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Virtual Reality Software gives buyers realistic viewing of off-plan homes

Buying a house off-plan before it exists is extremely risky- or is it?

What if you could check out new off-plan homes before they were even built? Thanks to some new software, this is now not the work of science fiction, and it’s being employed to sell two new-builds in Gallowstree Common.

It’s not the same thing as VR show properties and 3D tours, which estate agencies use to enable remote house hunting. This software enables you to create 3D computer models that architects have already created and view them in a virtual-reality headset that displays stereoscopic images, or images approximately eye-width apart.

When worn, they allow you to take a ‘walk through’ of homes you’re thinking about buying. They also have a ‘dynamic lighting’ feature that recreates lights and shadows within the property at different times of day, allowing you to see, for example, which window receives more sunlight.


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Because the architecture is projected faithfully to scale, you can assess how high a ceiling is, the narrowness of a corridor, or the spaciousness of a living room. If there’s a point you want to discuss with your architect, agent, or developer, you can print out images.

Estate agents believe that using a virtual tour to sell off-plan enables homebuyers to visualise the property in advance, and could help sell more off-plan homes.

The homes being sold in this manner were designed by London-based Coupdeville Architects. Its director, Gilles Lovegrove, was the project’s lead architect.

With the touch of a button, you can walk up a driveway, cross the threshold, and go anywhere in the house that you want, giving you a feel of what it would be like to live in the property and whether it would be a good match for you.

Mr Lovegrove said that Coupdeville Architects works closely with property developers and anticipates that VR will help potential buyers have a visual experience of the off-plan homes they are buying into. It will also serve as a tool for architects to develop better designs.

Create Projects, a sister company of Coupdeville, uses the software to design kitchens. The firm believes that a virtual-reality revolution is imminent. The software enables the update of kitchens in real-time and gives clients a solid idea of how the space will look and feel. Cabinetry, materials, and other factors can be changed on the fly as the client tours the kitchen.

The experience of VR gives a sense of space that CGI images can’t provide but traditional methods still have the most value - buyers should always visit properties they are interested in to touch the materials and walk the plot, in order to get the most complete picture possible.


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