The COVID-19 pandemic has hit some industries a lot harder than others. For real estate, there was a significant drop in home sales when the pandemic first hit. But in many parts of the country, the industry is settling into a new normal, continuing home sales, albeit with some slight adjustments to the process. In fact, some markets are hotter than ever, which has led many to ask themselves, “Should I buy a house now? And what do I need to know about buying a home during the COVID-19 pandemic?” Let’s try to answer those questions and consider what it means for those in hero professions in particular.
Real Estate Market 2020
In many parts of the country, housing prices are high, while nationally, interest rates remain near historic lows. This makes sense as low rates can encourage more buyers to enter the market, which means more competition, which drives up home prices. But it’s always important to remember that there is no single housing market. Conditions vary from city to city and state to state. So, you always have to consider what market conditions are like in the area you’re looking to buy.
Even still, the market is generally considered to be a seller’s market right now. That may seem like a bad time to buy a house, but you have to consider the full picture. A small change in your mortgage interest rate can make a big difference in the amount you pay over the life of your loan. So, would the trade off be worth it to pay a little more on the sale price, but save a lot more in the end? Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen with interest rates or home prices in the future. So, the answer to the question, “Should I buy a house now?” will depend on your current, individual financial situation and your unique needs. But it’s worth looking at the issue holistically, rather than basing your decision on a single factor.
The Process of Buying a Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As we mentioned before, social distancing guidelines and other factors have made the process of buying a home during the COVID-19 pandemic slightly different than they would have been previously. Depending on where you live, the impacts may be more dramatic than in other parts of the country. But here are some common changes to be aware of as you begin your home buying journey:
- Open houses are largely a thing of the past, with showings happening on an individual basis
- Virtual home tours are becoming more common
- Accompanying home inspectors during inspections is becoming less common
- More communications with agents, lenders, buyers and sellers are being conducted remotely
- Closing processes are being conducted virtually as well
Some of these things may seem strange if you bought or sold a house pre-pandemic. But the industry has responded and is adapting, using technology and creativity to continue the home buying process. So, if you’re interested, you don’t need to wait. There is certainly a path forward to home ownership.
What This Means for Heroes
The real estate industry hasn’t been the only one to see significant change as a result of the pandemic, as certain hero professions have changed drastically as well. Many teachers are now working from home, and certain healthcare professionals saw their hours either dramatically cut or increased depending on the scope of care.
So, if you’re wondering, “Should I buy a house now?” it may help to consider the state of your profession overall. What are industry professionals projecting for the long-term effects on jobs and how does that fit with your particular role and your personal long-term plans? The bottom line is that heroes will always be needed by the communities they serve. So, even though it can feel like there are some dramatic changes in the works, heroes should still feel confident and you should make decisions based on your individual needs and plans.
If you’re interested in talking with an industry professional about your unique situation, register with Homes for Heroes today. We’ll automatically match you with a real estate specialist in your area who can guide you through the local market and offer guidance to help you reach your individual goals.
Buying a home during the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t have to be a scary proposition. With the right agent and lender, you can navigate the challenges, weather market conditions and find a home that is perfect for you and your family.
Want to save money when buying a house? Register with Homes for Heroes today. Heroes who use our program save an average of $2,400 when buying a home.