With people across America following social distancing health protocols, we are all looking for different ways to adapt. With the recent low mortgage rates, many people are continuing their home buying journey from the comfort of their couch. We want to help you fulfill all of your real estate goals safely, so we have five tips for you to continue your home buying journey while staying safe.
1. Research and Search for Properties Online
Take this time at home to research matters that will make your home buying journey easier. Whether you are discovering which neighborhood you’d like to live in or you have already decided which community you love, but you would like to know more about it, such as school zones, public transportation options, and walk scores. Once you know where you want to live, you can start searching for homes in your desired area that meet your needs by using filters such as price, home type, and square footage.
2. Get a Mortgage Online
You can still get a mortgage during this time to benefit from the low rates. West Community Credit Union heavily invests in technology, which allows our members to apply for a mortgage from home. Also, with our digital tools, you can communicate with our team throughout the entire loan process. To learn more about our online application tool, click here.
3. Choose a Trusted Real Estate Agent
Many real estate agents are currently working from home and utilizing technology to conduct their business. It would be best if you chose a real estate agent who will put your safety first and take the time to ease your feelings of uncertainty. If you do not feel comfortable viewing homes in person due to the pandemic, an excellent real estate agent will understand that and use digital tools to satisfy your needs.
4. View Homes Virtually
Due to social distancing measures, many open houses and in-person showings have been canceled across the country. As a result, real estate agents are turning to technology, such as cellphones, drones, and video chat services, to conduct virtual home viewings. Methods like 360-degree viewings, live chat tours, pre-recorded videos, and 3D tours allow you to explore every inch of the properties you are interested in without leaving your home.
5. Try to Complete the Closing Processes Online or with Minimal Contact
The final stages of the home buying journey traditionally rely on face-to-face interactions; however, due to COVID-19, adjustments are being made that allow you to complete the home buying process safely. For example, some appraisers are conducting drive-by evaluations or desktop appraisals. Inspectors are completing inspections alone while wearing personal protective gear (i.e., masks and gloves) and sanitizing the home to make it safe for homeowners upon their departure. With regards to home closings, some areas are allowing them to be signed remotely, whereas, in others, they must be signed with minimal contact. Be sure to ask if these options are available within your area to ensure that you complete your home buying journey while staying safe.