The pandemic has taught us all quite a bit personally and professionally. But when it comes to housing, most of us are reconsidering the idea of a home. With remote employment becoming the new norm, lots of families are relocating to the suburbs to acquire more space and take their dollar further than they thought it could ever go. Here are 6 things that the pandemic has taught us about buying a home. Comment if you’d like to share anything you’ve learned during your home buying process!

Job Security Is Crucial

There’s lots of news about the historic unemployment rate and how it continues to climb so naturally banks and home-sellers have become far more particular about a buyer’s job security. For example, there is far more confidence with a W2 earner than a self-employed individual because of the steady paycheck. Most escrows that have been cancelled during the pandemic have been a result of job loss or income reduction and thus resulting in financing issues and ultimately buyers backing out of their purchase. Before writing any offers, speak with your realtor about your employment status to ensure confidence in your ability to close. 

Be Prepared To Compete

As a result of months of pent up buyer demand, historically low interest rates and lack of available home inventory, we are seeing very competitive home bidding in those areas most desirable at entry level pricing. You have to be prepared to financially complete with other buyers and allow for some extra room to be included in multiple counter offer rounds. A savvy realtor would advise leaving yourself at least 5% of the purchase price so that you are in a position to counter competitively 2 or 3 times. 

Explore Surrounding Neighborhoods

When searching for homes, most of us begin right in the neighborhood where everyone wants to be. Because of this, we get frustrated quickly when we realize the homes we love are pending or sold before we can even see them and sold for way over the asking price. It’s always wise to explore the outer perimeters of those desirable neighborhoods so that you allow for growth potential. Ask your realtor which neighborhoods are the new up coming trends and what appreciation rates look like.

What Can You Live With

It’s just as important to think about what you can live with, as it is what you can’t live without. A home purchase always comes with sacrifice. The obvious ones are financial, but there are sacrifices to be made with characteristics of the home as well. For example, if you want the inside of the home to be turn key – move in ready, then you might have to be willing to do some improvements to the landscaping if need be. Or if you want to be in the best neighborhood or school district, then you might have to be open to a cosmetic fixer that you can upgrade over time. If that extra bedroom, bathroom or square footage is pricing you out, then you might have to consider something a bit smaller to get your foot in the door of homeownership. Be smart when buying and try to remove your emotions from the transaction as much as possible.

Buy With A Seller’s Mindset

Buying with a seller’s mindset is what all successful investors do when purchasing a home. They think of their home as an asset and not a liability. Because of this mindset, they are able to look at the buying process through the lens of an owner and see past some of the things that most people might get hung up on. During the inspection contingency, some issues might come up that sound alarming, but in hind sight, they are small hurdles and often opportunities for you to negotiate further. Always buy with a seller’s mindset because someday, you will sell and be grateful you did.

Trust In The Process

I know that it’s cliché, but it’s true, especially when it comes to buying a home. The process can take time, it can be frustrating and emotional. It can feel daunting and economically heavy. But there is no better way to build wealth in American, provide for your family, and live the life you’ve always wanted if you are not a homeowner and do not trust in the process. This is something that you should always remind yourself. Ernest Hemingway said this: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” It’s a life lesson. Now go out and become a homeowner. Trust yourself, trust your advisors and live the life you always desired.