Who would have ever imagined the year we’ve had! In 2020, we went from mild worry to full-blown crisis in short time. I still remember the week it all went south. I had been more active than usual and was taking charge of things more regarding my health, work and overall life balance.
Then, it all came to a halt. While all of us tried to make sense out of any of it, one thing became clear. Things had changed radically, and, with them, priorities and values, and we learned what was most important to us.
One of my family members had always been enthralled with living in Manhattan. She thrived on being surrounded by museums, Broadway shows and fabulous restaurants open even at 3 in the morning. She worked hard and enjoyed it, even starting her own company.
When the pandemic came, however, the first thought on her and many others’ minds were to get out of the city.
She and her family had already been affected by COVID and they did not want to push their luck any further. Luckily, they had a home in the Hamptons, so they did have the ability to pick up and go to a calmer climate.
Not everyone has that opportunity. In any case, the Pandemic has more people re-evaluating their spaces and what is important to them. For many, it can mean buying their first home.
But, what an unusual time to buy. The Housing Market is crazy right now! Even the rental market is insane.
According to HomeBuyingInstitute.com:
“In some of the hottest housing markets across the U.S., more than half of all homes sold go for more than the list price. Example: In April of 2021, Austin, Denver and Sacramento all had at least 70% of homes selling above the original list price. Talk about a seller’s paradise.“
It’s truly a seller’s market right now and most new home buyers don’t have the luxury of selling a previous home, so they often use a mortgage loan to finance their purchase.
According to CNNBusiness: The increase in home prices is stunning.
“Nationwide, house prices are up double digits over the past year, and this comes after a decade of solid price gains since the housing market bottomed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Indeed, the median existing home price — half of homes sold for more and half for less — is closing in on $350,000, almost double what it was a decade ago.“
If you are a new home buyer, try to remain calm amidst the chaos. Here are some tips:
1. Do your research. No matter your reason for purchasing, the process can be daunting for anyone, even if it is not your first time around. The first step is to find your preferred style, i.e. colonial, ranch, split level, modern, and whether it should be a single-family home versus a condominium. All options have their share of advantages and disadvantages.
2. Scout and get information about different neighborhoods to find what truly matches your needs and wants.
What type of ambiance do you seek? Working professionals, students, families? A neighborhood rich in history or one more modern? Are you looking for affordable or luxury? Do you need public transit nearby? Do you need guaranteed parking? Is it near your favorite shops and cafes? What are the schools like?
3. Monitor your credit score and see if anything needs fixing. Your credit score will provide insight to lenders about your financial situation, and it’s important to have all your ducks in a row.
4. Wondering if you should rent or buy a home? I’ve learned so much from MortgageCalculators.info. They offer two calculators which quickly help you decide if it makes more sense to rent or purchase a home. Their calculators are easy and precise. They also have information on comparing loan terms, refinancing and so much more. They also have great information on Government-Backed Home Loans.
Above all, take a deep breath and remember that all good things take time. The more information you gather, the more organized you are, the less headache and stress. We all have enough of that already!
Happy new home hunting!