Photographs posted online may depict a home in a pleasant light, but experiencing the house for yourself is an entirely different matter. What's the view like from inside? Does the window placement guarantee a 7 a.m. wakeup with the sunrise, or does the master bedroom face west and guarantee a nice view of the sunset? Can you even see the sun, or are neighboring houses or trees blocking out everything?
Finally, you just can't get the feel for a house or neighborhood from your computer. Homes have character, just like people, and judging the neighborhood is important, too. Looking for schools and shops online is a great start, but there's no way to tell if you'll feel safe and comfortable until you visit for yourself. Shop online, test in person and know that you're making the most informed choice possible to find the best house for you.