The effects of the pandemic have impacted life as we know it and we are still seeing an increase in the number of cases in the United States. It is important to take all necessary precautions provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Although you should move forward carefully in the homebuying journey, you do not have to put your dream home on hold. Below are five things to know about buying a house during this time.
1. Shop Safely
COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with friends, family, and coworkers. It’s also impacted how we purchase houses. To limit exposure to unfamiliar people and places, consider the following options to stay safe:
- Interview a Realtor online via video chat.
- Look for homes with virtual tours instead of going to an open house.
- If you do take a tour or meet with a Realtor, practice social distancing, wash your hands before and after the visit, and avoid touching surfaces.
- Bring a mask with you, too, as the CDC recommends it and some parts of Florida require one to be worn.
2. Plan for Today’s Seller’s Market
Despite the pandemic, we’re still in the midst of a seller’s market. This market state occurs when demand is higher than the available inventory. To navigate this environment, you’ll want to ensure you don’t procrastinate when submitting an offer because multiple people can bid at once. Also, plan to make an earnest money deposit when you submit an offer. Earnest money serves as a good-faith gesture, assuring the seller that you’re serious about buying the house. An earnest money deposit typically sits in an escrow account until time to close on the house.
3. Prepare with Preapproval
Many Realtors and sellers require buyers to provide proof of preapproval from a lender. Apply early for loan preapproval so you’re prepared when you find the ideal place and decide to make an offer. From the convenience and safety of your own home, take advantage of our fast approval decisions and apply for your preapproval with SCCU today
. Being prepared to show proof of funds available for closing gives you an extra competitive edge.
4. Consider Construction
You may be considering building your dream home as an alternative. If you take this route, it’s always best to speak with a Realtor before your first visit and even take your Realtor with you to meet with the builder. When building a home, be aware of the timeframe allowed in the contract and how long the builder will take to finish the construction. With an SCCU Construction loan, you only go through the application and closing process once. Get more information and apply today
5. Take Advantage of Low Rates
Mortgage rates are historically low, which means your monthly payments could be lower, too. SCCU offers many types of home loans including Conventional, VA, FHA, Condo, and others. It’s important to compare mortgage products to find the right fit, but try to take advantage of the lower rates while you can. SCCU offers a competitive, 90-day rate lock while you shop for your dream home. To view all of SCCU’s mortgage products and rates, including our No Closing Costs option, visit SCCU.com/HomeLoans
Finding an affordable dream home can be challenging, but with research, preapproval and proof of funds, and staying vigilant, you’ll give yourself the best chance to secure that dream home. No matter the stage of your homebuying journey, SCCU is here to help. Visit SCCU.com/Home-Buying-Center
to estimate your mortgage payment, view loan rates and options, request a consultation, or apply for preapproval today.