Has The COVID-19 Pandemic Made Homebuyers More Eager to Buy? 

Has The COVID-19 Pandemic Made Homebuyers More Eager to Buy? 

Has COVID-19 Made Homebuyers More Eager to Buy? The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t seem to be scaring off U.S. home buyers.  According to a recent survey done by LendingTree, more than half (53%) of 1006 prospective homebuyers surveyed said they were more likely to buy a home within the next 12 months. 

The survey showed that first-time homebuyers (73%) and millennials (66%) may be the most eager to buy within the next year. Motivating factors were the ability to save a larger down payment because of reduced spending (32%) and taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates (67%). 

In a recent study from OJO Labs, 200 homebuyers were surveyed who had planned to purchase a house within six months before the COVID-19 outbreak. 45.6% of shoppers said they are motivated to expedite their moving timeline because they think they’ll get a good deal on a home, while low-interest rates are a major factor for 56.5%.   

The study also revealed that as more homebuyers are stuck at home, more are realizing they need space to fit their needs. First-time homebuyers said that extra bedrooms (43.5%) and an open floor plan (45.7%) are more important than before COVID-19.

According to those surveyed by Lending Tree, nearly two-thirds (65%) of homebuyers said the pandemic had impacted how much money they plan to spend on a new home. Among the group, 44% plan to buy a less expensive home and the remaining 21% want a more expensive home.  

Both reports indicated that the perception of reduced home prices (30%), low mortgage rates, and being confined in a smaller space during stay-at-home orders made homeownership more appealing. 

Virtual Tours Have Come Out of The Woodwork

Not only is the pandemic prompting more people to consider homeownership, but it’s also influencing how they shop for a home. Virtual tours, 3D tours, Livestream tours, and even FaceTime tours have come out of the woodwork.  

In the Lending Tree survey, 61% of homebuyers said they have virtually toured a home over the last 60 days and another 33% said that although they haven’t yet participated in a virtual tour, they are actually planning to.

The OJO Labs study indicated that virtual tours have become more valuable than prior to COVID-19 for both those delaying (42%) and those expediting (41%) the home buying process. 28% of those delaying the home buying process still report looking at listing photos and 25% are taking virtual tours of homes more now than before COVID-19.  

The Impact of Stricter Credit Requirements for Mortgages

The only apparent roadblock for homebuyers was qualifying for a mortgage as 44% surveyed by Lending Tree said they were worried about qualifying due to the pandemic. First-time buyers (58%) and millennials (52%) expressed the most concern as lenders have reportedly tightened credit availability during the coronavirus outbreak.  

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) fell by 12.2 percent to 133.5 in April. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. Although less credit access means lenders are likely to raise their minimum credit score and down payment requirements, it doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for a mortgage amid the coronavirus outbreak. You may have to shop a little harder. 

It’s recommended to shop at least three lenders to find the best rates and get preapproved for a mortgage before you start looking for homes. Keep in mind that lenders are also grappling with the effects of COVID-19 and the process may move slower than normal.

Homebuying Process During A Pandemic

Partner with Top-rated Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® -Tom Gilliam  

A top-rated Farmington Hills and Oakland County MI real estate agent like Tom Gilliam can show you more properties and save you thousands of dollars when buying a home. You need an agent who knows the area, processes a vast network of local connections, and has the skills to negotiate like a pro.

From first-time homebuyers to multi-million dollar investors, Tom continually strives to provide top quality service for his clients. With access to the most up-to-date MLS listings for Oakland county MI properties, Tom is able to match your lifestyle needs with the perfect home.

If you are ready to list your current property, Tom has the experience and skills necessary to handle the sale and marketing of your home for the optimum results. Tom employs the latest technology to deliver massive exposure that will drive maximum targeted response from qualified buyers.

Tom also partners with the most talented home stagers to ensure that your home is thoughtfully staged to highlight its features and amenities. With over 25 years of local real estate experience, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, and go above and beyond your expectations to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Farmington Hills MI real estate, please give Tom a call today at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578

First-time Homebuyers: Can I Still Buy a House in Oakland County MI During Covid-19?

First-time Homebuyers: Can I Still Buy a House in Oakland County MI During Covid-19?

First-time Homebuyers: Can I Still Buy a House in Oakland County MI During Covid-19? – If you are a first-time homebuyer and were in the market to buy a home in Oakland County prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the situation has more than likely affected your original gameplan.

It’s one thing to have never bought a house before and be in unfamiliar territory. Throw in a pandemic and the situation is now moved into deeper uncharted waters, even for the most seasoned buyer.

The COVID-19 situation has derailed millions of folk’s financial plans including buying property. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

If you were still hoping to purchase a home soon, you probably have a lot of questions like whether it’s even possible to buy a home now or tour a house, or how the pandemic has impacted home prices, and more.

The good news is that many people are still buying houses during this unprecedented time, even though things are a bit different than they were before the coronavirus changed the home buying/selling landscape.

As a first-time homebuyer during the coronavirus, here are a few things to know:  

Can You Still Buy a House Now? 

The answer is yes. Although buying a house today may be more challenging due to health and economic concerns, it is definitely possible. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has declared that residential and commercial real estate services are an essential service.

Search the MLS for Oakland County MI Homes for Sale

If you find a home that seems right for you, have job stability and can get financing at historically low rates, buying property might be a wise choice and the right thing to do – even now.   

You Can Still Shop for a House

You can still shop for a house, but the rules for viewing a property are going to different than before COVID-19. Buyers, sellers, REALTORS, and brokers are coming up with different ways to see and show homes.

Some areas, however, have put a pause order on in-person showings all together. There are also some sellers that might be fine with you touring their house, while others might not be comfortable letting strangers in their home, even if property tours are allowed in your area.

Aside from federal and local restrictions, a lot will depend on the home sellers’ comfort levels. You can also work with an agent and have a virtual showing, where the agent walks through the property with you on Zoom, FaceTime, or some other video conferencing format.

A local real estate agent will know what buyers can and can’t do in your area, so its best to consult an agent for the most accurate, up-to-date information.  

You May Need To Get Your Pre-approval Updated

While the process of getting preapproved for a loan hasn’t changed, as most buyers today do an online preapproval application, the preapproval itself has changed post-coronavirus.

Mortgage lenders are battling economic uncertainty by raising minimum credit scores, requiring higher down payments, triple-checking employment status, and even eliminating certain loan types altogether. 

As some lenders increase their standards (overlays), your price range might change because your approved loan amount is lower, or you may no longer qualify for a loan at all.   

You May or May Not be able to Get an Inspection

Once the house goes under contract, closing is different in today’s world. You’ll still be able to get an appraisal under current regulations, but depending on whether real estate is considered essential in your area, you may not be able to get an inspection.  

If you are able to get an inspection, most likely you and your agent will not be able to attend.  A number of home inspectors are now using live video chatting apps like FaceTime or Zoom to let home buyers tag along remotely. This keeps buyers at a safe distance for home inspections. 

More Buyers Are Doing eClosings

Digital real estate closings or eClosings, give buyers and sellers the ability to sign settlement documents electronically—meaning parties don’t have to meet in a room to close the deal.

Most eClosings are orchestrated by title agents, who often lead individuals through the required paperwork by video conferencing. Most states are now offering electronic notarizations. This map from settlement software company PropLogix shows what states allow digital closings. 

Partner with Top-rated Oakland County MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam

 2020 Best of Farmington Hills REALTOR - Tom GilliamWhether you are looking for homes for sale in Oakland County MI or you are ready to list your current property, experience matters most in a changing market.

With over 25 years of local experience, Tom provides the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service you need and deserve.

As your personal agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, and go above and beyond to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Oakland County MI real estate, please give Tom a call today at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #301741

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