Shopping for a home and choosing a mortgage in Seattle or elsewhere in Washington state during the coronavirus outbreak is a bit different than the usual process you may be familiar with.
Nevertheless, with record low mortgage rates, this is a great time to consider investing in a home. If you do decide to purchase a home right now, what should you be aware of, and what should you expect from the process? Are there any recommendations which can help you successfully purchase your dream home during this complicated time?
Home Buying Tips in Today’s World
Following are some tips to help you avoid pitfalls and buy a home successfully with a competitive mortgage during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Rates are volatile, so work with a mortgage company that can close fast. Even though rates have dropped to record lows over recent months, there have been some whipsaws along the way. Those ups and downs are hard to predict. Since that is the case, it is imperative to work with a mortgage company that can proceed smoothly and quickly with the loan process, allowing you to close fast on your dream property. That way, you can grab low rates while they are available.
- Be prepared if home prices have not dropped. The next thing to know about shopping for a home during the coronavirus outbreak is that demand is still high in comparison to supply, which has dropped. As a result, housing market is still pretty strong. Make sure you are prepared for this financially and are ready to swing the closing costs and the down payment. Consider applying for a mortgage through a government-insured program like FHA which can help keep these to a minimum.
- Plan for delays, especially with the appraisal. There are probably going to be delays during the home buying process. Even at the best of times, it can be difficult to avoid a few snags. During these times, there are so many more factors which can potentially slow down the process. Be aware that it may take longer than usual to schedule an appraisal. The reason is that this involves a person physically leaving their home and inspecting another, which means stepping outside of quarantine. Not only that, but the average age of appraisers is over 50, causing many appraisers to feel trepidations about doing their jobs.
- Make sure your mortgage company and real estate agent lay out a clear timetable. When you choose a mortgage company and a real estate agent to help you buy a home in Washington state, you should ask questions about the expected timeline. That is always important, but at no time has it ever been more so. Two things are important. The first is to choose professionals who can work with you on your needed timeline. But the second is simply to pick companies to deal with that are as transparent as possible about any potential hiccups which could arise during the process. That way, you can plan as best you can, and you will not have to worry about too many unexpected surprises. You can also rest assured that the professionals who are working with also have thought ahead and will do everything they can to prevent delays.
- Do everything digitally that you can. The next recommendation is to try to avoid breaking quarantine yourself if you can during the process of buying a home. While that might sound like a challenge, it may be easier than you think. Mortgage companies and real estate agents have already developed processes for meeting with homebuyers virtually and even conducting home tours virtually. So, you may be able to get a lot done without leaving the safety of your home. And if you do want to tour a house in person, you may be able to do so by yourself.
- Plan for an unpredictable future. A last recommendation for buying a home during the coronavirus outbreak is to reassess your finances and your future situation. Prior to this year, your income may have been stable, and your career track may have been laid out for you. But you will need to decide whether that is likely to be the case now. Even if you feel that your financial future is probably stable, it is a good idea to think about keeping your finances a little more liquid than you might have otherwise just to be prepared for the unexpected. That could mean, for example, making a smaller down payment then you would have otherwise. That way, you can keep a larger emergency fund.
Blue Square Mortgage Can Help You Buy a Home in Washington State During COVID-19
If you want to take advantage of today’s low rates and purchase a home in Seattle or elsewhere in Washington state, Blue Square Mortgage can connect you with a competitive loan. We also can walk you through what to expect from the mortgage process in a COVID-19 world. To get started, please give us a call today at (206) 352-6453 to schedule your consultation.