Let's face it: electronics have changed almost everything. Over the last twenty years there have been so many advances to change society's level of interaction, as well as the way people interact, that now it is almost impossible to imagine how we managed without cell phones and computers. Homeowners have probably seen some changes in how they interact with banks, with many now preferring an automatic withdrawal to pay the monthly mortgage payment.
Unfortunately, no matter how swiftly technology advances, there will always be holdouts among certain institutions who like to continue to do things the old fashioned way. The legal system and real estate transactions are two such examples.
Anyone in the South Florida area who has obtained a mortgage knows that there is an entire stack of documents that need to be looked over carefully and signed in several different sections. The first glimpse of all of that paperwork can be quite a shock, and it can be scary too, if the signer isn't quite sure what all of it means. A digital transformation of this process could take years more to become acceptable, most likely out of an abundance of caution.
Although the real estate industry has been somewhat hesitant to embrace the advantages that technology can provide in the purchasing and recording aspects of a purchase, there is a movement building to have a little more trust in electronic transactions. Strangely enough, one report stated that the first completely digital transaction for the purchase and financing of a home occurred in Broward County, back in 2000. Mortgages will probably always be complicated, but hopefully the movement makes the entire process easier to understand and less time consuming for those looking to invest in property.
Source: The Washington Post, "Real estate in the digital age: The time has come," Harvey S. Jacobs, Aug. 16, 2012