Because of the pandemic we’re currently experiencing, our new market may require some adjustments in your approach to your transactions. Here are some tips to help you adjust:
1. Consider how long you plan to stay in your new home. If it’s less than two years, you should definitely look for a property where you can build value in it right off the bat.
2. Understand how much money you can spend. This isn’t a time to spend beyond your means and hope for the best. It’s likely that prices will still appreciate 4% annually, but that doesn’t mean you should overspend. Prices historically appreciate by 3% to 5%.
3. Find a place that meets your needs. Unless you’re getting your dream home, you may want to spend for the neighborhood and improve the home over time.
4. Find the right neighborhood for you. Look for an area with a good school district, as homes in those neighborhoods tend to hold their value better in a declining market and rise faster when the local market is strong, just like it is right now.
5. Make sure that you’re financing the terms that you can afford right now, not for the future.
6. Start the process as early as possible. I’d recommend working with your lender early, even before the offer is accepted. The home buying process is taking a bit longer than usual, and you could end up waiting around if you don’t get a jump start.
7. Ask for video and virtual tours. Many companies have canceled open houses and tours to prevent the spread of germs. Thankfully, you don’t have to rely on online pictures; you can take a digital tour of the home, which I can provide for you. I highly discourage people from just window shopping for homes.
8. Find a real estate agent who takes the coronavirus seriously. We at the Dave Friedman Team are willing to go above and beyond to help you choose the right home during this unique time. We’ve developed extreme measures to keep the experience safe for you. We use showing kits that contain masks, sanitizers, booties, and gloves for people to use during the showing. Before and after a showing, we clean and disinfect surfaces that people are likely to contact. We also ask the seller to leave the lights on and open all the cabinet/closet doors for us so that you don’t have to touch them to see inside them.
The Dave Friedman Team has found a system that’s safe and effective for our clients. It all starts with doing a ton of research for the clients ahead of time, looking for distressed deals, off-market deals, and homes that fit their needs. We’ll email the client anywhere from four to eight homes that match their criteria.
From there, we look through all the photos together and otherwise consult with you about your home search. We also do a lot of preliminary work, such as looking at flood zones, insurance zones, zoning issues, potential title issues, surveys, HOA restrictions, and more. You name it, and we’ll look into it for you.
We also reach out to the sellers on your narrowed-down list of homes and have them shoot another video for you so we can take a better look at the property together. That way, you’ll get a very detailed tour of the home.
Next, our team will personally walk through the property for you, and we’ll do a video chat with you, allowing us to walk you through the home and answer any question you have as we look around.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to narrow your options down to a favorite or two, and if you feel comfortable, we can show you the home in person.
Even with our adjusted home buying process, you’ll still be able to coordinate the home inspection and appraisal, obtain contractor estimates if necessary, conduct title search, shop insurance rates, and so on to make sure you close safely—you can even do that virtually.
The bottom line is this: If you’re buying a home while the pandemic rages, you can expect technology to play a huge role in the process.
If you have any questions about our home buying process amid the pandemic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.