Buying a house in a pandemic

Spring is typically the start of home-buying season. We actually began looking for our first home around this time last year. However, with the world still being in the midst of a pandemic it looked a little different than the traditional way most look for houses.  

Long gone are the days of showing up unannounced to an open house. The new normal is scheduling appointments for in-person visits. Some people have are even conducting walkthroughs via Facetime and/or Zoom. However, our family decided it was best to view properties in person but of course we took extreme precaution while doing so. It was a little overwhelming for us going through the homeowner process for the first time but if we could make it through during these times them so can you!
Here are some tips that I highly suggest for those who would like to purchase a home soon: 

  1. Be prepared for lender requirements- The first step is making sure you have all your paperwork (pay stubs, tax documents, bank statements, debt info etc) to ensure you have what you need for a preapproval letter*. Also, if it’s your first time buying then ask about different programs they offer for this. Here in Va we qualified for a first time buyer’s loan that allowed us to close with $0 down.
  2. Try not to overspend- once you are preapproved and know exactly what you can afford; make a budget and stick to it. Try to make your mortgage payment as low as you can so your family isn’t “house poor” or unable to do much with finances outside of paying for your home.
  3. Decide which specific features you want your ideal home to have- it’s okay to be flexible some with this list. But you’re making probably the biggest purchase of your life (no pressure ha). So you deserve to have your needs AND wants as closely as possible.
  4. Enjoy the process- yes it can be stressful but try to focus on the biggest positive which is you’ll soon own your own house!

Hopefully the tips above can help ease some of your worries and I wish you best of luck on your search!*Preapproval letter- a document from a lender stating that the lender is tentatively willing to lend to you, up to a certain loan amount

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