House Hunting: Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House?

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Timing is everything. A concrete example of that is Jeff Bezos, long hailed the richest billionaire in America. Technically proficient (he, in fact, graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1986), Bezos would become the youngest Senior Vice President of Banker’s Trust Company from 1990 to 1994, leading the way for the most sophisticated hedge fund that came out of Wall Street. The job seems secure. Thus, when he shared his plans to put up a business, his mom was apprehensive. She told him to keep the job and do the business on the sides, on weekends and nights.

But we all know Amazon happened. The online business that Bezos’ mom wanted to put off made Jeff the most coveted e-commerce billionaire on the planet. And the rest is history. Had Jeff Bezos remained at his SVP job, he would highly-likely be a millionaire, but not a billionaire.

The same holds true for zeroing in on the house. Timing is everything. For more often than not, a house is the biggest investment anyone can go through in a lifetime. Now, the million-dollar question is whether buying a house during the current pandemic would constitute good timing. Check out an expert’s take below.

Why It’s a Good Idea

At a time when the pandemic is still raging, house hunting can be a wise decision. It certainly can have tons of benefits, especially if your area is currently in lockdown. The simple reason for this is lesser competition.

Take note that when you zero in on the house, you’d have to face a slew of people who also wants to buy the same property. In short, your competition. Now, with far lesser people wanting to buy a house these days, you’d be in a better position to catch the attention of the seller.

Plus, that would mean the seller is bound to be more excited to have you as his buyer options are lesser. Additionally, you’ll get a more negotiable price. Once the crisis subsides, more people will start looking into real estate. And that can mean a lot of competition for you.

The downside of buying these days is the virus itself. Even when you can hunt for houses virtually, a physical inspection of the property is paramount. Indeed, virtual tours may not be enough. That means you’d have to go down there to see for yourself. But as certain movements may be restricted, it’s a tough call.

Well, if you’re worried about the virus, a good deep clean should be done to disinfect the property after you’ve bought it. A good rule to observe when disinfecting is to take a page from a local commercial cleaning company. For instance, they don’t just use run-of-the-mill disinfectants. Rather, they rely on hospital-grade disinfecting agents, spraying it to surfaces to ensure killing the coronavirus.

And when you decide to visit the property to inspect it before bidding for it, you should observe proper social distancing and disinfection measures. That means as much as possible, observing the washing of hands with soap or by using a powerful disinfectant.

Get Your Mortgage Pre-approved

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House hunting and eventually buying a house are two different things. Take note that the seller has the final say on who to sell the property. It’s his right. Therefore, right from the onset, you have to appear to be a serious buyer. If not, you’re lucky to catch his attention.

A good way to do that is to get your mortgage pre-approved. Do that before you do your house hunting. Fortunately, many mortgage companies entertain online processing so that you can get pre-approval faster via the internet. To note, a mortgage pre-approval letter states how much you can borrow from a specific lender, with the details on interest including.

Additionally, you should already be looking at prepping for the pre-approval process. Get organized and gather the needed information. Some of these are:

  • Your Credit Score: Find out your score, so you don’t get flustered when facing the queries of a lender. A FICO score of 620 (or higher) should get you in the door. It should qualify you for a home loan with manageable interest.
  • Pertinent Data: This early, you should gather needed information so your lender can get the ball rolling for your preapproval process. Top of this list is asset information, including your bank statements and income statement, which includes your W-2 data in the last couple of years.

Do Your Due Diligence

House hunting is a long process. And it should be. That’s because you don’t want to be throwing money around wasting it in the process. So the best way to house hunt is to do your research. Find everything you can about the areas you plan to move to. Know their home values along with the selling prices on average. Study the real estate market. The more knowledgeable you become, the better equipped you will be to succeed in your endeavor.

Last but not least, find yourself a trustworthy and reliable real estate agent. When it all comes to it, preparation is half the battle. And chances are the sale always goes to the man best prepared to buy the property. You have to make sure it’s you.

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