in a mixed-use mixed-age neighborhood and clients who could not afford to have anything go wrong? Probably not a good idea for them.

Would you feel a "New Construction" home in a nice area by a trusted builder equal the same risk factor as the bold statement ? Just curious of your opinion seeing that this is your profession and are very helpful to people here on CD. We may have a similar need also as the situation dictates. Thank you for your input Diana Holbrook if you so choose to... !
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,158 posts, read 3,416,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakadinhi View Post
Would you feel a "New Construction" home in a nice area by a trusted builder equal the same risk factor as the bold statement ? Just curious of your opinion seeing that this is your profession and are very helpful to people here on CD. We may have a similar need also as the situation dictates. Thank you for your input Diana Holbrook if you so choose to... !
Sure It makes the outcome a lot more predictable. Particularly if you are able to choose from popular models and floorplans that he has built many times before.

The biggest variable then would be choosing the particular lot and neighborhood.

I think it is probably usually best if you can come out and see things in person but I also realize thatís not always possible. Perhaps the best consideration in measuring whether or not it would work for you to buy something sight unseen is how adaptable you are to things not being exactly the way you pictured. Is there only one right answer or might there be many? In the end that might be the most important consideration of all.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:27 AM
 
777 posts, read 625,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adjusterjack View Post
That would be the most incredibly stupid thing anybody could ever do.


Like buying a car without seeing it in person, people who do that often end up on legal forums whining "What are my rights?" because they got hopelessly screwed.


The successes are the exceptions, not the rule.
I'm part of the successions then. It was my 2nd best car ever out of maybe 15 I've owned.

A thorough home inspection, a video camera walk-through that gives you depth/size perception, and a trusted friend viewing the home, the neighborhood & next door neighbors for you would work for me. I've been screwed on homes I've seen with an inspector.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:56 AM
 
53 posts, read 13,250 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
Sure It makes the outcome a lot more predictable. Particularly if you are able to choose from popular models and floorplans that he has built many times before.

The biggest variable then would be choosing the particular lot and neighborhood.

I think it is probably usually best if you can come out and see things in person but I also realize thatís not always possible. Perhaps the best consideration in measuring whether or not it would work for you to buy something sight unseen is how adaptable you are to things not being exactly the way you pictured. Is there only one right answer or might there be many? In the end that might be the most important consideration of all.

Thank you Diana Holbrook for your insightful input !

In regards to the lot, any negatives I should look out for on my selection ? Such as facing a certain way to attain more light, sitting water that may appear to have drainage issues... etc. ?
Noticing that you are in WA, (though our search is more in the Clark County area) would you have any input on builders that should be avoided and those who are good ?
We appreciate whatever you can share of your "Insider" knowledge ! Thanks again !
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:33 PM
 
127 posts, read 95,332 times
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Yes. One of my two current homes I bought sight unseen. I did have lots of pictures to look at and they looked fine. I also had a very thorough professional inspection done. It also helped that I thought the house was underpriced considerably based on what I could learn online about that neighborhood.






The seller was desperate to sell and had made several substantial price reductions in recent weeks and months. In addition, it was between Christmas and New Year's Day (which is likely the very worst time to try to sell a home) when I made my offer.


With all these things going for me and the time being right (in my opinion), it was time to act.


Once I finally saw the house about 4 months later, I did see several minor (mostly cosmetic) things that needed attention. These cosmetic things were likely why the house hadn't sold sooner for a lot more money.


Hey, I don't mind fixing several little things in order to save $50K to $60K on a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Too many people get turned off by minor cosmetic things that can be easily changed and don't pay enough attention to the main features that can't be easily changed. Just my opinion. And I would do it again if the situation arises.
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