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Tips for House Hunting During the Coronavirus Pandemic
COVID-19 has drastically changed the way people search for and buy houses, so you’ll need to be prepared. These resources can help you get ready for house hunting in the age of the coronavirus.
Getting Your Finances in Shape
Regardless of the pandemic, the first step in buying a house is to get your finances in order and researching loan options. Here’s what you should know about the process.
- COVID-19 has affected interest rates, which can impact your mortgage rates when you apply for financing.
- Getting preapproved or prequalified for a home loan can aid your search for a new house.
- Pandemic or not, your mortgage rates will depend on your credit score. Most things you can do to improve your score are already done remotely!
- Now is also a good time to evaluate your savings to see if you’re on track to make a down payment. COVID-19 has complicated many people’s financial situations, but making adjustments to your spending can help you save.
House Hunting Has Gone Virtual
Before the pandemic, most people already started their house-hunting efforts online. But with social distancing orders in full effect, many other aspects of buying a home are done virtually, too.
- In-person tours are almost unheard of these days. Instead, estate agents are holding live video walkthroughs to replicate the experience of touring homes.
- Open houses are also being put on hold. Instead, you can often find estate agents holding virtual open houses on platforms like Facebook Live.
- Work with an experienced estate agent in your area.
Moving and Settling in During COVID-19
Once you’ve found your dream home, it’s important to understand how the pandemic has changed the way we move, and find professionals to take care of home repairs.
- You can still hire professional movers; however, moving companies may follow special safety considerations, such as wearing masks and not shaking hands.
- Some repairs can wait, but others need immediate attention. For necessary repairs, you can keep yourself and contractors safe by asking for a remote inspection and practicing social distancing.
Buying a home during a pandemic is a bit challenging, but it just requires flexibility. Fortunately, most aspects of the home-buying process can be done with little to no contact. And if you feel confident, you can even buy a home sight unseen! In the event you do need to work with an estate agent, seller, title agent, or home inspector in person, remember to keep yourself and everyone else safe by following the latest guidance.