Jun 09, 2020 06:47 PM EDT
Buying your first home can be a daunting experience for just about anyone during any time, let alone during a pandemic. Many people who were getting ready to purchase homes this year have been met with roadblocks, forcing them to put their plans on hold until everything clears up a little bit. Not only is the United States experiencing an economic downturn because of the many businesses being forced to close their doors temporarily, but we're also experiencing the effects of social distancing.
If you are still planning on buying a home, don't worry too much. If you're healthy and in a good place financially, you can still move forward with your plans safely by considering the following tips:
Save for a Downpayment and Raise Your Credit Score
If you're wondering if you should buy a house during coronavirus, checking your finances is the first place to start. Lenders in the country are moving with caution on who they approve mortgages for. Because a lot of people are losing their jobs or experiencing salary cuts, banks want to make sure that those who they loan money to are able to afford the monthly payments involved. When shopping around for homes, keep in consideration your price range and choose homes that are within what you know you can afford. It's likely that you will be approved for a loan lower than what you originally planned for.
Some ways to increase your chances for approval are having a sizeable down payment available as well as a good credit score. One of the best ways to improve your credit score fast is to pay off credit card debt.
Interview Agents via Video Chat
Many of the processes in a real estate transaction are done in person, and we're suddenly faced with having to do things remotely. Finding a real estate agent who shows that they can confidently help you buy a home during the pandemic is crucial. In order to practice social distancing, interview several real estate agents via video chat to get a sense of their experience and how they can use that to help you find a house within your budget and that fits your requirements.
If in the event you do buy a home, make sure to be cautious while moving. Follow your local area's guidelines on how to stay safe and sanitary. If possible, opt to move without hiring a team of movers by renting a moving truck. If this isn't feasible, don't hesitate to call different moving companies and ask them what they are doing to prevent the spread of illness to their clients. Wear masks, gloves, and sanitize regularly.
Prepare for Delays
The pandemic is something that nobody in our generation has ever experienced, and new processes are being unrolled regularly. In real estate, there are a lot of steps in the process that can be hindered by the stay-at-home orders imposed. Even as these restrictions are lifted, people are hesitant to be in close quarters with other people. Something that Realtors are seeing more and more of are coronavirus clauses, which are included in contracts to account for if anyone were to contract COVID-19 during the process. As a buyer, it's important to understand what these clauses entail and how they can impact you.
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