These are uncertain times and with uncertain times, we will all have to adjust to doing things a bit differently for a while. However, there is no reason to panic regardless of what is happening. Yes, you might feel there is reason to panic, but what will panic really do for you?
Nothing but cause you unnecessary pain and anxiety.
So if there is anything you need to remember it’s this…
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!
OK, that’s great but what does that really mean?
Buying a home can easily be done without having to subject yourself to bunches of people. In fact, if you want to buy a home, most of the home searching and buying can be done online without ever having to go out into the general public.
Before we dive into the meat of buying a home during the coronavirus pandemic, let’s go over some information about how the coronavirus is affecting the real estate market.
How the Coronavirus Is Affecting the Real Estate Market
On March 11, 2020, the coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The stock market has been experiencing significant drops almost daily, the travel industry has slowed to a crawl, the Feds lowered the interest rate to 0 percent, and President Trump recently declared a state of emergency. However, with all that, the real estate market has remained fairly strong, at least for now.
Most people believe that stock market performance and the real estate market go hand in hand, but they don’t. Generally, how good or bad the stock market performs doesn’t usually affect the health of the real estate market. The 2008 crisis wasn’t due to the stock market, it was due to the sub-prime housing bubble.
The one reason this pandemic may not affect the housing market, in the long run, is that everyone in the country is in the same boat. We are all being asked to work from home, practice social distancing, and other proactive measures to prevent the spread of this virus. So we all going through our lives with the same work and income handicaps.
Additionally, our government is working on providing us with some stimulus money to help us get by until things get back to normal. Every little bit helps. And I don’t know about you but, I’m grateful for anything and everything the government and some of the private sector businesses are trying to do for us.
Just remember…pandemic or not, everyone needs a place to live.
So let’s get to the business at hand…should you buy a home during the coronavirus pandemic?
Should I Buy a Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Yes! You should absolutely buy a home during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, buying a home during the coronavirus could ultimately work in your favor because there will more than likely be fewer buyers to compete with. This could have sellers more willing to accept offers because of the uncertainty of when or if another qualified buyer might come along.
The Benefits of Buying a Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Now is the opportune time to buy a home. This is because the benefits of buying a home during a pandemic are significantly higher than usual.
Here are some substantial benefits you might experience if you choose to buy a home during the coronavirus.
- More Free Time
Chances are since we are all practicing social distancing right now, we will have more free time on our hands to research potential locations, neighborhoods, and homes. Therefore, since you will be spending more time performing these tasks, your research will be more thorough resulting in the purchase of the best possible home for your money.
- Online Home Shopping and Financing
Buying a home is one of the few things that can be done almost 100 percent online. You can take your time and browse as many homes and locations as you want all without ever leaving your home. The same with the financing. You can apply for a mortgage online and provide the documentation that mortgage company needs, again, all without ever leaving your home.
Additionally, once you’ve found a home you want to tour, you can do so without having to go out in public. In fact, it’s customary for sellers to leave their homes while a buyer is touring it. That means, technically, you won’t have to be around many people. And, there’s nothing that says you can’t wear a mask and use your hand sanitizer while touring that home either. It doesn’t hurt to be proactive.
- Historically Low-Interest Rates Right Now
If for no other reason, it is a great time to buy a home right now because the Feds just lowered the interest rates again which are now near zero. Just think about how much money that will save you over the life of your loan. Most mortgages are for 30 years so the amount of interest you could save over 30 years is staggering. And the best part is…you don’t even have to leave your home to buy a home if you don’t want to.
However, on the flip side, if you wait to buy a home, the interest rates have nowhere to go but up. So if you wait, you will be paying more to buy your next home.
- Less Competition
Due to the overall fear floating around about the coronavirus, many people are too afraid to buy a house. However, since you can technically buy a house without ever leaving your home, why wait? If you buy a house now while everyone else is too afraid to, there will be a lot less competition.
- Better Deals
Fear causes many people to alter their plans. Therefore, the coronavirus could result in more sellers being willing to bend over backward to snag any deal they can get, especially if they have to move. Once the virus has subsided, things will no doubt go back to normal. And since there is already a shortage in the number of available houses, if you wait, sellers will probably be less willing to accept a lower than asking price offer.
- You Have to Live Somewhere
Even though we are in the middle of a pandemic, you still have to pay to live somewhere regardless. And, most mortgage companies give you a month before you have to make your first mortgage payment depending on when you close. So that will help a little as well.
How to Buy a Home During the Coronavirus?
If you’ve decided to go ahead and not put off buying a house so you can take advantage of all the extraordinary benefits you will receive, here are some tips for how to buy a house during the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Contact Your Real Estate Agent
Contact your real estate agent for advice, guidance, and direction on how to proceed during this uncharted home buying territory. Your real estate agent will help you find a home and provide you with listings you might not be able to find on your own. Real estate agents routinely network with other agents in the area. They also have other avenues for finding homes that are not yet on the market. Jumping on a home that hasn’t been listed yet will most certainly give you a huge advantage because there won’t be as much if any, competition.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Before you go any further, it’s best to get started on the mortgage process. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you much more leverage for having a seller accept your offer once you have found a home you want to buy.
Take some time to search different locations online. Then you can drive through the neighborhoods you’ve chosen. This will not only get you out of the house, but it will also help you find an area where you want to live. Don’t forget to drive through that area at different times of the day and night and research the crime stats for that location as well.
4. Browse Homes and Neighborhoods Online
Now that you’ve found a location, you can start browsing the neighborhoods in that area, as well as any homes currently available there. Then you should drive through the area and by that house at different times of the day and night.
5. Tour Your Chosen Home
Now that you’ve found a home you’re interested in, contact your real estate agent to schedule a tour. Remember, you can always wear a mask and use your hand sanitizer for additional protection.
6. Make an Offer, Don’t Wait
If you like the home, jump on it now. Make an offer the seller can’t refuse. Then you can rest assured that you have just bought a house at the best possible price at the best possible time. Remember, the interest rates have nowhere to go but up. That alone will literally save you thousands and thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Other Considerations Before Buying a House During the Coronavirus
Yes, we do recommend you don’t wait until after the pandemic to buy a house. However, buying a house right now might not be the right decision for everyone. Now that we have given you all the benefits of buying a house during the coronavirus pandemic, here are a few other things to consider before making any final home-buying decisions.
If you are thinking about buying a home during the coronavirus pandemic, ask yourself some qualifying questions. These questions will help you determine if your situation is stable enough to buy a home now or if it might be better for you to wait until this pandemic has passed.
1. How Secure Is Your Current Job?
Is your job in an industry that is likely to be affected by social distancing? If you are employed in the travel, hospitality, retail, or restaurant industry, now might not be the best time for you to buy a home, unless you are certain your job is secure.
2. How Much Savings Do You Have on Hand?
Having a savings account is always important; however, it’s especially important during a national emergency like the coronavirus pandemic. That means if you are going to buy a house now, you’ll need to have enough money for your down payment and enough money to weather this storm.
3. Are You Emotionally Fit Enough to Buy a House Right Now?
It is emotionally difficult for many to buy a house during stable times let alone trying to buy a house during a pandemic and all the uncertainty that abounds. Can you physically and emotionally handle buying a house right now? Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly. If you answered yes, buying a house now could ultimately save you thousands and thousands of dollars. This is because you will receive a lower interest rate, as well as a lower monthly rate as well. These things will have a positive effect on your budget for the next 30 years.
If you want more information about whether or not to buy a home during the coronavirus pandemic, please Contact Us today. Lakeland Real Estate Group has the knowledge and expertise to help you find and buy a home almost completely online. This will help you get the best possible home at the best possible price without having to subject yourself to the public. We look forward to serving you now or in the future if you choose to wait to buy your next home.
Other Helpful Resources For Buying a House
Who keeps the Earnest Money Deposit in a Home Purchase? Bill Gassett explains in great detail how much is customary, who keeps it in the event the sale falls apart and much more.
The #1 Thing You Can Do Now to Position Yourself to Buy a Home This Year – Given this situation, if you’re thinking about buying a home this year, the best thing you can do right now is use this time to get pre-approved for a mortgage, which you can do from the comfort of your home.
About the author: The above real estate article “Should I Still Buy A Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic?” was written by Petra Norris of Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. With over 20 years of combined experience of selling or buying, we would love to share our knowledge and expertise. Petra can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 863-712-4207