Santa Cruz Real Estate, Buyers and Technology

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Saturday, May 1st, 2010 at 11:01pm.

Technology has improved our lives over the last ten years, but it’s also caused some problems along the way for Santa Cruz real estate buyers.

As a buyer, you naturally want to take advantage of every tool and service available to make it easier to find the home of your dreams. However, the Internet, which is one of the most common places for people to shop for Santa Cruz real estate nowadays, has also become a place where the unscrupulous hang out.  You can’t believe everything you read online, even when it comes to shopping for homes online.

If you’re trying to find a home, here are two things you need to be aware of:

Home Valuation Sites
Many potential buyers find an interesting home and then research the home value. This is commendable and just plain good sense. You want to make sure you’re not overpaying. Thanks to the Internet, we have sites like Zillow and Realtor.com that provide home valuations.

The problem is that these sites hardly ever agree on the home value. They can differ as much as 20% or more. While home valuation sites are an excellent place to get a ballpark estimate, you shouldn’t base your buying price on their information alone. Hire a reputable Santa Cruz real estate agent who knows the surrounding area and recent sale prices.

Dream Home or Nightmare
One of the best things to happen for real estate agents and sellers alike is the ability to post digital photos and walk-through videos of the homes they’re selling. This is also great for you, as the buyer, because you can view the homes without going anywhere.

Unfortunately, many buyers take those images and videos at face value. Thanks to some high-tech graphics programs, however, you can’t guarantee that what you see is what you get. Videos and images can both be manipulated to show you the best face of any piece of property.

Any time you see a home online that you’re interested in, it’s a good idea to check Google Maps and use the Street View option. At the very least, you can usually see the front and sides of the home. If you’re still interested, visit the home in person, or, if that’s not possible for some reason, ask your Santa Cruz real estate agent to visit the home and take pictures for you.

If you’re trying to find your dream home, I can help. Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com for more information.

 

Links:

Shopping for homes online

Zillow

Street View

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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