As a prospective homeowner with months of careful planning and research invested into the buying process, it’s unlikely you could’ve prepared for the events that would unfold this year. With increasing financial uncertainty since COVID-19 first emerged, the pandemic has left many wondering if they should place their plans to purchase a house on hold.
To help you with this process, we’ve put together a guide on what you should be taking into account when purchasing a home during the pandemic to ensure that you are prepared.
Assess Your Current and Future Financial Situation
Beyond the financial considerations of the house’s cost, you should also be considering the current and future state of your finances. Ask yourself:
- How stable is my current employment situation and is it safe to assume that I’ll remain in this position?
- Do I have enough saved in my bank account to afford the total market price of the house including the down payment, fees, and closing costs?
- Will I still have enough savings to cover any emergencies that could arise?
If there are any uncertainties when looking at your financial situation, it may be best to hold off on the home buying process. Though jobs and stock markets may seem unstable, it’s also important to remember that things will return to normal eventually. This could be a suitable time for you to improve your financial health by utilizing available services and resources. However, if you can confidently answer these questions positively, you should feel comfortable moving forward with the home buying process .
Mortgage Rates Are at Favorable All-Time Lows
Currently, mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been in 50 years. This could significantly influence a prospective homeowner looking to lock in a mortgage at a low-interest rate. Remember, rates are flexible and subject to change, so now may be a good time to consider buying a home.
It’s always important to research which mortgage option is best for you – during a pandemic or not. There are many options available that can assist you in finding your new home. For first-time home buyers, this is an excellent opportunity to investigate mortgage options with fewer requirements to provide you with the necessary finances for the home you want. If you’re unfamiliar with the home buying and mortgage processes, don’t be afraid to reach out to a financial or mortgage specialist who can help you make the right decisions for you.
The Market is Competitive
The housing market is currently in one of the most competitive and challenging times Realtors® and buyers have ever been faced with. With houses selling quickly and buyers lining up to find a great deal, thanks to the historically low rates, many prospective buyers have been left feeling defeated due to low inventory.
With this in mind, it’s important not to waste time when making a bid on a house that you are interested in purchasing. Experts are stating that homes are selling an average of 12 days faster than expected. Once you have viewed the home and decided that it is the one for you, work with your Realtor® to make a fast and fair bid to help ensure your odds of coming out on top amongst other offers on the home.
Be Flexible in The Home Buying Process
As we enter a global “new normal,” the housing industry faces unprecedented changes to the way it operates. For many prospective buyers, this could mean a variety of things. For example, many Realtors® are only offering video tours and augmented reality experiences to those interested in touring a home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This new method of operations that Realtors® are being forced to take on can add additional stress to the already strenuous process of purchasing a home.
Know that you may also have to wait to have a home inspection completed on the property you’re looking to buy until the seller feels comfortable having people in their home. This could mean that they won’t be ready to move out of the house immediately, so closing dates could be further down the road than expected.
However, if you’re willing to be patient and make adjustments to your purchasing plan, this could put you in a favorable position to get the house you’ve always wanted at a great rate. Don’t let these difficult times and the volatile housing market discourage you from getting into the home of your dreams. Always trust your instincts and the opinion of your realtor as you prepare to purchase a home, especially during COVID.
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