House Hunting Amid COVID-19: Finding Your Dream Home While Staying Indoors

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing significant problems for people buying and selling homes throughout the world. Stay-at-home orders mean that everyone, except essential workers, is highly encouraged to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus. For the real estate industry, it means home buyers interested in particular listings will not be able to visit the properties and consult agents on the details.

If you were planning to buy a home before the outbreak happened, there’s no reason to pause your house-hunting efforts. Based on research by ATTOM Data Solutions, Texas’ housing market is not that vulnerable to the COVID-19 impact compared to other states like Florida and New Jersey. Whether you’re looking for homes in Dallas or Wichita Falls, you’re safe.

The Pros of Buying a House at This Time

Although the real estate markets of certain estates won’t be drastically affected by the outbreak, some people chose to pause their house hunt. This gives you the perfect opportunity to find a property you want, as well as negotiate for terms like the closing date and the price. The federal rate cut resulting from the outbreak also potentially improves the terms on your mortgage loan.

Buying Your Dream Home

If you’ve decided to continue your house hunting, though, remember that there are adjustments to the process. Here are recommendations in finding your dream home during the COVID-19 shutdown:

1 . Looking at houses

Amid rising cases of coronavirus infection, Bright MLS has temporarily loosened its restrictions on home listings. Previously, properties had to be shown in person to homebuyers to stay on the listing.

Now, you’ll find a variety of virtual open houses and walk-ins on Bright MLS. Take advantage of these home tours and compile a list of questions that you can ask the agent during the live-streamed home tour.

Some agents still offer in-person tours, but take precautions to ensure your safety. You must do the same. Practice social distancing, don’t touch anything in the house, disinfect regularly, and self-quarantine as soon as you get home.

couple looking for a house

2. Getting a mortgage

Given the current situation, mortgage applications are made online most of the time. Some loan providers are relaxing their standards, waiving property inspections, and conducting background checks through emails or phone calls.

Contact your preferred loan provider and ask for the requirements based on the type of loan you want. You should also consider your current and future financial situation and determine if it is the right time to make a huge purchase.

3. Getting an appraisal

Even though safety and social distancing measures are in place, home appraisals and inspections are something you shouldn’t exclude. Inspectors can identify factors that may affect the safety of the property. Their expert eye will help you identify early signs of a bad home purchase.

4. Closing the sale

The closing process, which involves signing and notarizing documents, is usually done in person. Now, the industry is implementing other ways to close a sale responsibly, such as using online signatures and notarization processes.

If you or the home seller agrees to signing documents in person, practice social distancing and use hand sanitizers upon touching any surfaces, including paper.

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way we buy and sell our homes. If you’re thinking of buying a new home and believe that the current situation shouldn’t hamper your goal, you’ll find many ways to push through with your plan.

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