While Coronavirus has changed the way many businesses operate, home buying in the time of COVID-19 is still feasible. A majority of processes have moved online, in an effort to keep health and safety a top priority. If you were planning to buy a home this year, here are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate through this uncertain time.
Tips to Buy a Home During COVID-19
Credit Score Requirements
Many mortgage lenders have tightened minimum credit score requirements on various loan products. If you have a good credit score, there are still great financing option available to you. If your credit score is lower than the minimum requirements, you will want to check with a mortgage lender to see your options. If moving is a few months down the line, using this time to boost your credit score will help broaden the options available to you when choosing your mortgage. Apps such as Credit Wise or Credit Karma are helpful tools to see areas of credit opportunity and can tell you objective steps to take.
Some niche loan products have limited availability or have canceled their services due to the impact of COVID-19. If you had your eye set on a specific loan product last year, make sure to talk with a loan officer to evaluate the availability of the loan. Once you find the right home, you’ll want to move fast, and it will be beneficial for you and your loan officer to know exactly what loan type you will be applying for.
It is still possible to tour homes, it just won’t happen by driving around and stopping into open houses. Most real estate agents are offering video conferencing options for meetings and virtual home tours. Some homes even have drone videos that showcase the interior and exterior of the home. Additionally, residential housing is deemed essential in Pierce, King, and Thurston counties which means you’re able to schedule an appointment with an agent to walk through a home. So, while home showings are still available to you, they will take a little more planning than before.
When it comes to closing day, expect to e-sign your documents instead of signing in a title office. Title companies are offering e-signing, e-closing and mobile notary services to limit the need to appear in person with the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19.
Despite a few hurdles and changes to the regular home buying routine, it is still possible to buy a home during COVID-19 in a safe and healthy way, without the risk of losing quality customer service along the way.
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