Buying Real Estate in a Pandemic: What You Need to Know
So you’re thinking about buying real estate in the middle of a pandemic? You’re not alone.
Millions, from first-time homebuyers to seasoned investors are looking to buy a home this winter.
But what’s different about buying a home this winter?
The Trade-offs of Uncertainty
Many are facing uncertainty with their jobs with more shut downs looming. This has to be your first box to check.
How secure is your job and income? If we have to shut-down, will you be able to still work and pay your mortgage?
If there is any uncertainty at all, buying a home right now might not be right for you. Have an honest conversation with yourself, and your boss, about what happens if your local economy comes to a halt again.
The flip side of uncertainty comes in the form of record low interest rates.
Interest rates as of 11/18/2020 are as low as they’ve ever been.
You can get a 30-year fixed mortgage at 2.7% right now. TWO POINT SEVEN PEOPLE. This certainly changes how much house you can afford and in some cities, can offset the bull-market we’ve seen in home prices.
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Why are rates so low?
The Federal Reserve wants to stimulate investment and spending. This helps the economy gain momentum. The lower the rates, the more people can borrow and afford things like cars and houses.
They have committed to keeping rates low for the next year or two.
This is one unique aspect that is in favor of buying during this period of low rates.
For current mortgage rate trends, check out this article from Money.com, which is updated every Thursday with the latest trends: https://money.com/current-mortgage-rates/
The Golden Rule is Even More Important
The most important rule of 30/30/3 becomes even more important when the FOMO is real, prices are rising and there is economic uncertainty.
Some may disagree but this rule is meant to be conservative and a general guideline to help you not over extend yourself.
30 – Spent no more than 30% of your gross income on your monthly mortgage.
30 – Have 30% of the home value saved in cash.
3 – The price of the home should be no more than 3x your annual gross income.
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Is it Safe to Buy Real Estate in a Pandemic?
Coming from a home inspector that works with many real estate agents, we are taking cleanliness and safety precautions very serious.
For example, when you tour homes with your agent you’ll most likely see them wiping down everything you touch before and after.
During our home inspections, we wear masks, use hand-sanitizer and require social distancing. Gloves and shoe-booties, if requested.
Part of the reason that real estate has continued to boom during the pandemic is that (outside of open houses) it is largely a socially distanced transaction. In many ways, it is far safer than going to the gym or grocery store!
If you’re an investor looking into the Central Florida market, digital communication has never made it easier. As many investors and snowbirds continue to flock to Florida for the beautiful weather and reasonable prices, seeing a home through FaceTime or Zoom is as safe as it gets!
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In some ways, not a lot has changed…
For those that have secure jobs and were already thinking about buying a home.
Many are seeking more space or cashing out equity out of need.
No matter where you’re at in the journey make sure to do your research. Educate yourself on the market, rates and know your finances. And hire a great home inspector 🙂