When you have never purchased a home before, you don’t know what to expect or what is good to know about the buying process. You don’t know what the typical home buying process looks like and that buying a home right now during the pandemic is going to be much different than it was just six months ago. Though asking trusted friends and family about their buying experiences may give a narrow bit of insight they did not buy during COVID and you are still going into the process with little to no experience or advice.
Though you may feel like you are flying more blindly it is still possible to purchase your first home right now while the pandemic is still hanging around. Here are some things that would be good to know as a first-time buyer during the coronavirus.
The Rules are Different Everywhere
Before you begin purchasing your home, you may have heard about distancing rules when it comes to looking at homes. These rules vary from state to state and even county to county in some states. Some even vary from city to city. If you are planning to purchase a home in a different location than you currently live make sure you are aware of the local distancing and purchasing rules where you hope to move to. It is also good to note that the rules, especially now as some states open up more businesses, are constantly changing. A local real estate agent is always a good source of what is current and allowed procedure for purchasing a home.
Inventory Might be Low but You can Still Shop for Homes
Fewer sellers are putting their homes on the market right now. People are understandably nervous about strangers coming into their one place of controlled safety right now. There are still homes out there for sale and working with an experienced local agent that knows the neighborhood like the back of their hand will be very helpful.
Though there are fewer homes on the market don’t let this pressure you to purchase something you are settling for. Shop around look at more than one property and know that you are buying a home you will really love for the amount of time you plan to live there. It is a big investment, you don’t want to regret it.
Make Sure You Have an Up-to-Date Pre-Approval
The housing market has changed and so has the mortgage market. Some buyers are going into the buying process with an older pre-approval letter only to put an offer in on a home and be denied a final approval and close on the sale.
Many lenders are dealing with a number of loans going into scenarios where the bank begins making the payments because the borrower is no longer able to. This has lenders increasing their approval standards for new loans to help ensure those loans don’t end up the same way. Banks are constantly changing requirements as the pandemic constantly changes the state of the economy.
If you have a pre-approval that is more than a few weeks old you may want to check in with your lending agent to make sure you still qualify for the same amount of money.
Home closings look very different than they used to. With the demand for underwriters to approve everything from new loans to refinances the process has slowed down a bit. To keep your closing process going as smoothly as possible make sure to reply to your lender as soon as possible with required documents and be available to sign anything as soon as it is sent to you. Most of the process could happen online so have your email inbox cleaned out and ready.
Expect Delays and Take Patient Precautions
During this time the entire buying and selling process is slowed down from making an appointment to see a house in person, closing on a loan, to moving in.
One tip for added safety before moving into your home and getting comfortable is to have it cleaned and then wait a few extra days to be extra sure there is no live virus hanging out in the home. A virus can’t survive without a host so letting the home sit completely empty for a few days so anything can die out is a smart move of precaution.
If you hire movers ask them what their safety measures are and how they are conducting safe business right now.
Things are certainly different in the real estate business right now, but with an experienced agent and some flexibility, you can still find a great first home.
Are you looking to buy a home in Central Indiana? Let us help you find just the right home for you. Contact us anytime.
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