Buying Your First Home During Uncertain Times
Buying your first home in the best of times is a major life decision. Buying your first home during uncertain times can be a truly terrifying prospect for many. So many of us are concerned about our financial futures right now and are struggling under the weight of college and medical debt. It can be enough to turn even the most optimistic among us a bit pessimistic. However daunting, buying your first home is still an exciting time. It’s a time you’ve planned for and worked towards.
Still, you may be wondering if you should buy a house now - or if it’s even possible to buy a house during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Is It a Good Time to Buy a House?
Buying your first home is undoubtedly complicated by the current health and economic crisis, however it is absolutely within your reach. As states across the U.S. went into lock down with stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns, many industries remained open for business despite health concerns, as they were labeled as providing essential services. Essential services ranged from meat packing plants to real estate services and were allowed to stay open in order to serve their essential functions.
Additionally, much of the way homes are bought and sold translates smoothly into a virtual environment, which in turn allows the real estate industry to adapt and carry on despite the global health pandemic.
While buying your first home during an economic and social shut down may be eased by the use of technologies, there are still the financial factors to take into consideration. Is it wise to buy your first home during these uncertain times? That is another question altogether.
Surprising Advantages to Buying Your First Home During Coronavirus
You may be surprised to learn that there are actually advantages to buying your first home right now.
If you are on the precipice of buying your first home, you are likely renting an apartment. And anyone renting an apartment right now knows that rents are going nowhere but up! In fact, the frustration of rapidly and steadily increasing rent prices may even be your primary motivation for buying your first home.
It is reasonable to assume that rental prices are not going to drop in the midst of an economic downturn or global pandemic, so why should you continue to pay more for less? Many new home buyers are motivated by the desire to put their money into their own mortgage, not someone else’s!
The fact that mortgage rates are low right now means that you will be paying a lower monthly rate on your mortgage. It’s not unreasonable to think that you will actually be paying less per month owning your own home that you would be renting. That said, you will also be responsible for home maintenance and repairs, whereas those are typically the responsibility of another when you are living in rental housing. By putting a property under contract now means you are locking in an interest while it's low. It also means you are afforded a level of control and certainty rather than having to worry about rent being raised.
The current crisis of the Coronavirus has kept many would-be buyers away from the home-buying market. In some areas of the country, there may be less competition. This could put you in a stronger position to negotiate for the home you love.
Undoubtedly, you have done your homework in terms of researching the market in your area or your desired location. Presumably conditions are favorable if you have decided to proceed. That leaves one major question. Have you fully fleshed out your own personal financial situation? Deciding whether or not it’s a good time to buy a house has a lot to do with your savings and your job stability.
Looking at the Big Picture, Financially Speaking
At this point in the pandemic, many of us have an idea of our ability to stay gainfully employed and roll with the punches as it were. In some cases it may even be appropriate to have a conversation with your employer. Letting them know that you are interested in buying a home cannot hurt. You may want to discuss the ways in which you can rise to meet the changing needs of your company.
For example: are you able to work remotely if your company is no longer working in person? On the flip side of that, are you able to go in when others may not be able to due to child care or health concerns? If you have ample evidence that your job will remain stable throughout the health crisis, it may be a great time to proceed with your dream of buying your first home.
On the flip side, if you have been furloughed or if your company has had layoffs, you may want to proceed very carefully or in some cases hold off on this major financial undertaking.
Buying your first home is an exciting time - even during these uncertain times. If it's right for you, start your search at Homes & Land.