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You Can Buy a Home This Spring: Here’s Why!

April 20, 2020 —

Despite a temporary lull in the real estate market, buyers are now in a good position to purchase a home or an investment property. Historically low interest rates and appealing list prices make today’s real estate market especially attractive to first-time buyers as well as buyers who don’t need to sell a home.

With the guidance of an experienced realtor,
you can effectively navigate current challenges
and buy the home of your dreams.

KEYS TO BUYING A HOME IN THE SPRING 2020 MARKET

The key to buying a home now is patience and a willingness to adopt new approaches to seeing homes, navigating the home-buying process, and protecting yourself and sellers from COVID-19. In short, the new normal for home buying is equal to the new normal for everything we do. The good news is, it’s possible to accomplish your goals for buying a home despite the challenges.

TECHNOLOGY HELPS HOME BUYERS

Face Time and Zoom technologies allow brokers to engage in personalized consultations to identify buyers’ wants and needs. Virtual home tours, digital images, and thorough home descriptions allow buyers to see and learn about homes before in-person visits. In addition, many mortgage companies now offer secure electronic options for notarizing and signing documents.

The good news is that mortgage lenders
and other housing-related services
have quickly adopted new practices
that help keep the real estate market moving.

PATIENCE EASES THE HOME-BUYING PROCESS

Home appraisals and home inspections, on the other hand, still involve in-person property visits. For this reason, buyers must be prepared to await the availability of appraisers and inspectors. But as businesses begin reopening, appraisers and inspectors are likely to be more available than they have been in recent weeks.

FIND AN INTEREST RATE AND MORTGAGE REQUIREMENTS TO MEET YOUR NEEDS

In addition to shopping for the best interest rate, buyers should consider each lender’s loan requirements. In some cases, for example, lenders are protecting themselves and home buyers with requirements for substantial down payments and high credit scores. There are, however, mortgage options with varying down payment and credit score requirements. For this reason, it’s wise to research what’s available to meet your specific needs.

“…mortgage rates [are unlikely to] fall below 3%,”
says NerdWallet’s mortgage forecaster Holden Lewis.

If you’d like to purchase a home this spring:

  • Work with a qualified, experienced realtor
  • Shop for the best mortgage rate and lending requirements
    • Mortgage rates now are 3.5 percent or lower
    • Discuss rate-lock strategies to prevent unwanted
      surprises when completing your loan process
    • Confirm your job stability with your employer
    • Confirm your debt-to-income ratio, including what you owe
      on student loans, car loans, and credit card charges
    • Confirm what price home you can afford
  • Get preapproved for a mortgage
  • Be prepared to offer a significant down payment
    (some lenders require as much as 20 percent)
  • Ensure you have an outstanding credit score
    (some lenders require a score as high as 700 or more)
  • Be flexible with home-buying processes, including:
    • Title searches and other paperwork
    • Closing and moving dates
      • If you are a renter, understand the terms of your current lease
        and ask your landlord about the possibility of a month-to-month
        extension if your closing date is delayed

In addition to streamlining the buying process,
being preapproved for a mortgage
lets sellers know you are serious about buying a home.

REAL ESTATE IS STILL AN AWESOME INVESTMENT

Given all it offers — outstanding schools, safe neighborhoods, beautiful homes, and easy access to New York City — local real estate is a sound investment for home buyers. With more than 20 years’ experience in real estate and in-depth knowledge of the Chatham, Madison, Morristown, Summit, and surrounding area markets, I can help you find the home you want and safely work through the buying process.

If you are interested in learning more about available homes
in the communities I serve, let’s chat!