The pandemic has caused quite a disruption in the way we do things. This includes the real estate industry, along with the behavior and preferences of homebuyers. And while the need for a house will always be a constant, folks are now asking is it truly an excellent time to buy a property during a pandemic?
What are some major changes in buying a property during a pandemic?
Certain changes took place within the real estate industry when the dreaded COVID-19 went global. Here are some of the most notable changes brought about by the pandemic:
Because the pandemic left everyone strapped for cash, what once was a large market quickly shrunk under the weight of COVID. Industry insiders and professionals noted that the number of those shopping for homes today has significantly decreased compared to 2019.
Fewer options in the market
Just because there’s less competition doesn’t mean more options for buyers this time. The pandemic has forced lots of homeowners to put off having their homes listed temporarily. The most common reason for this is that they fear they might be forced to part with their homes for a fraction of their actual market value. While there are still many sellers who are still pushing through with it, more of them would rather sit this one out and let the pandemic pass before having their properties listed.
Digital tours and transactions
Technology has played such a huge role in the pandemic lifestyle that it has also affected the way we do real estate. Open houses and closing deals are now mostly digital as compliance to COVID-19 protocols set by the WHO and CDC.
A higher credit score required
Because we’re living in unusual times, mortgage companies and lenders are a lot stricter when giving out quality home loans and mortgage plans. Their usually high standards for credit score went a few notches up. If you’re looking at purchasing a home right now, you will need to meet those standards or be prepared to shell out a considerable amount of cash to get the deal you want.
Multiple employment verification
In line with this, if you’re taking out a loan, expect that lenders and mortgage companies will need solid proof that you are employed and that your employment is secure. Times are hard, and as much as they would like to help every person that comes knocking on their door, they also need to ensure that the person they’re lending money to is a worthy investment.
What are buyers specifically looking for in a pandemic?
Buyer preference and behavior also took a different turn for the past year and a half. We’ve listed some things buyers are looking for below:
More living areas
Being cramped up in a small apartment with a full family might be fun for some, but it’s torture to others, especially when cabin fever sets in and everyone starts getting on each other’s nerves. More living areas and bigger spaces give families enough room to breathe and move around if they need time for themselves.
Houses with plenty of rooms are in demand right now. Any home that offers extra rooms on top of the bedrooms is high on buyers’ lists right now. This allows them to have an enclosed space to convert into a home office or workstation where they can focus and be productive.
Functional yet comfortable
While aesthetics are still important to home buyers, they are willing to compromise a bit in that department for function and comfort. The need for functionality now is a lot more important as one can only put up with getting office work done on a dinner table or kitchen counter. Folks also want to ensure coziness and comfort with all the time they will be staying in their houses.
Ample outdoor space
All this time spent indoors has left folks longing to connect with nature once again. This is why properties with lawns, backyards, and gardens are selling fast nowadays. People want to have enough outdoor space to stretch their legs and take in some fresh air and sunlight.
If you’re considering buying a property amid the pandemic, give it some serious thought before you go all in. Weigh your pros and cons before making any final decisions. The important thing at this point is you and your family are well taken care of and healthy. If the decision to buy a house will compromise your family, consider buying at another time. But if the purchase is to ensure improved living conditions for them, then go for it. The bottom line is, don’t be reckless as this is a huge decision considering the present circumstances.