12 May 6 Tips For Staying On Track to Buying Your Dream Home During COVID-19
Right now, the United States and the entire world, in general, are struggling with the effects that Coronavirus has posed on all of us. It’s safe to say that all of us are dealing with the anxiety and uncertainty of the whole situation in some way or another. If you’re someone who was getting ready to purchase a home this spring, you might be feeling a little bit uneasy. Luckily, there are quite a few ways that will help facilitate the home buying process and will allow you to still move forward with buying your dream home. Here’s how:
Take advantage of low-interest rates
One of the biggest advantages of buying during coronavirus is the lowered mortgage interest rates. Because they dropped so low, purchasing a home just became much more affordable. With a lower interest rate, you have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars and might even be able to select a shorter term, enabling you to pay off the loan quicker. It’s important to note that even though mortgage interest rates dropped, the criteria for approval tightened. Make sure you have a good credit score and enough money saved for a significant down payment.
Be proactive with organizing and cleaning
Being forced to stay home isn’t fun for anyone, but it does allow you to get move-out ready. Whether you’re renting or own the place you’re currently living in, using your free time to make sure your belongings are organized and the space is clean will make the actual moving process much easier when the time comes. Make a plan and tackle one room or project a day. You’ll be thankful for how quickly it makes the time pass.
Sign/have documents signed virtually
In the past, you needed to have real estate transactions, like notarizing and title searches, done in person. Because of the measures put in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, governments are allowing these transactions to be done either online or through the mail. Look into your area’s regulations surrounding titles, recordings, and notarizations.
Have someone take detailed photos of the home for an alternative appraisal
Prior to the pandemic, a full appraisal was necessary to secure a mortgage. With stay at home orders in place, the federal government has permitted alternative appraisals. Alternative appraisals during the coronavirus allow someone to inspect the house without having to enter it. One way of doing so is to have someone take detailed and good-quality photographs of the entire house so that the appraiser can make an estimate of what the house is worth and how much work needs to be put into it.
Take advantage of desktop appraisals
The other means of an alternative appraisal that is popular right now is a desktop appraisal. With a desktop appraisal, the home’s value is determined by researching the area, the market, and the history of the home. While we’re still under a stay at home order, both the desktop appraisal in combination with good photos is your best bet. Both of these methods used together help the appraiser make an accurate and reliable estimate of the house’s condition. The goal is to make the outcome of an alternative appraisal as similar as possible to that of a full appraisal.
Our last, and arguably most important, piece of advice is to stay positive. Everything feels uncertain and grim, but there are still plenty of things to be optimistic about. We here at SF Bay Real Estate Appraisal have your back, and we want to make sure that you receive the best appraisals possible, even if they can’t be in person. Give us a call today to learn more!
Photo via Unsplash by Tierra Mallorca
Guest post by Maddi Arcurio