Should I Buy A Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Aug 5, 2020 Blog, Housing Trends
Real Estate During COVID-19 - St. Johns County, Jax, St. Augustin FL

For those who had begun their new home search early this year, the COVID-19 pandemic likely brought your search to a halt – albeit a temporary one. Now that states are re-opening, many would-be home buyers are left wondering if they should start their home search fresh or if they should even consider buying a home during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Buying a home is one of the largest investments most people ever make, and in the midst of the pandemic, many potential homeowners are asking if buying a home is still a sound financial decision.

There is no sole answer, as everyone’s situation is unique, but let’s explore the factors to consider when choosing whether to buy a home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Real Estate is an Essential Service 

In nearly all areas of the country, real estate remains an essential service. That means home buying and selling will continue—though modified for safety—even if a potential second wave of coronavirus leads to reverting back to reopening phases.

In fact, the changes put in place by real estate professionals to keep buyers and sellers safe have actually streamlined the buying process for house hunters and home sellers. Buyers can now focus their search, using video tours to narrow their options, and save time by only viewing their favorite homes.

Historically Low Interest Rates and Other Advantages 

Low House Interest Rates COVID-19 St. Johns County FL

Summer is often the busiest time for real estate buying and selling. However, the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has caused some pause among buyers and sellers, while also forcing some major adjustments for real estate professionals trying to keep families safe while helping them buy and sell homes.

On top of the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting economic downturn, economic experts are speculating about a possible recession. Even if that proves to be the case, if you are planning to buy a home and live in it for some time (i.e. five years or more), the truth is a post-pandemic recession with market fluctuations will have little effect on you. 

In fact, record low interest rates for residential buyers mean now could be a perfect time to purchase a home. With virtual tours and social distancing orders making it easy to shop safely, potential home buyers would be wise to consider taking advantage of these unique circumstances:

  • Interest rates at historic lows
  • Sellers having to be flexible due to less buyers than normal
  • Home builders doling out special deals (discounted pricing, complimentary upgrades, waived closing cost, and more)

Your Finances Still Matter 

The economy is struggling, with high rates of unemployment due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This means if your employment has been negatively impacted, you may want to wait on purchasing a home. On the other hand, for some essential workers, this may be a great time to buy. Either way, taking a close look at your current financial situation is a must.

Consider the stability of your company and industry, as well as any impacts or potential impacts to your income. You’ll also want savings for your down payment and closing costs, as well as an emergency fund in place just in case. If you remain confident in your current position after taking an honest look at your finances, you may be ready to buy!

However, keep in mind that mortgage lenders are adding additional qualifications for applicants, including higher credit score requirements, which may limit your mortgage pre-approval amount. If you have enough in savings, a stable income, and a job unlikely to be affected by Coronavirus or a recession; you remain in a good position to buy a home. 

Factor in Your Lifestyle

New Spacious Beacon Lake Home COVID-19

For some, pausing the home buying or selling process for now may be the right answer. If you are downsizing or upsizing, waiting for the pandemic to pass could work well for you.

For others, pausing the buying process might not be the best idea. There are lots of reasons people buy homes, and some simply should not halt just because of the pandemic:

  • You may need to relocate because of your job.
  • You may have to be in a new home before the school year starts.
  • You may have a baby on the way and want to settle in your new space before your child.
  • You may need to be closer to elderly loved-ones to help with in-home care.
  • You may now be permanently working remotely and in need of more space as a result.

Ultimately, make the decision that you feel will be right for you and your family now and in the near future.

The “New” Normal

New Home in St. Johns County and Jacksonville County During COVID-19

The year 2020 has been anything but normal. But buyers are still buying, and sellers are still selling. This makes it a great time to take advantage of low interest rates, motivated sellers, and builder specials.

If you are poised to buy, Beacon Lake may be the perfect place for you and your family, where spacious single family homes and luxury townhomes await!

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