//September 20, 2007


//September 20, 2007

LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Virtual tours of homes and buildings are gaining popularity in the midstate. Do you use the Internet to shop for residential or commercial real estate? Why or why not?

YES – 100 percent


YES: “Convenience is the name of the game. I can log on at anytime, whenever a free minute comes into my busy schedule, and research potential new homes. Only once I see one of interest will I contact the Realtor to physically tour the home.”

—Jim Carchidi,

Cumberland County

YES: “Virtual tours and online access to the various multi-lists is a tremendous time saver! With photos, room dimensions, maps and even the owner’s disclosure, you needn’t spend hours driving around looking at homes that will just not meet your needs.”

—Sherri Stom,

Lebanon County

YES: “I saw the home I’m purchasing on the Internet. I liked what I saw. I had checked out quite a few on the net. It saves a lot of time for you and your agent.”

—Carol J. Blecker,

Lebanon County

YES: “As I was growing up, I was always told, ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover.’ That’s the same way with when you decided to buy a house. The house may look beautiful on the outside, but when you actually take a tour on the inside, it’s not the way you imagined it would be. I just recently bought a house, and my boyfriend and I used the Internet to purchase our first house. We liked the outside of the house, and they had a tour of it on the inside. Just seeing how immaculate the house was in on the inside made us want to see the house in person. Now, we’re living in the house, and it is the best purchase we ever made.”

—Ashley Laubach,

York County

YES: “My husband and I recently began the house-hunting process again, and the virtual tours make it so much easier to narrow down your search — we wish that all of the houses listed had a virtual tour you could take. But that being said, and speaking from recent personal experience — pictures, virtual tours and whatever else you may see is still not the same as physically looking at the house. Some houses look better in person and some better online. So yes, they are a good thing, and we will continue to use them, but don’t assume that what you see is exactly what you get — if one peaks your interest, make an appointment to check it out!”

—Sarah Johnston,

Dauphin County

YES: “It’s very convenient and saves a lot of time for me and the Realtor. You can determine if it meets your specifications virtually.”

—Leila McAdoo,

Dauphin County

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Gov. Ed Rendell proposes a 3 percent payroll tax on Pennsylvania employers who do not offer health insurance. Do you support such a tax?