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!
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!
- How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time
- Extra Touches that Grab Buyers’ Attention and Help Your Home Sell Faster
- How to Get Your House Ready to Sell While Social Distancing
- Showing a Home During COVID-19
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.
|Well located and very private mid-century modern home with plenty of upgrades. Located in the sought after Middle-River neighborhood with a community dock 5 blocks away for kayaking/canoeing. Perfectly located just a mile from Wilton Drive and 13th Street with plenty of restaurants and shops. 3 miles to the beach and 2 miles to downtown Fort Lauderdale. Closable gate in the front creates your own secure oasis. Features: Impact windows, A/C less than 1 year old, GE electric panel, Impact doors, new attic insulation blown, pest control serviced, restored terrazzo floor.|
Here is a link to my virtual tour: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=WL5cqH6V2So
- Home values went up 3.3% from last year
- Inventory is down 16.3%
- Months supply of inventory is down 18.2%
Sometimes I can’t help but play favorites. Checkout my top picks — and see why I fell in love with these homes.
Click on all Photos to see the full listings and pictures.
Amazing interiors and pool area
What I love: Basically everything!
Canal Front Wilton Manors
What I love: I love the big sliders that blend outdoor and indoor living
White on White!
Mid Century Multifamily Looker
What I love: OMG the roof line! Why pay the entire rent, when you can offset the mortgage with a separate suite.
The Roof The Roof, The roof is on Fire – well not really, but it’s an awesome roof!
I feel like Austin Power’s designed this house – and I love it.
I can’t find anything I don’t like about this house.
Veleiros at Crystal Lakes
Past renter of mine turned into a buyer after I provided her a Rent vs Buy analysis. We hit the road running and I showed her 10 properties that she selected. All were 20+ years old. Some risks when buying a 20 year old home puts you 5 years out for a new roof or potential insurance rate increases due to age. We also saw homes that were 50-60 years old in east Broward, which is typical. The issues with these types of homes are older electrical panels, which are red flagged by insurance companies, that then lead to expensive policies and even policy cancellations.
Also, another potential issue with older homes is cast iron plumbing underneath the house. This type of plumbing can decay over time and leads to massive expenses into the $15k+ range.
Many of these homes, believe it or not, don’t have hurricane impact windows, which opens the owner up to higher insurance premiums and risky dangerous conditions during a hurricane.
Looking at this transaction from an advisory standpoint, I suggested a new construction home that would mitigate these issues and have 30% less insurance premiums. She ended up buying a brand new home for under $450,000, which is completely turnkey so she won’t have to do anything to the property for a very long time! I’m so happy for her that she chose this home.