By Jennifer Parris
Buying a home is one of those milestones that many couples look forward to. It’s the time when you get to explore neighborhoods and dream. But this year, purchasing a home is going to be a lot different. If you’re thinking about buying a home in 2020, here’s what you need to know.
You Might Have To Do A Virtual Tour
You can plan on doing most of your home tours online, due to COVID-19. Since some states still haven’t opened up to allow real estate agents to work in person, there’s a good chance that open houses won’t be in the works for quite some time. Real estate agents often use virtual tours as a way to introduce new properties to potential buyers. And if you do view homes online, perhaps you’ll even purchase your property that way as well.
You’ll Need Good Credit
Since the market is still skittish from rising unemployment rates and companies declaring bankruptcy, the requirements for buying a home have gotten a lot tougher. For starters, you’ll need a good credit score (700 and above is considered solid, according to Experian), in order to satisy mortgage lenders. So find out what your credit score is if you don’t know it already.
There Are Fewer Properties Available
Once you’re ready to buy a home, you might find that the selection isn’t as abundant as you might have hoped. Apparently, there are fewer properties for sale, which means that you’ll have a smaller inventory to choose from. If that’s the case, you might have to make some concessions on the home you dreamed of buying, and opt for what’s available instead. Or, if you can, you may want to hold off on buying a home until things settle down and you can find a property that you truly love.
Know Your Numbers
Sure, some homes are just swoon worthy—but can you afford them? Before you fall in love with a precious piece of property, it’s imperative to know what your number is. Having an idea of what you can really afford can help save you time, stress, and money. It allows you to focus your energy on a home that you can really afford and that you have a good chance of getting.
The Home Buying Process Is Taking Longer
As more companies switch to a remote work environment, it can slow down various points during the home purchasing process. You may find that it takes longer to get a home inspection, or it could take weeks to get paperwork or title searches completed. You’ll also need to find out about the mortgage lender’s practice for closings, and if they can be done remotely.
You Should Be Pre-approved
Even in the best of markets, pre-approval is very important. It helps buyers know ahead of time if there are any potential problems when it comes to securing a mortgage (think a student loan or other debts), and can help expedite what is already a lengthy process and make it smoother.
Buying a home at any time can be a long (and emotional) ordeal. But this year, the process has become even more painstaking—but don’t give up! Knowing some of the requirements can potentially make purchasing a property easier and soon, you’ll have the keys to your new home in your hands.
For moving tips, check out our blog on saving money on your next move!