Buying and financing a home has changed significantly – here’s what you can expect.
Shelter has always been a basic human need. But with the recent lock-downs caused by COVID-19, your home has become more critical than ever. And how you buy and sell a house has experienced significant changes as well. Here’s what you can expect:
Virtual home tours.
Many buyers are searching for homes online using videos, 3D walkthroughs, drone surveys and even interactive floor plans. Additionally, real estate agents now meet with clients virtually using videoconferencing to discuss home buying options or selling tips. And in some instances, you’ll find real estate websites hosting live-stream open houses to help make the home-buying experience feel more “normal.” While you may be able to visit some homes in person (with restrictions), it’s now becoming more of the exception than the norm.
Home features that matter more than others.
Since more people have been staying home due to the pandemic, certain home features have become more critical in the sale of homes than others. Here’s a list of some options that seem to be driving buying decisions:
- Rooms with more sunlight and privacy
- Large pantry or cabinet space
- Ample room to cook in the kitchen with appliances that make cooking easier
- Energy-efficient appliances and windows
- Home office or exercise space
- Outdoor space that can be seen as an extension of the home and includes amenities, such as pools, barbeques and comfortable furniture
Getting pre-qualified is vital.
With uncertainty looming in the real estate market, getting a mortgage pre-qualification is more crucial than ever. When you have a pre-qualification in your pocket, you’ll be seen as a serious buyer – giving you an advantage since many markets are experiencing a short supply of home inventory. Plus, you’ll know what you can afford from the start so you can remain focused on homes that fit your budget.
The loan process may be digital with increased verification.
Over the past several years, financial institutions have moved their mortgage lending process online. Since the pandemic, this transition has become essential to giving customers the type of service and care needed when buying a home. For example, at Pinnacle Bank, you can work with a Mortgage Lender in person or apply for a mortgage loan in as little as 20 minutes. While applying for a mortgage may be easier than in years past, you may also be required to verify your income more than once during the approval process (mostly due to the uncertain economic environment that exists today). Our Mortgage Loan Officers will help answer any questions you may have and walk you through the process.
Your closing may be virtual.
Under the existing pandemic restrictions, you may not be able to close on your mortgage in person. Instead, your closing may be done virtually, which means you’ll sign documents digitally and meet with a notary via videoconference. In some cases, a virtual close is not possible. Some lenders and title companies have opted to hold drive-thru closings, where buyers sign the documentation in their vehicle, with their agent there “virtually” to answer questions.
When you’re ready to buy, we can help.
The pandemic has changed some of the ways we’re doing business. But we’re prepared to guide you through the home-buying process and get you into the home you desire when you’re ready.