There are many possible reasons why you would want to buy a new home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The stay-at-home mandates would have made you realize the importance of a conducive space for working and studying. With everyone staying at home most of the time, the lack of or need for space has become so glaring that it’s becoming too hard to ignore.
It could also be that moving to the suburbs has become a healthier and safer option. Humanity is facing a virus that is transmitted through human interactions. Cities with denser populations have taken the most severe hits of the coronavirus infection. It would be reasonable for you to want to settle in less populated areas to reduce your risks of exposure.
It is important to note that the environment of the real estate market is much different now with the pandemic. Home buying was a stressful activity even before the pandemic came. Expect more complications and stress with social distancing protocols and even potential travel restrictions.
Mortgage Rates Are at All-Time Low
Interest rates are going low, and it looks like it’s here to stay. The Fed has promised to keep it low until the economy recovers to full-employment, which will likely be 2024 or even beyond.
Many buyers looking for homes away from populated cities or simply looking for more spacious homes are taking advantage of these low rates. However, banks and lenders have also been stricter in approving loans due to the current economic crisis. Expect more requirements and rigid qualifications before you can get your loan approved from the best mortgage company that you have chosen. But once approved, you can enjoy very low mortgage rates that are competitive even with rental rates.
Home Tours May Be Virtual
With social distancing protocols and restrictions, do not expect to experience the same home tours as before. Many real estate agents are opting for virtual home tours for the safety of everyone. You can get the first glimpse of your dream home through Zoom meetings or Facetime. Agents are taking advantage of social media, such as TikTok or Facebook Live, for their virtual showings and open houses.
Homeowners who are selling their homes are aware of the health risks of allowing strangers inside their homes. Video conferencing allow them to show their homes to interested buyers, while social media and real estate apps allow them to reach prospective buyers.
If you can schedule an actual home tour before you close the deal, make sure to practice safety protocols. This includes wearing a face mask, washing your hands with a sanitizer with 70% alcohol content, and rescheduling if you do not feel well. You could not just bring your entire family as well. Your agent may allow only one person for the tour as a safety precaution.
You May Have Fewer Choices
While the demand for housing is up, the supply cannot keep up. There are fewer houses for sale in the market, and listings are becoming more scarce. However, do not give up on your dream home. Be patient in looking for the perfect home. It may take some time before you find the right one for you and your family.
Since the choices are few and the demand is higher, prepare to fight for your dream home. You may have to bid for the buying price, but if you feel like it’s too much, be ready to walk away and look for another option. Another buyer may have a better offer or may be willing to pay in full cash. Stick to your final number, one which you are comfortable spending.
Buying a new home in the new normal will not be the same as before, and that’s expected. Pack up a lot of patience, and prepare your downpayment. Look for a mortgage lender that can give you more competitive rates and paying scheme. You can also get a pre-approved mortgage, which can give you an edge over other buyers.