If you’ve saved for years, worked hard to earn a stellar credit rating, and have finally given yourself the green light to pursue the home of your dreams, a global pandemic was not likely part of your plans. The virus has put a lot of things on ice in many different industries.
With social distancing practices in full effect over the past few months, it hasn’t been easy to visit, view, or even shop for a new home. Although it’s been possible to purchase a home, the process changed quite a bit and had to be adapted to the climate. There is now much more of a digital focus.
As we emerge from under the cloud that is the COVID-19 quarantine, it’s very hard to know where we stand in terms of economic prosperity. You are likely to experience several volatile markets in the search for a home. The buying process will probably be much slower than usual, and the landscape is subject to change at any second.
The good news is that we are edging closer to a more normalized way of life. Restrictions are easing, and most industries are working toward returning to full capacity. If you’re lucky enough to be in a strong financial position post-COVID and want to continue your pursuit of a new home, you need all the help you can get.
For any potential buyers out there, here are seven essential tips for buying a new home, post-COVID.
1. Take Action – conditions will never be perfect
If the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that conditions are never perfect. In the same breath, many of us have learned that we can overcome imperfect conditions, quite easily.
The longer you house hunt, the more you realize that your dream home may not fall on your lap. You will likely have to compromise and put in extra work to get your house to where you want it to be.
While you shouldn’t rush such an important purchase, deliberating for too long is unhelpful. More often than not, time is money in the housing market. If you’re not ready to pull the trigger on a home, someone else will be. This can be soul-destroying, cause stress, and cost you more money as you continue your search.
2. Detach From Unrealistic Options
If a housing proposal seems too good to be true, there’s a strong chance that it is. Likewise, if a high priced home that exceeds your budget seems unattainable, it probably is. Don’t waste valuable time and energy haggling or waiting for the unlikely occurrence of a price reduction.
Don’t get your hopes up and detach yourself from unrealistic options. Move on to the next property and continue to progress toward buying a home.
It won’t hurt to contact the agent who’s selling the more expensive house and request that they keep you updated if the situation changes.
3. Hire the Right Legal Support
Legal support is advisable at every stage of purchasing a home. The earlier you get them on board, the better.
There can be quite a lot of legal work involved in transferring the ownership of property. If and when you make an offer, most estate agents will request your solicitor’s information so that the seller’s solicitor can work on the legalities of the sale.
When dealing with large sums of money and legal documents, it’s vital that you’re advised by a law expert.
One thing to look out for is the solicitor’s fee in the transaction. These can vary and may involve additional charges.
4. Shop Around For Your Mortgage
Although it’s crucial to have a willingness to compromise, some things shouldn’t be. For something as important as your mortgage, you should exercise all possibilities and avenues.
Interest rates on mortgage rates are constantly changing at the moment, due to the crisis. In these unprecedented times, the market is quite unpredictable.
By comparing mortgage rates, you give yourself the opportunity of finding the best option. There are so many choices out there, and the mortgage for you depends on your situation.
5. Always Be One Step Ahead
Stay updated with relevant market information, do your homework, and stay one step ahead of the process where possible.
Some great ways of doing this are to read up on any available new home schemes, contact agents ahead of time to keep updated with viewings and property developments, and to research the market extensively.
Taking these actions will leave you in a much better position to get the right home. You’ll be in-the-know, sharp, and ready to take advantage of any good opportunities.
6. Consider All Costs
When budgeting for your home, you must consider all possible costs. Concentrating on just the price of the home could lead to significant financial shortcomings down the line. Calculate exactly how much you can afford on mortgage repayments, as well as maintenance costs per month. It’s beneficial to account for some rainy day scenarios.
People often fail to consider certain additional costs. Here are a few areas where extra expenditure might be required:
- State taxes
- Legal fees
- Surveying fees
- Engineering fees
- Moving costs
- Waste costs
- Management fees
When visiting a home or location for the first time, real estate agents and property managers will do everything in their power to create a positive experience. Expect the house and surrounding area to be demonstrated in the best light possible. To get a proper indication of what the property is like, it’s crucial that you visit a number of times and scrutinize all details.
This is particularly relevant when you are considering buying in a new location that you are unfamiliar with. Ensure that you take a trip and explore the neighborhood at various times of the day. This will give you a more accurate feel for the area.
Consider scenarios where your location is very important. For example, are there amenities nearby? Is there a convenience store if you need to pick something up? Where’s the closest supermarket?
Location is key for convenience and more importantly, safety.