While buying a home will always be a complicated and exhausting process, buying a home during a worldwide pandemic will only help to make things harder and more confusing for you. So if this is your first time buying a home, here are three tips that will make your purchasing experience easier despite the current state of things wherever you live.
Make Sure You’re Financially Secure
If you’re lucky enough to have had little to no negative financial impact as a result of the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, you may be feeling like you’re on pretty secure financial footing. But before you make the decision to purchase something as large as your first home, you should really be sure that you can handle this financial burden.
Not only should you know that you can cover whatever monthly payment you’ll be making on your mortgage, but Paul Hope, a contributor to Consumer Reports, recommends that home buyers, especially first-time buyers, have an even bigger financial cushion than they might normally be advised to have. Ideally, you should try to have about six to twelve months of your living expenses saved outside of what you’re already planning to contribute toward the costs of your new home. This will help to ensure that you have the money to afford your home and stay in your house in the event that you lose your job or take another financial hit.
Know There’s Generally More Demand Than Supply
The housing market prior to the onset of the coronavirus already had more demand than supply. But with sellers now holding off on selling their homes until the market stabilizes and prices, presumably, will come back up, there’s even fewer homes to choose from for buyers.
As a result, Maurie Backman, a contributor to USA Today, shares that you can likely expect to get into a bidding war when you place an offer on a home. Because of this, you should try to make an offer on the home you want very soon after it hits the market. And if you really want to secure it, you’ll likely have to offer above list price.
Expect Differences In The Process
Since this is your first experience buying a home, you may not notice how things are different now than they were before the pandemic. However, any research or advice you have gotten prior to coronavirus might not be as accurate or helpful.
For example, Elizabeth Renter, a contributor to NerdWallet.com, shares that a lot of the home buying process can and will now take place virtually. This means that you may not be there to see the home inspector complete the inspection, sign the closing documents in person, or even walk through the home before you make an offer. But if you can be flexible, the process will still end in the same result.
If you’re wanting to buy your first home soon, consider how buying a home in the pandemic may be different from what you expected, and use the tips mentioned above to help you navigate it all.