What to Consider When Buying a Home During a Pandemic

Buying a new house

Massachusetts’ “safer at home” advisory strongly recommends that citizens stay at home unless they’re doing healthcare, permitted work, worship, and shopping activities. Similar rules are also in place in other states. The pandemic, however, hasn’t stopped a lot of homebuyers from getting the property of their dreams. According to the latest Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, over 52% of Americans say that it’s an optimal time to purchase a house.

The recent pandemic made people realize the importance of home security. Paying monthly rent just isn’t viable, especially if you’ve been one of the workers that were laid off by your company.  However, a lot has changed in the way that real estate works during the stay at home period. Consider these factors before going out to find and buy your dream home.

The Mortgage Preapproval

Before searching for properties, it’s important to get a mortgage preapproval. This involves a lender checking your finances like your credit score, assets, income, and more to find out how much cash you can borrow to buy a home. They’ll also figure out how much you’re allowed to pay every month.

Not only does a preapproval provide you with a rough budget for your search, but it also accelerates your FHA loan process once you finally decide on buying your Boston home. Plus, agents won’t hesitate to sell to someone who has their finances in order, as verified by a lender.

The House Tour

Everyone’s expected to follow proper social distancing practices. As such, you may not be able to go on physical house yours with your agent. You’re more likely to get one through a video chatting application like Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype. Some real estate companies also offer pre-recorded walkthroughs or even interactive 3-D floor plans of the homes they’re selling.

It’s really tough to find agents who do physical open houses nowadays. But if you do find one, make sure to bring the proper protective equipment like masks and safety gloves. You’ll have to avoid touching knobs and other surfaces too to avoid contamination.

The Competition

A row of new homes with fenced yards along a sidewalk.

Expect fierce competition for every property you check out, especially for ones in urban areas and those that have a really good price. If you really like a home, put in your best offer immediately to get ahead of the pack. It’s best to do this on homes that are at the bottom or middle of your price range because you may have to bid significantly higher than the given price to win the property.

If possible, have an inspector in the Zoom call with you to look at the property to shave a day or two off your decision-making period. Ask your lender if they can accelerate your closing as well. Remember, an agent won’t wait for you to make a decision, especially during times when they really need to make a sale. As such, you need to make your offers as quick and as calculated as possible.

Finding and buying your dream home doesn’t have to be stifled by the pandemic. A lot of realtors are adapting to the current situation by providing house tours with social distancing procedures and even digital viewings. Consider these factors to ensure you get your dream home even during these trying times.

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