Mandy Moore, a real estate agent, has one foot in the real estate world and the other in the parenting world.
What is VR?
Let's start with the basics: what is VR? It stands for virtual reality. With a headset, you can explore a three-dimensional world on your screen closely and realistically as though you were really there in person. You could even see objects turn to show their true colors!
VR has been around since the 1960s, but only recently have they become popular, and even then, for all the wrong reasons. It usually gets bad reviews because of how unimpressive or just plain awful they are (remember the movie The Lawnmower Man?). Yet, as VR technology continues to evolve, these futuristic headsets will soon be used in a number of interesting ways outside gaming.
In the past few years, virtual reality has made a huge leap in popularity. It's easy to see why: with VR headsets, you can explore new worlds without ever leaving your couch! While VR is mostly used for entertainment and gaming at the moment, it could soon have an impact on other areas of our lives as well.
VR and Homebuying
Most importantly, VR could change the way people buy their homes. What if you could walk through a home in person before buying it? Wouldn't that make an enormous difference from just looking at pictures on your laptop screen or scrolling through listings online and guessing what's inside each one? With virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift, this would be possible.
Currently, the top real estate companies in America, like Realtor.com, have been starting to use VR headsets for their website listings. They take potential buyers through a virtual home tour by walking around and they even open up doors; all with the help of VR technology!
How would this work for home buyers? Well, imagine this: you're about to buy a house, but you want to see what it looks like before committing. You would put on your Oculus Rift and walk through the rooms of the potential property as though they were real. If VR technology is used for listing tours, then that's exactly how it will work!
What Else Can VR Do for Homebuyers?
Another great thing about VR is that it can put you in a home's environment and show you how the sun will shine on your windows. You'll know if any of those rooms are too dark, or what kind of noise level to expect at night. You could also measure the home via VR to see how your furniture will fit in your potential new home. Once the home is in escrow you could use the VR to work with interior designers to begin the process of decorating!
How Will it Work?
So now we've established why this new technology could change the way people buy homes, but how would it work?
First, you would find a house that's for sale, and in the future this could be done online or through an app. Once you've found your dream home (or one close to it), you can tour it before deciding on any other details. Of course, not all of the rooms will actually be available at first, but you'll be able to have a general idea of what the home looks like.
The next step is for the realtor to show up at your front door and hand you a headset, or if you already own a headset, this could all be done online. Just imagine: you put on the VR headset, walk inside of the house with the realtor, as though it were actually there in person, and decide whether or not to buy it!
The Growing Popularity of VR
These are just a few of many ways that VR could change how people buy homes for years to come. Many hope that this technology spreads and becomes more popular in America, because there are a lot of other interesting uses as well.
Some of the other uses of a VR in the real estate or property management world include using it to show clients the view from a property, or to display certain rooms that are available for rent.
Luckily, Oculus Rift and other VR headsets are starting to become much more affordable than they were before. This means you could have your own set in no time at all!
We are just experiencing the very beginning of how VR technology could change our home buying experience and our lives forever!