What you Need to know About Buying a Home During Covid-19
If you had plans to buy a new home before the Covid-19 crisis hit, you might be wondering if it's still possible to follow through with finding and buying that dream home. The answer is, yes, it's still possible, it just requires being aware of how buying a home during Covid-19 might be different than during other times. We've outlined some factors to keep in mind as your work with your agent to get started on, or continue with, the process.
Know what you want
It's always important to be clear about what you want when you are buying a home, but it is particularly important now. With shelter in place restrictions and social distancing, it's possible that you might be spending a lot more time in your home in the future than in the past, so it should be a home that you feel comfortable in. This is the time to think about your must-haves, like a garden, fully-equipped kitchen, or extra space for a workout room. If you are clear about what you want, it will be easier to focus on only those homes that truly fit your needs and lifestyle and move into a new home during Covid-19.
Be ready to go virtual
In the pre-Covid-19 world, you would have visited homes in-person during an open house or showing. One of the biggest changes in place now is that these live showings have been primarily replaced with virtual ones. That means you need to be comfortable with shopping for a home virtually, and only seeing those homes in-person that you truly think might be 'the one.' When you do tour the potential home, it is likely that you will need to go alone to keep social distancing rules. Talk with your agent if you are concerned about what that might look like for your own search.
Don't be afraid to ask for documentation
During a live showing, it's completely normal for a potential buyer to ask to see documentation about repairs, inspections, warranties, etc. Just because you are doing this showing virtually doesn't mean you can't still ask for these documents. You can request digital copies of paperwork to be sure that you have all of the information that you need to make an informed decision about your potential dream home.
It is still important to see the home in-person
While everyone is encouraged to spend more time at home, you might be tempted to make a decision about your new home sight unseen - but that strategy is not recommended by top agents. Like the digital documentation, it is reasonable to request a live showing if you are truly a serious buyer. You can keep the seller at ease by arriving with a mask and gloves and touring the home with only your agent. The seller may also ask you to sign a health certification.
Play it safe
By keeping your search primarily virtual, you will keep yourself and your family safe. It might seem like an extra burden to only view homes that you are serious about, or maintain social distancing while viewing them, but in the long run, these measures will pay off. With a game plan to deal with the uncertainty of buying a home during Covid-19, you'll land that dream home where you can settle in and be comfortable.