2020 was going to be your best year yet. You were going to travel, buy a house… and then the pandemic happened. COVID has impacted so many aspects of life and the real estate market is no exception. 2020 feels like a time warp where everything has been put on hold, but does buying a house need to wait as well? While COVID has brought several unique challenges to purchasing a home, the longevity of the pandemic has convinced many potential buyers to go ahead with the process. However, it is important for buyers to know how COVID will affect them. This blog highlights five things that you should consider when deciding whether to buy a home during COVID.
- First, COVID has helped to create a sellers market in most suburban areas. People have overwhelmingly chosen to leave cities, creating a high demand for homes that are outside of the city. Buying a house is still possible, but you should be prepared for a very competitive market. Be prepared to put in several offers and know that this process might take longer than it would in normal circumstances.
- Mortgage interest rates are very low right now, which is great news for you as a buyer! These low interest rates can save you several thousand dollars over time and make owning a home much more affordable. It may be more difficult for some people to qualify for loans during COVID, but you can find a bank that will work with you and help you lock in low interest rates that will outlive the pandemic.
- Social distancing and government restrictions might make viewing property more difficult in your area. It may not be possible to see a home in person before you buy, or you may be restricted to private tours rather than open houses. However, it is not uncommon to buy a house without seeing it in person and virtual tours/photos are usually available to give you a good idea of the house you are considering. These restrictions can also make it harder to be present for inspections, so it is important to work with somebody you trust and ask questions as they arise.
- It is important to take an honest look at your own financial situation. Do you have money saved? Do you have a secure position in your workplace? If you are in a good place to make this purchase, the pandemic shouldn’t stop you. If you aren’t sure, check out this article for practical tips to assess where you are. The most important thing is that you know what you can afford and proceed wisely with that knowledge.
- Patience is key. In addition to a competitive market, several offices are experiencing delays relating to the pandemic. Getting approved for a loan, setting up house tours, and closing are likely to take longer than they normally would as everyone is adjusting to a new normal. If you choose to buy during the pandemic, be prepared for delay and remember that your new home will be worth it!
Overall, the pandemic does not mean that you cannot take the leap and buy a house. It does, however, mean that buying a home might look like a very different process than it would under normal circumstances. Our team is happy to talk to you if you need help exploring options or would like to know more about how COVID will impact your home buying journey. If you feel like buying a home during COVID is the right decision for you, why not get started with a loan application here? We look forward to working with you!