5 Ways the Pandemic May Change Your Home Purchase
Covid 19 has turned the World upside down with forced closures of business, skyrocketing unemployment, CDC Guidelines to ensure health and safety of all citizens and the growing concern of how can "we" get back to normal. And what is the new "normal"...
The Housing Market has been heavily impacted. Today there is relatively "no inventory" there is a high demand for homes for both purchase and for rent. Seller's are more anxious and many have decided to wait sell for various reasons. They may be a bit uneasy about the Coronavirus, they may not know if there is another home to buy, they may not feel comfortable that they are able to properly market their home. And buyers are facing the same uncertainty with job status, wage or salary status and the ability to qualify for a loan with the continued changes in lender guidelines. Both Seller and Buyers are impacted by Covid 19 and the unknown of recovery during the Pandemic.
As the Coronavirus changes the way Americans lives, so do the preferences of buyers. Buyers are now looking to home features that best meet how they envision life in the future. As uncertainty looms around health and economic conditions, Buyers are planning for the long-term.
Here are 5 Ways the Pandemic Could Change the Home Purchase for Buyers:
1. Suburbs Baby!
Yes, that is right. The suburbs are growing in demand. Many first time buyers and move-up buyers have been living in high density areas in smaller apartments are condominiums with limited indoor space and, at times, no outdoor space to escape from their day. As the workforce adapts to more "work from home" or "stay at home" restrictions remain, buyers are considering homes that allow for outdoor entertainment. City dwellers, especially those with family, are looking to the suburbs for the white picket fence, lawn games and the BBQ.
2. Rentals Demand is Increasing
Unemployment numbers and economic turmoil is creating a demand for rental properties. Buyers are either uncomfortable with a 30 year financial loan commitment or, given the new lender guidelines, may no longer qualify for the loan. The concern around the stability of wages, job security and overall economic stability is giving way to caution and increasing the demand for rentals.
3. Bigger Is Better
A large part of the American lifestyle has "Been on the Go". The Pandemic has changed that tune... More time is being spent at Home. The majority of gathering places have been closed and are now re-opening with limited capacity. Some are not going to open for a while longer. The closing gyms, schools, daycare, sporting events, restaurants, performance halls, and more have created a buyer need for more space at home. Families need the room for children to study, adults to work, areas for family gathering both indoor and outdoor. The need for space has transformed buyer "wants' and "needs" away from smaller homes to larger, more spacious and more comfortable homes.
Technology has been changing how buyers could begin their search for a home. Opening a computer or their phone gave instant access to inventory. Whether the inventory was correct is for another article... However, the inventory appeared and the buyer could browse. After browsing, buyers engage with the professional Realtor to access the home and to complete the purchase transaction. The Pandemic transformed the home purchase process and changed how buyers, seller and realtors transact today. Today, buyers and sellers are engaged with their Realtor than in the past. And larger Brokers, such as Coldwell Banker, has evolved to help their customers to buy and sell homes safely and with great integrity and professionalism. Technology has provided the following: Virtual Open Houses vs Open to Public Open Houses, Mortgage Lenders and Title companies have revamped their processes to respond to CDC Guidelines and Remote Notary Services and Legal Guidelines have evolved to address the concerns of buyer and sellers by providing disclosures and affidavits to protect all parties.
5. Hiring The Right Agent
Buyers sentiment toward a Realtor was different than that of a Seller. A seller signs a contract with a Realtor to sell their home and with that contract come various obligation and duties of both parties. It is very clear that the seller and realtor will be working together exclusively. Some buyers and realtors sign a contract too; however, it has not been a prevalent practice in real estate. And as a result, buyers tended to engage with more than one Realtor. Today, we are seeing a shift in buyer behavior and the trust being placed in their Realtor. When "hiring" the right Realtor to find your home, buyers are looking to the qualities of knowledge, communication, relationships with lenders and inspectors, title process and more. The main reason for this change of mindset is that the buyer is much more reliant on the Realtor to guide them through the home purchase as lender guidelines are changing, economy is uncertain, inventory is low, seller expectation is high and inspections are private. Some other qualities is to interview the agent and ask questions that are important to you and to what you are looking for in a professional Realtor. You will be working with your Realtor for a minimum of six months... choose wisely and you will have the best experience and you will find the perfect home.