If you were looking to move before the economy hit pause, or you’re ready for a change of scenery, now is a good time to buy. Realtors are back to work. Interest rates are still low. And the housing market is expected to pick up soon.
If you’re ready to get out of the house (permanently), here are five tips for navigating the home buying experience during a pandemic:
1. Choose the right lender.
Not all lenders are created equal. As a credit union, we don’t have shareholders to impress or stock prices to worry about. We’re owned by our members, and we like to keep our bosses (that’s you) happy. We offer lower interest rates than most traditional banks, potentially saving you thousands over the lifetime of your loan. We also receive discounted rates on private mortgage insurance (PMI), saving you even more. And although everything else in our world seems to be changing right now, our low down payments, low closing costs, and friendly service aren’t going anywhere.
2. Get pre-approved before you start house hunting.
The home buying process may take longer than usual, and a pre-approval letter can give you a head start on other buyers. It cuts down on paperwork, shows sellers that you’re serious, and gives you an idea of how much home you can afford so that you don’t waste time on houses outside of your budget.
3. If you’re flexible, flaunt it.
We’re all adjusting to a new normal, and being flexible will help make the homebuying experience smoother and easier for everyone. If you’re not in a rush to move, let the sellers know that you’re flexible about the closing date. This can give them time to find their next home — making you their number one choice.
4. Consult an expert.
The housing market is changing every day, and having a professional on your side will keep you up to date. Whether you’re buying your first home, building your forever home, or something in between, our expert Loan Officers will recommend the mortgage option that’s right for you now AND later.
5. Update your wish list.
You and your current home have had a lot of time to get to know each other lately. Maybe you’ve discovered that the kitchen table doesn’t make the best home office. More bathrooms is never a bad thing. Or a playroom for your kids far, far away from the living room is essential to your mental health. Whatever it is, knowing what you want before you start looking will help you save time in the search process. Plus, if you get pre-qualified to find out how much home you can afford, you can work those “must-haves” into your calculations ahead of time.