Will COVID-19 affect my ability to purchase a home?

Many people across the country were in varying stages of the homebuying process when COVID-19 hit. If you’re considering starting the process, we encourage you to do so. Still, the viral outbreak has led to several developments that could impact the homebuying process. Here are some things to consider:

 

Safer at home orders

While we are all doing the right thing by staying home and social distancing, it could influence homebuying ability simply because many don’t feel safe venturing outside of their homes right now. Sellers are understandably wary of welcoming strangers into their homes and buyers are similarly cautious when it comes to the typical “looking” process of walking through multiple homes per week.

 

Lenders

According to Forbes, many lenders are reassessing their risks, meaning those not applying for a more traditional mortgage might be less likely to get approved. Additionally, lenders have also recently found themselves overwhelmed by the high volume of refinancing requests, making the line for a loan approval even longer.

 

Market uncertainty 

Although you may feel that despite the circumstances, you are still able to buy a home — that does not mean you will be able to find one. Many homebuilders have halted construction due to lockdown orders, while many potential sellers have experienced hesitation with putting their house on the market. 

However, external changes aside, it’s important that you reevaluate your own ability to purchase a home. Ask not only how COVID-19 has affected home availability, etc., but also how COVID-19 has affected your own financial standing. 

 

Job stability 

COVID-19 has caused financial insecurity for many members of our communities. Many people have been moved to part-time, furloughed or laid off entirely. Job security is a must for owning a home, as it allows for better budgeting and more opportunities to save, and is especially important when it comes to being approved for a loan now or in the future.

 

Down payment funds

Money that was previously set aside to make a down payment might have to be used for something unexpected or to cover losses acquired due to the pandemic. Many families have also realized their need for an emergency fund, should this happen again, meaning nest eggs like down payments might need to be stored away for later, not spent today. If you have questions about making a down payment, contact one of our housing counselors. We can help you navigate down payment programs available in your area. 

 

Uncertainty can have a devastating effect on even the best-laid plans. We must be realistic about how crises can affect our lives, as well as the lives of others. However, we can still hope for the best, that maybe the long-term consequences of this economic shutdown will spare the real estate industry, sending you on your way to buy a home as soon as this is all over. 

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