Whether you're buying a home during a pandemic or not, there are always fundamental factors to consider.
Is the home the best fit for your needs?
Is the neighborhood a good one?
You're making a decision in a fairly stable environment and your real estate agent can help answer the majority of your questions.
You decide it's the right home, offer, contract, inspection, appraisal, financing, closing. Maybe really smooth, maybe a bit bumpy, but at the end you have keys to your new home.
Now enter COVID-19 and the complexity level goes up significantly.
FOR NOW (as of this writing) IN SOUTHWEST OHIO, the process for buying a home is still much the same, but with some changes.
- Some (but not many) home sellers have decided to pull their home off the market for now. Maybe they're high risk for COVID-19 and the prudent thing to do is not having potentially contaminated strangers coming through their home. Completely understandable, right?
- The support organizations to the process are still available. Title companies, loan officers, home inspectors and MOST real estate agents. There's an increased emphasis on disinfecting and minimizing personal contact (sorry, no handshakes for now!). Home inspectors may opt to NOT allow the buyers to attend. And there's a LOT of work from home offices going on.
- There's a risk that any dates agreed to in a contract may have to alter. For now the county offices are still allowing recording of sales, but this is subject to change.
- Then there's the financial considerations. How secure is your job? And your source of down payment? If it's tied up in investments...well you know what the market has been doing.
- Now all of this extra complexity is assuming NO ONE involved in the transaction actually gets sick from COVID-19.
Now if you take a look around the nation, you see what could be coming soon to our area. Shelter-in-place orders, closings of more and more businesses, perhaps a decision similar to Pennsylvania where the governor decided all things real estate are "non-essential" and to be delayed.
Bottom line, if you've got a driving need to buy a house NOW, the process is still available. But go into the process eyes wide open knowing that at any point there could be significant disruption.
The prudent thing to do? (and you might not ever expect to hear this from a real estate agent). WAIT. Find your shelter spot. Stay healthy.
And when this is over, buckle up. There's going to be pent-up demand and competition.
Want to discuss further? Just call Bill at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com.
Serving Greater Cincinnati home buyers and sellers,
Bill &Liz aka BLiz