Should You Buy (or Sell) a House NOW? Real Estate in the Age of the Coronavirus.
Spring is upon us, which typically involves a big peak of home buyers checking out properties, negotiating, and closing on new homes. But the Coronavirus outbreak—with its quarantine measures and economic uncertainties—has many people wondering: Should I act now, or wait?
The impact of the Coronavirus on the housing market
The Coronavirus has definitely lead to a decrease in the number of people looking for homes right now. However, the super-low interest rates have kept about half of the usual pool of Buyers out looking. For those who continue to look, there is opportunity out there. With fewer home buyers out there looking, you have less competition in your way. Of course, there are also fewer people putting their homes up for sale, which means it's not a bad time to sell your home either. The real estate market has become "serious", and by that, I mean that the people buying and selling homes are serious about getting things done.
How the housing industry has adapted to keep you safe
Although it's a scary time to be out and about checking out real estate, it is still possible to do so and stay relatively safe. The industry has rapidly adapted, introducing approaches that minimize exposure. Many things can be done remotely (or digitally), reducing both Buyer's and Seller's contact with others. Virtual meetings, and even virtual home showings (such as with FaceTime or another similar Ap), are happening every day. The homes that I represent have still (wide angle) photos, virtual tours, videos, and 3D Tours (which make you feel like you are "in" the home), that allow the potential Buyer to take a good look at the home before visiting it. Homes can also be seen in person as long as the proper precautions are followed.
How to weigh economic concerns
Just keep in mind that while current market conditions offer an incredible opportunity for home buyers to lock in historically low interest rates for a mortgage, rates have actually been going up, mainly because so many people are refinancing. If you wait too long to buy, you may miss the money-saving boat. Often the interest rate on the home mortgage can be more important than the sales price when it comes to monthly affordability. Talk to a mortgage professional to be prequalified and to gain an understanding of how interest rates impact your future mortgage payment.
It's wise to buy a home that is under your budget so you have enough money left over for closing costs, home maintenance, and a rainy day fund. Now is the time to crunch your numbers more carefully than ever before. It's also important to figure out how much you need to set aside for yearly home maintenance and future repairs. A smart budget is to have is between 1% and 4% of the purchase price of your home. Having an 'emergency nest egg' will not only insure that you have the money needed when the time comes, it will also give you peace of mind.
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