You had aspirations of becoming a homeowner in 2020. This was the year you were going to stop paying your landlord’s mortgage and start investing in your future. But with the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may be on the fence about homeownership at the moment.
Keep reading as we discuss buying a home during this unprecedented time.
Should I wait to buy a house?
It depends on a number of factors. If you have excellent credit and job stability, you can probably move forward on your home buying journey. Just note that lending requirements are stricter and you will likely have to come up with a sizable down payment.
So why consider buying a home in 2020 amidst a pandemic? For one thing, mortgage rates are at or near historic lows. This means you could potentially get more home, for less.
Find out how much home you can afford!
There’s also the fact that home prices continue to rise across the country. The sooner you’re able to score a place in this market, the sooner you’ll build equity. And that’s a big deal whether you’re looking to purchase your first, next, or forever home this year.
Buying a house during coronavirus
Let’s say you go ahead and begin the home buying process in the coming weeks or months. With rules and regulations constantly changing in the industry, it’s important to be patient and flexible.
Many home inspections and appraisals, for example, are being done using multiple listing service information and public records. This alternative way of determining a home’s value could ultimately take longer than a traditional, in-person appraisal.
We would be remiss if we failed to mention the latest update with open houses. As of April 30, real estate agents are advised to hold off on open houses indefinitely. But don’t let this minor change prevent you from achieving your homeownership goals! Thanks to virtual showings, buyers are free to tour a residence from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Keep in mind that not all listings offer such an option. If you’re interested in a home but it doesn’t have this feature, get in touch with your agent. The two of you may be able to check out the house in-person while adhering to proper social distancing.
The other major difference in buying a house during this time is how closings are being handled. You should expect yours to include some sort of drive-thru component and minimal face-to-face interaction. Additionally, your agent may be asked not to attend your closing.
How to buy a house for the first time
According to data from TransUnion, more than 9 million first-time home buyers will be entering the market between now and 2022. Yet few of these people will actually familiarize themselves with the process.
Here’s how you can get a leg up on the competition.
Take control of your finances
It’s impossible to buy a house without having a grip on your finances. Sure, you may be tempted to browse listings and imagine moving into one of Denver’s best neighborhoods. But the reality is that you won’t become a homeowner until you shore up your money situation.
What do we mean by this exactly? Well, a lender won’t give you a loan unless they’re confident you can repay it. That’s why it’s in your best interest to improve your credit score, pay down debt, and build your savings account before applying for a mortgage.
A pre-approval letter shows you just how much home you can afford. On top of that, it indicates to sellers that you’re serious about making an offer. Pro tip: Collect essential documentation ahead of time, such as recent W-2s, paystubs, and bank statements.
Find a reliable agent
A dependable real estate agent not only simplifies the home buying process, but also makes it more fun. This person should have no problem communicating with you and answering any questions along the way. Of course, it’s also smart to hire an agent who knows the Colorado housing market inside and out.
We’re all facing a world of unknowns right now. That said, millions of people will find a way to buy a house in 2020. You could be one of them as long as you have a dedicated agent by your side.
Our clients remain the top priority at American Home Agents. Whether you plan on purchasing a home this year or in the future, you can count on us for unparalleled service.
Call American Home Agents today at (303) 695-5900.