COVID-19 - Is now a good time to buy?
How can I buy a home during COVID-19?
Yes, you can still buy a home or an investment property.
Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, you should even get access to more information than ever to help you make the best decision. Most sellers will create virtual tours for their properties and offer live viewings, as it will become the norm.
If you find your dream home, or if you would like to know more about a property that retained your attention, get in touch with the real estate agent by email or on the phone to discuss the next steps.
How can I inspect a home I am interested in?
Virtual tours and videos are tools that more and more sellers will start using. These are perfect to give potential buyers a great insight into the home they are looking to purchase.
Most real estate agents will also organise live viewings. They will use video communication apps and software such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook and Instagram live. Buyers will get the opportunity to ask the real estate agent to look at precise features in the property and have all their questions answered on the spot.
Facebook Live also offers the added bonus of being recorded. Replays will be available on the real estate agent's Facebook page as soon as the live ends for people not available at the time of the inspection or wishing to have another look.
However, if you wish to inspect the property in-person, most real agents will be able to offer one-on-one home inspection by appointment and open homes are back. There are restrictions on open homes so please check with your local agent what the current regulations are.
How can I make an offer on a home I would like to buy?
If you wish to make an offer on a property or start negotiations with a seller, you can do it the exact same way you usually would. The only difference is that most activity during your buying journey will likely happen online and over the phone.
If you are unsure about how to proceed, or if you wish to get the ball rolling, simply get in touch with the real estate agent in charge of selling the property.
Is there a risk in buying a home only using online tools and resources?
No matter how you buy a home, you need to seek independent advice. However, even before the coronavirus outbreak, many people were purchasing properties sight unseen. The reasons were that they might have been interstate, overseas or simply unable to attend an open home before buying it.
These days, in a COVID-19 environment, the way you inspect a property has changed, but not the way you actually purchase it (even if this happens with an online auction). Indeed, what matters most when buying a home is making sure that the property is structurally sound and is all that it appears to be on the surface. Despite the lockdown, all the standard procedures and checks remain (such as pest and building reports).
Can I still get a home loan in a COVID-19 environment?
Interest rates are at record lows and banks are still very eager to lend and secure quality borrowers. Moreover, they also have access to a $90 billion stimulus package from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
This makes getting a loan easy, as long as you have a secure job and a good credit history.
Should I wait after COVID-19 ends to buy a home?
Because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 environment, some buyers will hold off on deciding to purchase a property. Therefore, it could be a good time to look for a home or an investment property as competition from other buyers could be softer.
The coronavirus pandemic should also create opportunities to make better deals, as some homeowners will be forced to sell. These sellers can be people who might have already bought another property to live in or found another job elsewhere.
Just like it was the case before COVID-19, buyers can also benefit from interest rates at record lows. This means that if you are financially stable, now could be the best time to buy a home.
Virtual tours and live viewings are the best ways to inspect a property, but in-person private appointments and open homes are also available
Buying using exclusively online tools and resources isn’t riskier than buying in-person as all the main procedures and checks remain
If you need a home loan, you can benefit from record-low interest rates and banks very eager to lend to quality borrowers
Softer competition and record-low interest rates will lead to great opportunities for financially stable buyers
Rely on your local real estate agent to guide you through your buying journey
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DISCLAIMER - The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice which we strongly recommend. Whilst the information is considered true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided. LJ Hooker will not accept responsibility or liability for any reliance on the blog information, including but not limited to, the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or links.