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Key questions to ask when buying a home during the pandemic

couple talking about buying a house during pandemic

With the current situation caused by the global pandemic, millions of people have their financial plans sidetracked, including those who were planning to buy a home. During these uncertain times, it’s natural to have a lot of questions, especially when it comes to a significant financial decision such as purchasing a property. 

Is it even possible to buy a home right now? How will you be able to tour a property with social distancing protocols in place? What’s the pandemic’s effect on home prices?

These are just a few of the many questions you likely have in your mind right now. So to help shed some light about home buying during the pandemic, here are some answers to pressing questions you might have. 

Can you buy a home during the pandemic?

Yes, it is possible to purchase a property during our current situation, although the process may be somewhat more challenging because of health and economic concerns. The good news however, is that workarounds are now in place, thanks to new technology that makes home buying and selling easier and safer.

Keep in mind that a lot of factors will depend on the comfort level of the seller. Some may be fine with letting people into their homes so they can take a look at it in person, while others might not be too keen on this idea, even if in-person home tours are allowed in your city.

Hiring a local real estate agent is the best move if you want someone who can help you as you navigate the real estate market during the pandemic. In addition to having their experience in the local market working for you, you’ll also have access to information on what you can and can’t do as a buyer in this current situation.    

Is buying a home a financially sound move? 

From a financial angle, buyers will be able to have some advantages when purchasing a property given the current situation. One of the biggest ones are record-low mortgage interest rates, which results in lower monthly housing payments as well. Securing a low interest rate and getting a home under contract right now gives you more control compared to renting a home when rents could spike.

Competition is also a huge factor that comes into play during the pandemic. Many buyers have put their plans for buying a home aside for now, which means you’ll be facing less competition, putting you in a more advantageous spot during negotiations with sellers. 

The real answer, of course, will depend on your current financial situation. In addition to gathering info on mortgage rates and the local market, you’ll need to take a good look at your personal finances to figure out if it’s the right time for you to buy a home. 

What’s the impact of the pandemic on home prices?

Although the world economy is reeling due to the pandemic, this doesn’t mean home prices have plunged and you’ll be able to find great bargains left and right. Instead, home inventory remains tight in most real estate markets throughout the U.S. Compared to the last recession which had home prices plummeting, there are more than enough home buyers right now to fuel home sales.

While there are sellers who have shelved their listing for now and opt to wait for more ideal market conditions, there are also sellers who don’t have the same luxury of waiting it out. With safety protocols in place and limited access to homes, they’ll be entertaining a smaller buyer pool. This gives home buyers an edge during negotiations if ever they do come across a seller who needs to sell right now.   

Is buying a home safe? 

While there are safety measures established to protect the health of home buyers and sellers, they do not completely eliminate the possibility of getting infected with the virus. Fortunately, many aspects of the home buying process can now be completed remotely (or at a safe distance, at least).

For one, most listings today offer virtual tours, allowing you to view a home for sale remotely. Some agents also get clients on video chat so they can get a live look at the home while asking any questions they might have.

While touring a home virtually isn’t the same as seeing it in person, it can still help you determine whether or not you want to add a particular home to your list of options. This allows you to trim your selection of potential homes, so you can avoid wasting time looking at ones that might not meet your standards.    

Looking for the best San Francisco homes for sale? Get in touch with Nina Hatvany and her team of experienced San Francisco realtors today by calling 415.710.6462 or by sending an email to team(at)teamhatvany(dotted)com

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