Househunting Tips during the COVID Pandemic
Househunting has changed with the presence of the COVID pandemic. Before you go on an actual tour, read these house- hunting tips. They can guide you through the home search, to help ensure your final home list is short and effective.
Get Pre-Qualified With a Lender
The first thing to do before starting your search is to get a pre-qualification letter. While pre-qualification doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll qualify for a mortgage loan, it does give you a good idea of what to expect. Baker Realty can recommend a couple of awesome, local lenders.
When you go through the mortgage pre-qualification process, lenders will identify if you meet the standard financial criteria needed for a home loan. Once you provide information pertaining to your income, assets, debt, and credit, the lender will tell you how much you should be able to borrow. This information will allow you to more effectively search for a property that you can afford. Now…let the househunting during COVID begin!
Watch Virtual Tours – #1 Househunting Tips during COVID Pandemic
The #1 househunting tips during the COVID pandemic is watching virtual tours. While this pandemic is going on, it’s highly recommended to minimize, as much as possible, in-person tours. While video tours can’t completely replace in-person tours, they can help you narrow your options by ruling out certain properties that you have no interest in, after viewing the virtual tour. Video tours and listing photos can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from the interiors and exteriors of a home. Virtual 3D Matterport tours are the best tools for househunting during the COVID pandemic.
Look at Various Floor Plans – #2 Househunting Tips during COVID
Finding a home that completely satisfies you entails looking at different floor plans during your home search. Some homes come with a traditional floor plan where every room is separated by a wall. Other properties boast a contemporary floor plan, known for having an open concept.
Open floor plans allow rooms to connect in a much more streamlined manner. These floor plans typically provide better accessibility, an open line-of-sight, more natural light, and a high resale value.
Look at Google Maps – #3 Househunting Tips during COVID Pandemic
Another great way to learn about a home you’re eyeballing is to look at the area surrounding the home via Google Maps. These maps provide you with tons of information such as: Is the street behind the home a busy highway? Is the property located near an electrical easement? Is there a rock quarry close by? If you find that the home passes the Google Maps test, follow up by performing a drive-by for a closer look.
What Do You Want?
It’s also very important that you focus on the things that you want. Do you require a home with four bedrooms or would five be better? Is it mandatory to have the master bedroom on the main floor? Do you really want a pool?
Making a list of the features you want helps narrow down your search drastically. Most buyers don’t find a home with everything they want, which helps prioritize what is then really important. This also helps narrow down the list of homes to see in person.
When beginning your search, it’s important to find a website that provides you with up-to-date listings sourced directly from a multiple listing service (MLS). A multiple listing service is a comprehensive database established by real estate brokers for the purpose of providing up-to-date information for homes listed on the market. Most real estate agents post properties for sale in the MLS. So, it’s important to use websites linked directly to the MLS.
You don’t want to find a home that interests you, only to learn it sold a few weeks ago. Many of the popular online resources for home listings update less often than they should. Many times, they also don’t remove listings taken off of the market. These resources include sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia. When up-to-date listings aren’t maintained, it’s much more difficult to sort through all of the clutter. Ask a Baker Realty agent to hook you up to the MLS!
Take Your Own Mask
While in-person tours are necessary, it’s essential you take the right precautions to lessen the possibility of becoming affected by COVID-19. Nearly all real estate agents wear a mask. However, you’ll want to take your own mask as well. Use hand sanitizer if possible. Avoid touching items throughout the home or wear gloves. Make sure you practice social distancing.
Pictures can be deceiving, so it’s still important to see homes in person! But due to COVID-19, the number of homes seen in person are fewer. These househunting tips during the COVID pandemic provide you with useful guidelines to make your search more straightforward. By using Google Maps, looking at floor plans, and viewing virtual tours, you’ll decrease the number of homes you need to see in person. Protecting your health and safety is a priority! Contact Baker Realty today to start searching for your dream home.