The pandemic has put a lot of people’s house-buying plans on hold, but that doesn’t mean you need to delay things yourself. In fact, now might be the perfect time to buy, since there’s less competition and sellers may be more motivated to get the process over with. Below, find out what tools you can use to aid your search, and discover what changes you may need to deal with due to COVID-19. 

Prepare for Your Search 

With the pandemic going on, many parts of the home-buying process are being done virtually. When everything from open houses to real estate closings can be done remotely, it’s important to know your stuff. 

  • Start by checking out the local real estate market online so you know what homes are selling for. Knowing if homes sell above or below list price will give you an edge. 
  • Next, decide what type of home you’re interested in to narrow down your search. Knowing whether you gravitate toward mid-century, craftsman, or ranch-style homes will help weed out listings you don’t want to check out. 
  • Don’t forget to figure out how much you can afford so you’re looking within your price range. Using an online mortgage calculator will help you budget wisely. 
  • It doesn’t hurt to download a few house-hunting apps so you can get notifications when new homes that meet your preferences are listed. 

Brush Up on the Process 

Most people find it fun to search for homes, but that’s only part of the process. When you’re in the market for a new home, you should know what to expect at every step. These are a few things you may want to learn about—or refresh your memory on. 

  • COVID-19 or not, it’s a good idea to get preapproved for a loan before you start searching. Luckily, many lenders accept online applications. 
  • Even with the pandemic, you’ll want to have a home inspection done. Home inspectors may or may not be able to provide their services remotely. But either way, it’s important that you know how to read an inspection report
  • Inevitably, you’ll need to repair or update a few things in your future home. This will require in-person contact down the road, but for now, you can check what typical repairs such as AC repair cost online.
  • When you’ve decided on a home, you’ll go through the closing process. Many aspects of closing can be done remotely with e-signatures. In many states, you can even get documents notarized virtually!

Additional Resources 

Many house hunters try to sell their current home while looking for new homes. If you’re in the same boat, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into. It can be just as challenging to sell a home as it is to buy one during COVID-19, but these resources may help!

Even with the pandemic going on, you don’t necessarily need to put your house-hunting plans on pause. If you do online research ahead of time and are willing to adapt to virtual showings and open houses, it’s entirely possible to close on your next home without breaking the rules of social distancing.