Buying a Home In a Pandemic
Remember when they told us we needed, “Two weeks to flatten the curve?” As we are well into year two and facing yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Justo have come to terms with the fact that home selling and buying will likely never go back to how it was before.
And you know what? We’re ok with that!
We think you should be too.
If you’re house hunting, you might be feeling a bit stifled by the new processes we all have to follow as we view homes, set up showings, and interact with potential buyers.
But one thing that’s for sure is that even in the heart of the pandemic, home prices have soared and the buying and selling market has stayed consistently steady, so you don’t need to feel worried about entering the market, even in these different and sometimes difficult times.
A New Vision of Real Estate
The Coronavirus pandemic has forced buyers, sellers, and realtors to ask some interesting new questions. There are factors that have come to light that weren’t before, so if you’re a buyer entering the market, we’ll likely have some new questions for you as you focus on where your ideal property might be.
Questions we hear more often than before stem from a new way of life. Extra bedrooms or bonus rooms are being used more frequently as home offices for those working from home temporarily, semi-permanently, or even permanently. Outdoor spaces are more important than ever. And how important is access to nightlife and entertainment?
We’ve helped you make lists in the past so you can decide exactly what you need in your new home. But we encourage you to keep assessing your lifestyle to make sure your list remains up-to-date as well.
We think this is actually quite smart, and is helping home buyers make really smart decisions. They are finding homes that suit them now and in the future, and our team is hearing excellent feedback from our clients.
In this COVID-19 era, how can you find that dream house? Open houses on Sunday afternoons aren’t exactly common and even getting a foot in the door to see a home can be extremely difficult.
While it may seem to be the opposite, we want to explain how your home buying experience can be easier and more successful than ever before.
At Justo, we want you to know we’re here for you every step of the way. Whatever it takes to get you into the home you want, we’re your brokerage.
How To Buy a Home in a Pandemic
In the past, it was simple to do a lot of the homebuying work on your own. You could make appointments to view a few homes, speak to a few realtors, and pop by your bank to talk about financing options.
But in a COVID-19 era, buying a home needs to be a bit more… organized.
Organization isn’t a bad thing! In fact, it’s likely it will save you time and money, and help streamline the process. One thing that’s for sure — listing agents, banks, and other services are making you do the legwork before they agree to meet with you.
For example, in order to view most homes, you’ll need to first view a video presentation of the home and show proof of pre-approval for a mortgage. If the listing agent or owner wants to proceed, they’ll give you permission to view the home in person.
While this may feel like an imposition and a bit of a challenge, it saves everyone’s time by helping you to view ONLY houses which truly suit your interest, and it keeps others safe by limiting viewings to only truly interested and qualified buyers.
Checklist for Buying a Home in a Pandemic
Here’s our checklist of things we encourage you to do for the most stress free and successful home purchase in a COVID-19 era.
1. Make a really good list.
Be specific. Our realtors are happy to search for a home that meets your criteria. So please make a very clear list. Need an updated, eat-in kitchen? How about a home office? Absolutely need a patio where you can get some fresh air? Put it on your list!
2. Get pre-approved for your mortgage.
If you need help with your pre-approval, we’ll be glad to help. Most listing agents will require a pre-approval before they agree to let you see a home in person.
Why is pre-approval necessary? Because what you determine you can afford may be different than what your bank says you can afford. Unknowingly looking at houses that exceed your budget only leads to wasted time and disappointment. Beyond that, the COVID-19 era dictates that as few people as possible attend open houses and private home tours, so you’ll likely be required to prove you’re a qualified buyer.
3. Look at online listing videos.
More and more brokerages are making comprehensive videos to give you a tour of their listing. We know it can be difficult to get a feel for a home just by looking at photos. But many listings now have video tours that guide you through the entire space with commentary from an agent explaining the details of the home. Watch the videos to get a really good feel of the property. Keep yourself and others safe by viewing homes that truly fit your list of needs.
Following these simple steps will help save you time by allowing you to consider only houses that you’re really interested in buying. If you want to simplify your home-buying experience, get organized, research well, and trust Justo to help make sure every detail is handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Want to buy a home in the pandemic but you’re not sure where to begin? Contact Justo today! We’re experts at navigating this new real estate era and we’ll help make sure you’re in the best possible position when your dream home comes on the market.