The latest Rent vs. Buy Home Report from Trulia shows that homeownership is still cheaper than renting in 98 of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. Let’s get together to find you your dream home – it may be cheaper than you think!
Selling and Buying home is alive and well during the pandemic
As a real estate consumer, you need to know that the housing market is currently one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy.
Surprised? You’re not alone.
Sure, the processes have changed a bit and some lenders have changed their lending standards, but overall, the real estate market looks very much like the pre-pandemic market.
If you’re considering buy home or selling in the near future, read on to learn about some of the buy home changes.
The national market, in a nutshell
While March and April buy home sales plummeted, there are nuggets of wonder in the rest of the statistics.
Want to hear something surprising? Demand for homes is higher now that it was before the lockdown and prices continue to rise.
In fact, homebuyers vastly outnumber sellers in the current market. “More than 41% of buy home faced a bidding war in the four weeks ending May 10,” according to Diana Olick at CNBC.com, citing a recent study.
For comparison, only 9% of homes for sale experienced bidding wars in January, pre-U.S. pandemic.
To add to the excitement, “mortgage applications from buyers jump 11%,” according to the folks at CNBC.com.
The authors add that they expect the frenzy to continue as the lockdown is eased. Perhaps then those wanting to sell will jump back into the market. We need homes to sell to these eager buyers.
Speaking of mortgages
With the volume of forbearance request rolling in, mortgage lenders decided enough was enough and began tightening lending standards.
Down payment requirements are higher and some have upped their minimum credit score requirement.
JP Morgan Chase & Co., for instance, announced that it is raising the minimum credit score they will accept to 700 and increased the minimum down payment from 3.5% to 20%.
Since Chase is the nation’s largest lender, others are following suit.
“Wells Fargo and US Bank both adjusted their minimum score requirement to 680 (including for FHA and VA loans, which typically feature credit-score requirements as low as 580),” according Natalie Campisi at Inquisitor.com.
If you are considered a credit risk, the best thing to do is work on your credit score. Check back here in the next week or two when we’ll be showing you some quick ways to raise your score.
Thinking of selling? You need to know about this
If you are thinking of selling, let’s get that home on the market sooner, rather than later, and here’s why:
Buying or Selling a Home? You Need an Expert Kind of Guide
In a normal housing market, whether you’re buy home or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate through the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price on buy home or selling a home correctly right from the start. You need someone who can help you determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a low-ball offer.
We are, however, in anything but a normal market right now. We are amid one of the greatest health crises our nation has ever seen. The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the journey consumers take on buy home or selling a home. To successfully navigate the landscape today, you need more than an experienced guide. You need a ‘Real Estate Sherpa.’
According to Lexico, a Sherpa is a “member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.” Sherpas are skilled in leading their parties through the extreme altitudes of the peaks and passes in the region – some of the most treacherous trails in the world. They take pride in their hardiness, expertise, and experience at very high altitudes.
They are much more than just guides.
This is much more than a normal real estate market.
Today, the average guide just won’t do. You need a Sherpa. You need an expert who understands how COVID-19 is impacting the thoughts and actions of the consumer (ex: virtual showings, proper safety protocols, e-signing documents). You need someone who can simply and effectively explain the changes in today’s process to you and your family. You need an expert who will guarantee you make the right decision, especially in these challenging times.