Guide to Buying a Home Online


We’ve become accustomed to getting just about anything we need and want without leaving home. Now you can browse, tour and purchase a new home using the virtual technology that’s available. From looking at homes to selecting finishes to closing, every step can usually be done without ever stepping foot outside your home. Here’s your guide to buying a home online.

Step #1: Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Before you fall in love with a home, make sure it’s within your loan eligibility. Talk to a professional lender to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. It only takes a few minutes and you can securely submit any documentation (e.g., driver’s license, paycheck stub, bank statement) using an online portal. Once you have your mortgage pre-approval, you can shop for your new home with confidence that you can get the mortgage to cover the purchase.

If you’re at least 62 years of age, you might also consider  the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase program, which allows senior home buyers to purchase their dream home with a one-time down payment and no required monthly mortgage payments..

Step #2: Browse the homes for sale.
This step is probably the most familiar one. Just type in your search parameters, like “new homes for sale” and the geographic area where you want to live. You can add filters, like “single-level”, “luxury ranch” or “3 bedrooms”. If you’ve decided on new construction, which has become more popular, add that term to your search criteria.

With a new construction home, be sure to research the builder as well. Check their awards, testimonials and reviews.

Also, sign up to receive notifications from the builder, or listings as they come on the market. Zillow, Trulia, and will send you notifications according to your search preferences.

Step #3: Take a virtual tour.
Many homes for sale offer a virtual tour. This isn’t just a video that strings together photographs. A virtual tour—also known as a 3-D or Matterport tour—gives you a realistic experience. Click the arrows on your device’s screen to move forward and back, left and right. You can zoom in to see a particular detail, like the kitchen backsplash. Then zoom out to get a broader view of a space.

You should also virtually tour the area. Use Google Maps and click on “Satellite” to get an actual aerial view.

You can certainly physically tour the homes that interest you. Although the traditional “open house” has become rare because of COVID-19, just contact the sales agent to schedule a private appointment to view the home.

Step #4: Decide to purchase.
Did you find exactly what you want? Work with your Realtor or new home sales consultant to make the decision to purchase. If you’ve decided on building a new home or have chosen one that’s under construction, you’ll schedule an appointment to choose your design details. Again, this can be done virtually, using Zoom, FaceTime or another video service.

Step #5: Close the deal.
Gone are the days when everyone had to gather in a room to sign a stack of papers. With Docusign, you can legally sign every document required to close on a home using a digital signature. You can complete the closing on your computer, smartphone or tablet, from wherever you happen to be.

You’ll receive a settlement statement in advance that outlines all the fees to be transferred at closing with instructions for making those financial transactions.

Every step of this process is secure when you work with professionals.

Epcon Communities develops neighborhoods of single-family homes in cities and towns around the country. New communities are always on the way, and we’re growing in many states across the country. Where exterior maintenance is also included, Epcon Communities offers a very desirable “lock and leave” lifestyle. We also often provide a wide range of amenities that make living in an Epcon community feel like a year-round staycation. Contact us and let’s get started with your virtual homebuying experience!