Reasons to Buy a House During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Questions You May Ask Before You Buy a House During the CoronaVirus crisis
Here it is. Springtime in Arizona. Typically springtime is one of the busiest seasons for buyers who wish to buy a house. Saturdays are precious as buyers fill up open houses and home builder offices looking for the perfect home. But as we experience one of the greatest crippling effects in the economy many real estate shoppers are wondering: should I buy a house during the coronavirus pandemic, or wait?
The goal of this article is to help you decide whether now is a good time to buy a house or wait until the coronavirus crisis runs its course. For honest answers from a trained real estate professional, read on.
Is Now Really the Best Time to Buy a House?
Everyone knows that buying a house at the lowest price possible is the best investment. Assuming that your job is not in danger of being eliminated and you can afford a mortgage, then yes – it is a great time to buy a home. Smart real estate investors are those who see opportunity when the general public panics. One should always use caution when they make any financial decision that involves uncertainty.
For those determined to buy a house during the crisis, the opportunity is out there. This is the best buyer’s market I’ve seen in a long time. Home sellers are becoming nervous. More homes are lingering on the market and lenders are tightening their guidelines. With many Arizonans losing their jobs, fewer buyers are actively looking to buy a house. That’s less competition for you.
Most importantly, sellers are losing contracts when their buyers are no longer able to purchase their homes. Many unmotivated or uncommitted buyers have gone away. With an abundance of homes back on the market, home buyers have more choices which results in a stronger negotiation position.
How Long Before the Market Will Rebound?
The window of opportunity for home buyers won’t last forever. The ARMLS and the National Association of Realtors show that there was a housing shortage just before the outbreak. In fact, the Phoenix Area has been experiencing solid price increases over the past five years mainly because of low housing inventory.
It is projected by many economic professionals that the temporary softening of the real estate market will explode by a strong rebound once we have the quarantines lifted and the coronavirus levels off.
There’s no doubt this is a scary time to go out looking for a home. You need to take precautions to stay healthy and safe. Fortunately, the real estate industry has aggressively migrated towards digital transactions within the last ten years. Here are some ways real estate professionals have created a remote process that minimizes the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
No Open Houses
Many agents aren’t conducting open houses right now because of the social distancing guidelines established by state and local governments.
With all the social media and teleconferencing solutions out there, it has become easier than ever to consult with your Realtor on line. Of course using email, texting and the good old fashioned telephone can be used when you don’t feel like video is the way to go.
Online House Hunting
Over 90 percent of buyers begin their searches online. Many real estate listings you find online provide buyers with an excellent way to find detailed information about the home. Aside from dozens of great photos, detailed descriptions, prices and status info, sellers are beginning to realize the importance of video tours.
Of course, video tours of the home are no substitute for actually experiencing the space itself, but it does help the seller to eliminate buyers who are not serious about their home. Virtual tours also offer an alternative way to show a house when quarantines and other safety issues are a concern.
Many out of state home buyers ask me to “preview” particular properties via Facetime or with video. It doesn’t always produce an offer, but it does allow the buyer to get a good feel for the overall look of the home and neighborhood.
The real estate industry has adopted E-sign as its standard practice. Originally, when buyers wanted to write an offer, they would visit the broker’s office and go over everything with their agent. When that couldn’t happen, faxing was the standard. However, after you fax a document multiple times, you’re left with an unreadable mess. So then came E-signatures.
You can pretty much use E-signatures for every stage of the real estate transaction. From negotiation to inspection, e-signature is the perfect way to work a transaction. Lenders, title companies and Real Estate Brokers all use e-signatures to effectively make the deal more efficient. There are times when you can’t electronically sign such as at the end of the transaction. When that’s the case, title companies will assign a Notary to meet up with you wherever you need them.
You’ve seen all the photos, watched all the videos and you’re still determined to by a house. Now it’s time to actually visit it. Many listing agents provide hand sanitizers, booties, gloves and more to buyers so they can protect everyone concerned. I recommend not touching surfaces as you walk through. But if you must, please consider using gloves.
What About Your Job Security?
We just went over why it is to your advantage to buy a house during the coronavirus pandemic. However, if you fear that your job is jeopardy and are worried about a possible layoff, you should make sure to purchase a home well under budget so your deal won’t fall through.
Smart Investors Know a Rebound Will Come Sooner than Later
What if all this talk about buying your home gives you more anxiety than you care to admit? Take a deep breath and remember that home sellers are nervous too. Many home sellers are holding onto a “hot potato”. They have no choice but to leave their home on the market. The more desperate they become, the better the deals are. Interest rates are low and there’s no sign of them increasing significantly after the outbreak.
If you’re not ready to physically get out there and look, there are things you can do right now. Today is a great time to start browsing online to get familiar with the Phoenix market. Another thing you can do is look through your finances and prepare for the time ahead when you will be out and ready to buy a house.
What happens if you do find a house to buy during all this turmoil? Write that offer and lock in those rates. A smart buyer takes advantage of the market and doesn’t panic.
Additional Coronavirus Resources
- Buying a Home During This Coronavirus Pandemic via Ron Lieber, New York Times
- It May Seem Like a Really Good Time to Buy a House Right Now. But Here’s What You Should Know via Brittany Anas, Apartment Theropy
- Should Fear of the Next Recession Keep You From Buying a Home? via Kelly Ann Smith, Bankrate
Did you find this article to be an interesting read? Please remember to share it on your favorite social media channel today!
Have you been thinking about BUYING or SELLING a home in the Phoenix AZ Area? I’d love to have an opportunity to sit down and speak with you about how I can provide you with everything you need to make a stress-free transition into your new home.
Let’s get started today! I can’t wait to meet you.
About the Author: The above article, Should I Buy a House During the Coronavirus Pandemic? was written by Troy J. Elston, a licensed Realtor at West USA Realty, the premiere real estate brokerage based in Peoria Arizona. With years of experience in the real estate industry, Troy produces stunning results for home buyers and sellers. If you’re thinking of BUYING or SELLING a home in the Phoenix Area, Troy would love to share his knowledge and expertise with you.