3 Tips for Buying a Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, staying home has been the best way to stay safe. All that time at home has showed many of us that “home sweet home” is no longer so sweet. If you’re thinking about buying a new home now, before the pandemic is over, follow our tips to stay safe and find the one you’ll love for years to come.

1.Have a realistic understanding of your finances, and be conservative.

Many jobs were lost at the beginning of the pandemic, and more may still be lost. Be honest and objective about your own family’s risk of losing income. Stick to your mortgage budget, shop around for the best home loan you can find, and make sure you’ll still have plenty of savings after the purchase – ideally, enough to cover six-months-worth of bills. (Liberty Bank has some of the lowest mortgage rates in Chicagoland, plus some excellent savings account options.)

2. Expect a different home tour experience.

Sellers are more hesitant than ever to allow prospective buyers into their homes, so you may have to tour virtually and make an offer on a house you’ve never actually walked through. It can be helpful to create a detailed wish list so that you don’t waste any time with properties that aren’t quite right.

3. Prepare for a longer buying experience.

Mortgage rates are at all-time lows, and many people are taking advantage by refinancing. The increased volume of work, along with new COVID-19 workplace restrictions, have lengthened home loan lead times for many banks. Limited home inventory may mean that it takes longer to find the house that ticks all of your wish list boxes. And that limited inventory is also creating bidding wars. If this happens to you, don’t be tempted to spend beyond your budget in order to win. The perfect home is only truly perfect if it’s at the right price!

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