Buying a Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has disrupted virtually every facet of modern life. Despite the uncertainty of our times, people will always need a place to live. Even with stay at home orders in effect, millions of Americans are still buying, selling and moving into new places. Whether the pandemic interrupted long-term plans to buy a home or spurred buyers to shop for new houses after changing jobs, the market is undeniably hot.

Mortgage interest rates are historically low. Lock them in now and you could see lower than average monthly mortgage payments for the length of your loan. If your financial future is uncertain, though, you may want to take more of a wait-and-see approach to homebuying.

It’s hard to know what to expect from the housing market over the long term. For now, prices remain steady, but inventory is low in some areas. Coronavirus struck during what was supposed to be a spring buying boom. Many would-be sellers are now holding off on putting their houses on the market out of fear of a larger economic downturn. Still, buyers remain eager, so competition for homes may be stiff. Buyers holding out for Great Recession-era prices may be waiting a long time.

If you’re hoping to buy a house right now, expect to rely heavily on technology to do so. Virtual tours have been a mainstay of modern homebuying, but now they’re more important than ever. Use photos, videos and virtual tours to eliminate any homes you aren’t likely to place an offer on. It’s the safest way to house hunt – and the most convenient.

Should you choose to attend an open house or home tour, take care not to touch anything inside. Ask the owners or your realtor to open cabinets and closet doors before you arrive. Stay six feet away from your realtor as they give you a tour, and wear a mask for the duration. Use hand sanitizer as you get back into your car, and wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get home. With a little extra effort, you’ll find your dream home in no time!

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