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Home Buying During COVID-19: Your Biggest Questions Answered

A woman choosing a home to buy online during covid19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed how the world works, and even the real estate industry as we know it has been significantly affected. If you’re wondering whether you should buy a house during this difficult time, we’re here to tell you that there’s really no reason not to, as long as you take careful consideration of each and every step you take. 

We answer four of the biggest questions that homebuyers are asking themselves during this time.

Have home prices dropped during the pandemic?

Although the pandemic has put many home buying plans on hold, housing prices have not only remained steady, but the median listing price even saw a 1.4 increase in May compared to the same period last year. Nevertheless, every community is different, and some will be affected more than others by COVID-19. If you’re looking for great deals in the La Cañada real estate and Pasadena real estate market, I, Kathy Sueleymezian, can help.

Can I still view houses?

Due to sanitation and social distancing concerns, home showings are now preferably done online. However, many home sellers and real estate agents are able to accommodate by-appointment home visits. Should you feel the need to do an in-person ocular, make sure you are fully prepared for the activity by bringing your own disposable face mask/shield, gloves, shoe covers, and hand sanitizer. Keep a distance of at least six feet between you and your host at all times, and avoid touching surfaces. 

How do I know I’m ready to buy?

The unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7% in April, after falling to a 50-year low of  3.6 percent before the pandemic hit, but improved to 10.2% in July. If you lost your job during this time, it will be smarter for you to shelve your home buying plans in the meantime. 

For those who remain employed, it’s important for you to assess your financial situation before you move forward. 

Ask yourself:

  • Is my company/business/industry stable?
  • Do I have enough for a down payment?
  • Do I have at least six months’ worth in emergency funds?

An affirmative answer to these three questions indicates that you’re in a good position to buy, pandemic or not. That said, it’s worth noting that lenders are implementing additional qualification requirements, or overlays, on mortgages because of the pandemic. This can potentially impact the amount you can borrow. So if you are thinking of maxing out your budget and buying the most home you can afford, you might want to consider scaling back to avoid hurting your ability to meet your payments.

What can I expect from buying a home during COVID-19?

The real estate industry as a whole is still adjusting to the new normal of doing business, so delays are almost inevitable. The length of time it takes to complete inspections, appraisals, and negotiations nowadays tend to be longer. Additionally, many real estate firms and professionals are severely backlogged due to pandemic-related restrictions and regulations. While delays will test your patience, make it a point not to sweat the small stuff and keep your eye on the prize – to finally buy your own home.

Want to explore your options in Pasadena and La Cañada homes for sale? Let me help you find the right property to buy. Contact me, Kathy Seuylemezian, at 818.949.5205 or email Kathy(at)imuragent(dotted)com today.