The coronavirus has impacted every aspect of people’s lives all over the world—including the real estate industry.
With the government’s effort to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 infection, social distancing and stay-at-home orders were imposed resulting in limited movement. Can you buy a house during this difficult time? Of course, yes!
How Government’s Safety Measures Affect the Process
Social distancing is intended to put at least 6 feet distance between yourself and the others to lessen, if not completely eliminate, the spread of the virus. Now you don’t go around walking with a measuring tool to make sure you are at a safe 6ft. distance from another person that is why stay-at-home order was also implemented. Following that are the closing of businesses offering non-essential services resulting in a lot of non-critical workers being laid off from their jobs? Events were also canceled and home schooling was encouraged.
Since buying and selling a house involves much face-to-face interactions and physical viewings, the current situation has proved to be a challenge to the process. Open houses were cancelled and meetings are being done virtually. Companies are also finding alternatives to perform appraisals and closings safely.
More than all of that, the buyers and sellers perceptions toward the situation is what matters most. They are scared to go out, deal with other people, and possibly contract the disease, then bring it to their homes, and infect their other family members.
The Positive and Negative Sides of This Trying Time in the Housing Market
It is likely that there is less competition in the market both for buyers and sellers. If you are selling, you are probably going to have more attention to your house than what you expect. If you are buying, you get less competition for your offer and get a better deal in negotiating the price and the closing date.
Also, the low mortgage rate right now is something that buyers would want to take advantage of. The unforeseeable time frame of businesses shut down signals that the record low mortgage rates are going to stay for a while.
Selling a house could become a painful process during this time. The buying interest has fallen and sellers tend to pull out their house from the market and wait until the situation is back to normal.
On the other hand, buyers who were laid off from their jobs may find it difficult to qualify for their loan. Also, even if buyers have steady jobs still, they are not likely to jump on a purchase without physically seeing the property.
Here are some critical questions you may have in mind:
- Can you get a mortgage in the midst of this health crisis?
Yes. It may actually be the best time to get a mortgage while the rates are record low. Fortunately, most of the processes getting one can be done online. But of course, you should also consider your current and future financial capabilities before deciding to get a mortgage because it is not a game you can quit anytime—it’s going to tie you up to years of debt responsibility.
- Can you get an appraisal and inspection in the midst of this health crisis?
This could be challenging because getting an appraisal and inspection requires physical visits to the property. But that is not totally impossible—some loans allow “dive-by,” or exterior appraisals and other loans are waiving inspections.
However, if it is possible for you to get your house inspected, do so. Because an inspector can easily spot red flags which will affect the value of your property. Waiving inspection before going through the process would be a risky move.
- Can you close a house in the midst of this health crisis?
Difficult but very possible. Electronic signature and online notarization of documents are a trend now. Other states also impose alternatives to have the documents signed—like meeting in person still while following the social distancing and sanitizing hands often during the process.
The Huge Role of Technology
Much of the processes now are being done with the help of technology—from virtual house viewings, 3D tours, house tours with robots, video calls, to utilization of e-signatures and online notarization of required documents. That is why, it is important for you to understand how they work and adapt as quickly as you can.
Things You Need To Remember…
Buying or selling a house largely depends on your confidence toward the current situation. There certainly are advantages of buying or selling a house, but you also have to bear in mind the challenges along the way. If you feel like those challenges are something you can work around with and resolve, then go ahead and take advantage of this situation to get a head start. Just make sure that you are dealing with a home buying company that is fair and honest. We recommend Mrs. Property Solutions. They offer cash for houses Los Angeles for quite some time now. You can trust them especially if you need to sell your house fast Los Angeles.