Date Archives: August 2015

Old Dominion Realty Blog Home

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Augusta County | 15 Posts
Bridgewater, VA | 1 Posts
Burlington WV | 1 Posts
Buy a Farm | 3 Posts
Buy a Home | 30 Posts
Buying a Condo | 2 Posts
Buying a House | 30 Posts
Curb Appeal | 1 Posts
Franklin WV | 1 Posts
Grottoes VA | 1 Posts
Hardy County | 3 Posts
Harrisonburg VA | 47 Posts
Home Buyers | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 26 Posts
Home Insurance | 1 Posts
Home Value | 2 Posts
Homeownership | 10 Posts
LeadingRE | 2 Posts
Lost River, WV | 1 Posts
Luray, VA | 4 Posts
Monterey VA | 1 Posts
Moorefield WV | 7 Posts
Moving Tips | 5 Posts
Myers Corner | 1 Posts
Open Houses | 3 Posts
Petersburg, WV | 4 Posts
Sell a Home | 52 Posts
Staunton VA | 23 Posts
Waynesboro, VA | 2 Posts
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Everything you wanted to know about the digital house hunt, but were afraid to ask.

Remember when all it took to sell a house was an ad in the Sunday classifieds?  That's okay--I don't either.  Back then, home buyers depended only on their real estate agents to lead the way to find a home.

Technology and Real Estate

Fast forward to 2015 and discover over 90 percent of house hunters search for their "dream homes" on the Internet.  In today's digitally driven marketplace, real estate and technology go hand in hand.  Technology has improved the way business is done for both customers and real estate agents. 

Real estate customers are web savvy.  They use specific online tools during different phases of the home buying process.  Information such as property listings, prices, neighborhoods, demographics, real estate agent reviews and mortgage rates are available with one click of a mouse.  The use of mobile devices—whether smartphones or tablets--is steadily increasing as we search for the American dream.  2014 trend research shows that mobile traffic will soon rise above 50 percent for some real estate brokers.

Old Dominion Realty Desktop Search

How does all of this impact the way Old Dominion Realty serves our customers? 

As real estate professionals, we understand selling real estate is as much about the people as the properties.  Because of our customers' growing demands for information, Old Dominion Realty has provided them with specialized and enhanced services. The use of innovative technologies has allowed us to help buyers find homes; sellers list houses; and real estate transactions to be closed quickly and easily.

  1. Online Property Search.  Our website puts property listings within easy reach of customers.  Our auto-complete feature gives customers faster results when inputting city and state, county, subdivision, MLS# or zip code.
  2. Real Estate Videos. Old Dominion Realty's real estate agents spotlight property listings through high-quality, professionally created, online videos.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then our property videos tell home buyers the entire story before they walk through the front door of a home.

    Real Estate ODR Tablet
  3. Real Estate on the Go. Mobile devices like smartphone and tablets put real estate in customers' hands 24/7.   Customers can access property listing information, driving directions to listings and contact our real estate agents from their mobile devices.  Our real estate agents gain increased accessibility to their customers.

  4. Rave Reviews. Old Dominion Realty's online customer reviews allow new customers to read comments about our real estate agents past transactions and interactions with other clients.
  5. New Listing EmailsWe've taken our "seek and find" functionality one step further by allowing customers to create accounts that will automatically send new listing emails from virtually the minute they are enter our system.
  6. Dotloop and E-signatures.  No more waiting for a signed contract.  Dotloop is a digital transaction system that links people, paperwork, and tasks so work can be completed quickly and easily.

Real Estate Agents and Clients

As the real estate industry continues to advance with the help of technology, Old Dominion Realty's goal is to give our clients the best possible online experience.  By providing customers with the information they want when they need it, we are bringing our agents closer to their clients. However, the digital house hunt is only part of the story.  Home buyers still rely on their real estate agents to marry their online and real worlds. 

Search for Homes Old Dominion Realty

Contact Old Dominion Realty to buy and sell houses in the Virginia real estate and West Virginia real estate markets.


Home Sweet Home

How Do You Define Home

The concept of home is vast. For some, it's a city or town, while others it's a house or neighborhood. Buying a home is an intricate process—one that can help you evaluate what home means to you. It can also assist you in determining your needs and wants, the ideal setting or location and allow you to fine-tune your search. When you're ready to buy a house, take the essential step of listing the things you're looking for.

Defining Home

Defining Your Home

We all know that home is "where the heart is," or "where you hang your hat." However, home is more than that. Home is the house, and the community that surrounds it. It is features, amenities, schools, neighbors, city and state.

For many, there are necessities that stand out when looking for a home. Start by listing the first item on each person's list. Do they want a yard, a bedroom for everyone or that long-desired dishwasher? Is it making sure the house is within walking distance of a good school or the center of town? Maybe you're looking for a place with plenty of privacy. Everyone has a different definition of what makes a home—and it's important to honor everyone's vision if possible.

The Foundation

The foundation isn't always the exciting part. It's the nuts and bolts, the rules and guidelines. Begin with a few basics:

  • A Budget: Be honest about finances. Don't let what you want get in the way of what you can afford.
  • A General Area: What's most important—commute time, good schools, walkability or an area with ample land? Can you only look in a specific city, or are you open to other locales?
  • Space Considerations: How much room does your family actually need? Later, you can look at how much room your family wants. Are you bringing pets or livestock? What kind of land requirements do you have?
  • House Style: This may seem odd, but it's important to look at family make-up. Are stairs going to be an issue for anyone in the home? Is it easier to have the family on one floor, or can you spread out? Do you host overnight guests or visitors frequently? Take into account the optimal number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Fine-tuning Your Vision

Fine-tune Your Home Vision

It's crucial to understand the difference between needs and wants. There will be minimum requirements you have, and then what you would like to have. For example, what if you thought you needed to be at the end of the cul-de-sac, but a house that was more central had all the features you required? In the end, what would be more important? That's how you will determine what you need versus what you want. If you buy a house, can you afford to put money into it to turn it into what you want, or does it need to be in the best condition possible to begin with? Consider all the criteria, and rank it most important to least:

  • Locale: City/state
  • Proximity: To schools, work, entertainment, shopping, services
  • Views: Do you want water, territorial, mountain, city
  • Neighborhood: Cul-de-sac, dead end street, gated community, city, suburban, rural
  • Type: Condo, townhome, single-family residence
  • Style: Construction, exterior, roof, look (for example; cottage, two-story, ranch)
  • Yard: Gardens, grass, amenities, deck, no yard, acreage, outbuildings
  • Features: Number of beds/baths, heating/cooling system, parking, storage, other rooms, flooring, specific room features, appliances

Trust Intuition

Search for Homes Old Dominion Realty

Don't discount your intuition. Many buyers "feel" whether a home will work or not. If you're ready to buy a house, contact Old Dominion Realty. Our experienced real estate professionals will help you find an ideal place to call home.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder