Many Americans are looking to buy real estate right now. They’re either hunting for more space or a home office, or they’re looking for a change of scenery — or maybe even location. Whatever the reason, homebuying is hot in today’s market.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has put a bit of a damper on what’s usually a pretty fun and exciting process. It has also brought health concerns front and center for just about everyone involved in these transactions.
Are you considering buying a home in the near-term? Are you worried about what it might mean for your health or the health of your loved ones? These safety precautions may be able to help:
1. Know what you want — and be specific.
The more specific you can be about your house-hunting criteria, the more effective (and safe) your search will be. Be super picky about what you want in a home, and only tour properties you’re almost positive are the one. You don’t want to risk your health — or the health of the sellers — for just a maybe.
2. Learn all you can about a property virtually.
Spend a little more time researching the properties you’re considering than you normally would. Look at online reviews about the neighborhood, check property tax rates, and dig up ratings on the local schools. You might also do a few drive-by tours of the neighborhood to get a better feel for the place. Again, you don’t want to risk your health unless you’re pretty sure a home is the one.
3. Steer clear of in-person tours if at all possible.
Most listings these days have video tours, 3D walkthroughs, and interactive floor plans included in them, so use these to evaluate a property as best you can. If you want to see a home further, ask the listing agent about a virtual tour via FaceTime or Skype.
If you do think a home might be the one, then you might consider an in-person tour — just steer clear of open houses. At these events, there could be several buyers on-site at once, upping the health risk considerably.
4. Be extra diligent on showings.
In the event you do go on an in-person tour or two, be super careful as you go about the house. Wash and sanitize your hands, wear a face mask, and keep your hands off any high-traffic surfaces and fixtures (doorknobs, faucets, etc.) You should also keep your party small — ideally just you and your agent. The more people you add to the mix, the riskier it is for everyone.
5. Work with your agent, lender, and inspector digitally.
You should be able to work with all your vendors without any in-person contact. Use Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype to discuss important matters, and rely on email and phone for other items. Depending on your title company, you may even get to close virtually — removing yet another layer of risk for you and your family.
Make sure you come preapproved, too
Sellers aren’t just letting anyone on their properties these days, so if an in-person tour is important to you, you’ll need to show you’re serious about purchasing the home. The best way to do this is to come prepared with a preapproval letter from a reputable mortgage company.
Are you ready to start your home search? Get in touch with Premier Nationwide Lending today. We’ll get you the preapproval you need to gain an edge.
Premier Nationwide Lending is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Sponsored by NTFN, Inc. 6201 West Plano Parkway, Suite 100, Plano, TX 75093 | NTFN NMLS 75333.