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House hunting by helicopter? Bring on the Dramamine

An innovative way for homeowners to buy their future home

Real estate brokers are bringing house hunting to new heights as they take their first-class clients up in helicopters to show them possible future homes.  

While flying real-estate agents in cities like Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago save time by taking their premiere clients high and above congested traffic jams and scope out neighborhoods in a matter of minutes, ranch brokers in the Rocky Mountains and Texas can cover thousands of acres in an afternoon, while delivering views of rivers, canyons, and the occasional grizzly bear, according to Wall Street Journal writer Amy Gamerman.

From the Wall Street Journal:

“When we look at property anywhere, in central Florida or Idaho or Wyoming, we always use the helicopter because it gives you such a bird’s-eye view,” said Bernie Little, a commercial cattle owner who has a home in Ocala, Fla. and a ranch in Jackson, Wyo.

That view comes at a cost: Prices start at $650 to $800 an hour for a three-passenger Robinson R-44 Raven II helicopter and pilot. Sightseeing and catered lunches are often included. The broker usually foots the bill, including the cost of the helicopter and pilot.

“To provide something that a really wealthy person would appreciate is not an easy thing to do,” said Chris Feurer, CEO of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty in Chicago, which began offering helicopter viewings of properties with a minimum $1.5 million purchase price last fall.

The article states that pilots and real-estate agents plan in advance for their aerial house tours. As the pilot collects the coordinates of the different homes and neighborhoods the agent wants to show, the agents use Google-based mapping software on their iPad to identify what those properties will look like from 500 feet in the air.

For the full story, click here.

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