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Buying a home in the time of COVID-19? Here are 5 questions to ask

The COVID -19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes in every industry including real estate. Even with altered norms, life goes on. People still make important decisions like buying a house.

If you’re planning to buy a house in Charlotte, NC; Huntersville, NC; Ballantyne, NC; Fort Mills, SC; Highland Creek, NC; or Uptown in NC but are unsure about how to go about it given the ongoing health risks, check out the list below.

We’ll answer some of your burning questions so you can confidently move forward into home ownership.

  1. Is this the right buying season?

    The short answer is yes. Zillow forecasts a stronger housing market in 2021 as buyer demand stays high. If you have the resources, now is the time to proceed with your home buying plans – not later when the demand is expected to intensify and push home prices higher. Now is the time to find a home that will accommodate your need for flexi spaces, dedicated home offices, or study rooms.

  2. Is it safe to go to an open house?

    You can wait your turn on limited in-person visits to homes for sale, or you can view the property another way. Virtual tours and virtual open houses are encouraged in real estate transactions today – they eliminate the need for pandemic protocols like social distancing and mask wearing.

    Ask your real estate agent to arrange a virtual tour for you. With this innovation, you can also view selected properties from the comfort of your home and at your convenience. If you need to check out the community or gauge the curb appeal of your shortlisted property, you can drive by the house for sale and cruise around the neighborhood.

    Here’s more on how you can stay safe during house showings.

  3. Does it make financial sense to buy a home right now?

    Ask yourself the following questions:

    • Is your job stable?
    • Have you saved enough for a down payment?
    • Can you get financing?

    If you answered yes to all of the above, then buying a home is a wise move to do now. Mortgage rates are at a historic low, allowing potential buyers to save thousands of dollars. Lower interest also strengthens your buying power. While demand for homes remains high, you can consult with your real estate agent to craft a strong offer.

  4. How has COVID-19 affected home prices?

    Many sellers have delayed selling their homes because of fears generated by the pandemic. At the same time, buyers are eager to buy because they want to leave their urban dwellings and relocate to a quieter, more suburban community with larger homes and more outdoor space. This has given rise to a seller’s market, driving home prices up. The median home price in the US hit its highest point in 2020. Work with a real estate agent on how to come up with the best price and negotiate your offer to the seller.

  5. How long does a home closing take?

    Closing or the completion of the home buying process used to take from 23 to 43 days. Today, however, it takes longer because of the pandemic. Stay-at-home orders have severely curtailed the physical presence of employees in offices, leaving lenders to grapple with mounting paperwork. The limited availability of home inspectors and home appraisal professionals have also slowed down the process. For safety reasons, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac temporarily allow exterior-only appraisals.

Partner with a trusted Realtor to start your home buying experience in Charlotte, NC. Meet the team at Valarie R. Brooks Real Estate for valuable home buying insights and the best listing of houses for sale in North Charlotte, NC .

Contact us by calling at 704.488.5458 or sending an email to Valarie(at)ValarieRBrooks(dotted)com.