fbpx
logob

Rhino Blog

Nov17

Should You List Your Home During the Holidays?

Most people avoid selling their homes during the holidays. This is due to the fact that people are too preoccupied with planning vacations, buying gifts, cooking meals and attending parties during this time of the year. However, the old thinking doesn’t apply any longer – thanks to the Internet and smart phones.

The buying season is now year-round. While sales tend to drop off during the holidays, there are good reasons to go ahead and list your home now rather than wait until spring. Here are some of them.

Less competition 

Some sellers take their properties off the market during the holiday season. Others would wait until the after the first of the year before listing their homes. For that reason, serious buyers have fewer properties to choose from.

Because of the scarcity of similar, competitive listings, it puts you in a unique position of power. Less competition means you can have a higher asking price.

Buyers never stop looking online

A huge percentage of home buyers start looking at properties online, as opposed to seeing them in person. With the internet, tablets, smartphones and our always-on lifestyle, serious buyers are still trying to look at properties even during the holiday break. They would check out new listings while waiting for the kids’ school holiday show to start or before going to bed. These buyers are excited to see new and awesome homes on the market.

Buyers are motivated

Those who remain active in their searches and are still looking at properties around Christmas or New Years are undoubtedly serious buyers. Perhaps they’re relocating to the area and holiday season is the only time they can go to town. Or maybe they need to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons. Whatever the reason is, this often results to a quicker sale process.

Leverage the holiday spirit 

As anyone who’s bought or sold a property will tell you: emotion is a big part of the transaction. And there may no more powerful emotional pull than the feelings associated with winter holidays. So why not tap into this powerful emotional tone-setter and use it to sell your existing property? 

By aligning your property with an existing holiday motif, you can increase your chances of making a deal much to your liking. 

Nov10

How to Stage Your Home During the Winter Months

Selling a house is no walk in the park. It becomes even more challenging if you decide to sell your house in winter. If you live in an area where it gets snows, you need extra effort to make sure your house looks attractive to potential buyers.

Use these tips when staging your home for the winter season.

Make curb appeal a top priority 

How to Stage Your Home During the Winter Months 2

Now that all the leaves have fallen, potential buyers have a clearer view of your home. Make your house look cozy and inviting by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Adding a new doormat, house number, and hardware can also make a big difference. Also, keep your lawn looking neat. Don’t forget to illuminate the way to your front door.

Shovel the snow and keep your driveways and walkways salted and free of snow. There is no point in beautifying your home if potential buyers are afraid to walk on the sidewalk or step on the porch.

Decorate for the holidays 

How to Stage Your Home During the Winter Months 3

Most people who are looking at houses in winter are serious buyers. Many of them are looking to settle in their new home before Christmas. Putting up some holiday decorations can help stir the holiday spirit. So go ahead and decorate the house for the holidays, but don’t overdo it. Too many ornaments can crowd your home and distract buyers.

A few subtle touches like a wreath, a bowl of pinecones, some Christmas stockings, and a pot of cider simmering on your stove can create a warm and festive feeling in your home.

Give each room a warm touch 

How to Stage Your Home During the Winter Months 4

Accessorize your home with rugs, pillows and art. Use accessories with warm colors such as yellow, orange, and red. These colors are often associated with warmth, heat, and fire, so they’ll make the room look and feel warm and cozy.

Crank up the heat

How to Stage Your Home During the Winter Months 5

Give potential buyers a reason to linger for little bit longer. Pump up that thermostat to ensure that they stay warm and comfortable. If you have a fireplace, then go ahead and light a fire.

Nov04

Home Improvement Projects and Upgrades for Winter

Winter months is just around the corner. While there is nothing we can do about the winter weather, there are steps you can take to make your home more energy-efficient while keeping it warm all winter long.

Here are some home improvement projects you can do to make your home more comfortable and cozy. These projects can help you save money and energy this winter.

Replace outdated furnace 

The average life span of a furnace is approximately 15 years. Because a new furnace can be quite expensive, most people wait until their furnace reaches the end of its life before getting a new one.

If your furnace is more than 12 years old, we recommend that you begin shopping for a new one. It may still be working, but it is likely that your heating bills are higher than they need to be. Older models are usually more expensive to operate since they use a lot of electricity to heat your home. New units are more energy efficient; hence, allowing you to save money in the long run.

Install a programmable thermostat

Heating your home can be quite expensive. And nothing is more frustrated than paying for wasted energy. In order to save money, we suggest that you turn the temperature up by a few degrees before leaving the house or before going to bed. You can turn up the heat once again upon waking up in the morning and when you come home at night. This works, however, if you remember to do so.

For your convenience, consider installing a programmable thermostat. With this gadget, you don’t have to turn the heat up and down manually. Plus, you are likely to save 3% on your bill with each degree you turn down the heat.

Insulate your water heater

Water heating accounts for 13% of your home’s total energy cost. This is because your water heater works constantly to keep water hot and ready whenever you need it. To make your water heater more energy efficient, consider adding a thick blanket or insulation around your water heater. This will help you save money and energy, not only during the winter but throughout the year.

Oct14

Common Areas for Mold Growth

Given the right conditions, mold can grow just about anywhere in your home. As you probably know, mold is not just unsightly; it can also cause health problems. 

If you would like to keep your home a healthy space to inhabit, be sure to include these areas in your regular inspection. Make sure there are no leaks or other sources of moisture, which may lead to mold growth. Through regular inspection, you can steer clear of the unhealthy and expensive problems mold can cause. 

Here are 4 common places to look for mold.

Basement

Basement mold is especially common in homes with foundation cracks, broken drain tiles, missing waterproof membranes, homes that have been flooded, homes that are poorly sloped and older homes. 

Some people use their basement as storage space for old furniture, cardboard boxes and other items they no longer use. Unfortunately, most basements are not designed with humidity and temperature controls. As a result, moisture develops and mold begins to grow. 

Bathroom 

Mold can and will grow where there is moisture. Because moisture is constantly a part of its environment, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the bathroom is one of the most common areas for mold growth. To prevent mold growth, make sure to allow ventilation time after showering. 

Most people don’t have an idea they have mold until they smell it. Some would ignore those small patches of mold, thinking they’re just dirt. Look for mold underneath the sink, around the toilet, shower curtains or on the walls. 

Kitchen

Despite people’s effort to keep the kitchen clean and sanitized, it tends to be one of the places where mold can take root. This is mainly because the kitchen is used for preparing foods, where water is one of the most important ingredients. Standing water, spils that are left uncleaned, leaking sinks, drains and faucets, can all lead to mold growth. 

Window sills

Window sills are a prime place for mold to start and spread. Unfortunately, most people don’t often spend a lot of time examining their window sills. After keeping their windows shut all winter, homeowners typically spot mold in windows when they open them in spring. Prevent the growth of mold by keeping the glass panes moisture and dust-free. 

Oct06

3 Key Reasons to Have a Home Inspection Before Buying a House

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. You’ll be putting a lot of your time, effort and money into finding the perfect house for you and your family, so you want to make sure you get the right one. Home inspection can help you with that. 

Although most buyers consider home inspection as an added expense, it is important that you have it done before signing on the dotted line. In fact, having a qualified home inspector look over the house can provide several advantages. 

Don’t be tempted to waive the home inspection when buying a house. Here are 3 key reasons why you should have the property inspected before buying. 

Peace of mind 

When you hire a home inspector, they’ll assess the house and let you know about the overall condition of the property. Through the home inspection report, you’ll discover some issues or problems that may affect the safety and value of the property. 

Yes, it may set you back by a few hundred dollars, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the property is in good condition. 

Make an informed decision 

It’s easy to fall in love with a house because of its spacious rooms, updated kitchen and bath and modern furniture. Considering that you have put in a huge portion of your savings and that you’ll be staying in this house for several years, you want to make sure it’s everything you’re looking for. 

A home inspection will give you a clear picture about what to expect on the property. By learning about the flaws and issues present in the house, you’ll be able to make better, more informed decision. If you find out that the house has major issues like structural damage, roof problems or electrical problems, you have the opportunity to back out of the transaction, considering the amount of money you’ll have to spend to fix it. 

Save money 

No house is perfect. The house may look great, but it may have some issues that are yet to be discovered. Even the newly built houses have some flaws.

The last thing you want is to find out that the house has several problems after moving in. Since you’ve already bought the house, you have no choice but to deal with these issues. If you can look past the initial expense of home inspection, then you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars down the road. 

Sep18

Why Your Furnace Needs an Annual Tune Up

Imagine this – you woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, only to realize that your home is freezing. The worst part is, you have to wait till the morning to contact a HVAC professional.

With autumn in full swing and the cold weather quickly approaching, now is the best time to have your furnace tuned up. HVAC companies never fail to remind us to schedule for a tune up, but what they fail to tell you is why it is needed.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of annual furnace tune up and why you shouldn’t wait until it gets cold. 

Reduce repairs

With proper maintenance, problems will be caught early on and make small repairs that could turn into a more serious, costly repairs. During tune up, an HVAC technician will inspect the furnace, change the filters, check the ignition, gas pressure and make sure that your system is running efficiently; thus, preventing breakdown.

Save money

If you notice that your energy bill is increasing, this could be an indication that your heating system is not running at peak efficiency. With annual tune ups, you’ll make sure that your furnace is as energy efficient as possible; thus, allowing you to save money in the long run. 

When your furnace is a finely tuned machine, it also eliminates the need for buying a new heating unit.

Prevent health risks

Furnace burns fuel to produce heat. A small problem can lead to gas leaking into your home, which can present a real hazard.

Carbon monoxide could be fatal if you inhale too much. An HVAC professional can inspect your furnace for signs of hazardous wear and ensure that you and your family are safe. 

Greater comfort

Annual tune ups will get your heating system operating at maximum efficiency. HVAC contractors will make sure that the airflow is strong and the air filter is clean. As a result, your furnace will be able to heat the house faster and provide a more consistent temperature throughout the house.

Sep09

What to Do if Your Home Isn’t Selling

You have a perfectly lovely home. You got rid of the clutter, cleaned the house and even hired a professional stager. You also have a competent agent by your side and you’re pretty sure that you took stunning photos of your home and included it in your online listing. But the problem is, your house is still on the market. 

You may be wondering what home sellers are doing in this situation. Here are 3 things you can do to finally get that “for sale” sign out of the yard. 

Fix what needs to be fixed

Some sellers think it’s a waste to spend money on a house that they’ll be moving out of. However, potential buyers aren’t interested in buying a house that requires a long list of repairs. 

Work with your real estate agent and some friends. Ask them to take a good look at your house and point out areas that could turn potential buyers off. This will help you improve the look of your home and appeal to your target market. 

Price appropriately

If your home has been sitting on the market for a few months with very limited showings or offers, you might want to look at the price. Most properties do not sell because they are overpriced.

A house priced at market value piques the interest of buyers; while overpriced properties chases them away. Dropping the price isn’t always a guarantee that the house will sell fast, but if you price it appropriately, there’s a good chance that it will. 

Take a break from the market

Most buyers research for months or even years. If your home has been on the market for months now, then they are going to notice. Some may even think that there is something wrong with the property, making it difficult to sell.

Take your listing off the market, even for a few months, and refresh your advertising. This time, price it appropriately, fix whatever needs to be fixed and re-enter the housing market with a bang. With any luck, you’ll find that a new set of prospective buyers are eyeing your home. 

Sep04

Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall

Spring and summer is the busiest time of the year for the real estate market. But just because its fall doesn’t mean your Colorado home won’t sell.

The fall season can actually be a great time to sell your Colorado house. There will be fewer homes in the market this time of the year. Meaning, potential buyers will compete for fewer homes on the market and will want to seal the deal before the holiday season.

Looking to make a quick sale before the winter arrives? Here are 4 ways to prep your house for sale in the fall.

Keep the exterior clean

Whether they’re viewing the property online or driving up to see it, a home sale begins with the buyer’s first view of the house. Potential buyers will make judgments upon seeing your Colorado home, and you want to make sure it’s positive.

Leaves are dropping like crazy this time of the year. Try to rake or mow your lawn from time to time so it looks clean and tidy. Also, make sure that the walkways, yard and gutters are free of leaves and debris.

Add some outdoor lighting

As the hours of daylight begin to grow shorter, it is important that you provide potential buyers a safe path. Place some lights along your walkway so people can clearly see the path to your front door. Turn on the lights before a home showing.

Embrace the fall season

The fall season is a time for colorful decorations and foliage. A few tasteful accents can make your Colorado home feel warm and cozy, but be sure not to overdo it. Plant some annuals in the front yard. Place a fall wreath or cornucopia on the door.  For some buyers, little touches like these really go a long way.

Check the HVAC

You want potential buyers to feel warm and comfortable when they visit. Be sure to have the HVAC system checked before turning on the heat. Also, if you haven’t changed the furnace filter yet, now is the best time to do so.

Aug18

Why You Should Have a Mold Inspection Before Buying a House

No one wants to buy a house with a mold problem. The last thing you want to discover after signing on the dotted line is that you’ll need mold remediation or removal. Unfortunately, molds are not always visible and are not easy to detect. Those pesky little spores could be hiding in the house you’re buying. Because of that, it is vitally important to get a mold inspection done.

Here are 4 reasons why a mold inspection is crucial before buying a house. 

Health risks

Even if there are no signs of mold, it is still a good idea to have a mold inspection. Mind you, mold can be toxic and hazardous to your health. While some people may only have symptoms when they are active in large numbers, others may experience allergy symptoms, asthma attacks or other health problems, even with minimal exposure.

If a member of your family is suffering from asthma or allergy, then getting a mold inspection should be on top of your list. This will give you a peace of mind that you’re moving your family into a healthy and safe environment. 

Mold remediation is costly

Mold removal can be very costly. This is because surfaces that have been contaminated with mold needs to be thoroughly cleaned. Aside from that, professionals have to address the moisture issues to prevent the problem from coming back.

If mold does exist, it can strengthen your negotiation potential and give the seller a chance to rectify the situation. You can ask the seller to fix the problem, reduce the asking price, or you can choose to walk away from the deal. 

With mold often comes water damage 

Mold will grow in places with lots of moisture. Therefore, the presence of mold means there is excess moisture in that particular area. 

Mold is often an indicator of a bigger problem. When mold grow and spread in certain parts of the house, that could be an indication of a leak, water damage, or humidity issue that wasn’t properly addressed. 

Some sellers do not disclose mold issues

Since legal requirements for disclosing mold problems are not universally mandatory, we urge you to have the house inspected for mold before buying. Sellers and real estate agents know that the presence of mold can end the transaction, which is why many of them try to hide mold issues in their home.

Aug13

4 Easy Home Improvement Projects That Will Make Your Home Look Amazing

Is your home looking old and dingy? Do you want to give your home a makeover, but you don’t have enough budget for it? The good news is that you don’t have to completely renovate the spaces in your home to give them a refreshed look. In fact, there are easy home improvement projects you can tackle on your own. Some can even be completed over the weekend. 

Here are 4 easy home improvement projects that will make your home look amazing. 

Replace bathroom or kitchen hardware 

Easy Home Improvement 1

This may be one of the easiest projects you can take on, but you’d be surprised how much of a design impact changing the hardware can have.  

When purchasing hardware for your cabinets, consider practicality over style. Also, try to look for handles that are of the same size and shape as your current ones. This will allow you to place them over the holes from your previous hardware. No filling and drilling required. 

Repaint the walls

Easy Home Improvement 2

We all know how a fresh coat of paint can give your space a new lease of life. It can give your drab, washed-out walls a burst of brilliant depth. Plus, it’s simple enough to do on your own. 

White is a great color for most spaces. It is excellent at reflecting light, which makes the room look bigger and more spacious. Plus, decorating is easier with white walls. Be sure to add some color with accessories, so the room doesn’t look clinical. 

Install kitchen backsplash

Easy Home Improvement 3

The area behind the stove is subject to heat and food splatter, while the wall behind the countertop and sink is prone to moisture. Protect your kitchen wall by installing backsplash. 

For many homeowners, installing a traditional tile backsplash may seem overwhelming. In this case, a sheet backsplash may just be your saving grace. All you have to do is to cut and glue the material. 

It’s an incredibly easy task that even amateurs can conquer with confidence. Plus, it will impart a premium look to an ordinary-looking kitchen. 

Update light fixtures 

Easy Home Improvement 4

Updating your lighting fixtures can have a significant effect on your home’s interior design without putting a dent on your budget.  

While the minimalist trend is on the rise, sometimes it’s fun to upgrade to bold and big in some areas. A large pendant fixture over your dining table or kitchen island would give the space a wow factor. 

Aug05

4 Ways to Supercharge Your Home’s Online Listing

While real esate agents are still key in the home buying process, recent survey revealed that 92% of home buyers start their search online. Considering our current situation, searching for homes online is not only more convenient; it’s also a lot safer. With so many homes on the market, how do you make sure that your listing stands out

Here are 4 ways to supercharge your home’s online listing. Use these tips to get your property noticed and sell it faster.

Upload good quality photos

In the age of the internet, listings with photos perform better than those without. Potential buyers use your listing photos to gauge whether or not they like your Colorado home. These photos will attract potential buyers; thus, making your listing more competitive. The key is to capture good quality photos that showcase your home’s best feature. 

When selling your Colorado home, you want to make sure it looks its best. As such, we highly recommend that you stage the rooms before taking photos. 

Tidy up the room and make sure that everything is in order. Focus on the strengths of the property and skip rooms that detract from the overall impression you are trying to give.

Be descriptive

When selling a Colorado property, you want potential buyers to envision themselves in your home.  

Tell people about all the great features of your home. Tell them about the lovely outdoor space, the newly renovated kitchen or the brick patio for BBQs. Make sure you’re actually providing value in your descriptions.

Sell them the dream neighborhood

Location is one of the most important things buyers consider when buying a house. Future owners can change certain features they don’t want in your home, but they can’t change the location and the neighborhood it is in.

If your home is located in a good neighborhood, make sure that you mention it in your listing. 

Are there restaurants, boutiques, hospitals and schools nearby? Are there outdoor amenities like a community pool, bike paths or hiking trails near your home? Can you walk to public transportation? Let potential buyers know about it. Remember, you’re not just selling a house, you’re also selling a neighborhood.

Include your contact details

You created an online listing to reach potential buyers and to sell your property fast. But your listing will be of no use if buyers can’t get a hold of you.

When creating an online listing, make sure that you include your contact details, your email address, as well as your availability. Make it easy for potential buyers to contact you.

Jul22

Cheap and Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

Cheap and Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just want to spruce up your home, now is the best time to work on some home improvement projects.  The good news is that you don’t have to have thousands and thousands of dollars to make your home more appealing and boost your home’s value.

These smart upgrades will help boost the value of your home without putting a hole in your pocket. Spending just a few hundred dollars can pay off big when it’s time to sell.

Boost curb appeal

If you’re planning to put your home on the market, keep in mind that how your house appears on the outside is just as important as it is on the inside. You never get a second chance to make a good impression, so don’t forget to pay attention to your home’s exterior.

Paint the front door, add some plants to the porch and power wash the exterior of your home. These are just some of the easiest ways to make your home attractive and welcoming to potential buyers.

Step up your storage

Finding space to accommodate all your things can be difficult, especially if you have a small house. It is a good idea to find extra storage space in every room in your home.

Maximize your space by taking advantage of vertical space. Increase the storage in your home by adding shelves or installing cabinets. The space below the stairs is also a great place to store shoes, books, and other items.

Neutral wall upgrades

Painting the walls is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to freshen up your home. A couple coats of paint can go a long way towards making your home more modern and clean. Choose a neutral wall color so as to make sure that your home appeals to a wide range of buyers.

Give your kitchen a facelift

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to update. When potential buyers first view a home for sale, they make a beeline for this room. So, make your kitchen really cook. Also, make sure that it’s clean and reasonably updated.

Although investing in new appliances and installing new cabinetry may sound like a great idea, this usually comes with a hefty price tag. If you are on a limited budget, we suggest that swap outdated hardware and repaint old cabinets. This is a great way to freshen up your kitchen without spending a lot of money.

Jul15

Top Deal-Breakers for Home Buyers

So you have found an amazing home with an affordable price. Now, you are pressured to make an offer right away. Well not so fast. You have to understand that some homes in the market come with problems that may lead to expensive repairs. 

Most of these problems may go unnoticed, and you want to spot them before signing on the dotted line.  That said, it is important that you hire a home inspector to make sure that the property is in good condition. 

If the home inspection report came back with any of these issues, don’t be afraid to walk or run away. It’s a big decision so know what you’re getting into.

Water damage

Water damage is very costly to repair. The average cost of water damage repair is $2600. Of course, the cost may vary depending on the amount of water damage, type of water, size of the area, and other factors. 

When looking at homes, be sure to look for signs of water damage. Dark or wet spots on the wall or ceiling, damp or musty smell, and puddles around the pipes, toilets, and sinks are some of the most common signs of water damage. 

Buying a home in a high-risk flood zone can easily translate to a dramatic increase in insurance costs. Plus, it would be extremely difficult to sell your home in the future. 

Mold

Keep your eyes and your nose open. If you notice a musty smell or see any yellowish, brown or black marks on the dry wall, be sure to get an evaluation from a home inspector. 

Old roof

Generally, a roof is designed to last for 30 years before requiring replacement. Buying a home with an  old roof is not a problem, as long as it’s not leaking. 

But if you are to buy the house, be sure that you start saving as it won’t last that long. Replacing the shingles usually costs thousands of dollars, but if the roof sags, then you have no choice but to replace it.

Structural problems

Sometimes, small annoyances are signs of a bigger structural problems. It affects the safety and integrity of the house. 

The roof is a good starting point when inspecting for a structural damage. Sagging or uneven roof line is an indication of structural damage. Also, take note of simple issues such as hard to open doors and windows, as well as cracks on the walls. These are signs of serious problems that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. 

If you notice any cracks in the wall, then this could be a sign that the house has some structural problems. The house could be settling and sinking due to drainage issues or poor soil. 

Small, hairline cracks are common among older homes, but does not necessarily equate to structural problems. Look for wide cracks- those that are big enough that you can stick your fingers in. 

Jul07

Maintenance Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Roof 

Replacing the roof is one of the most costly upgrades a homeowner can make. Installing a new roof can set you back anywhere between $10,000 and $18,000. Expect to pay more for high-end materials. Once you’ve made that kind of investment, you want to keep it in the best possible shape for as long as possible. 

Luckily, getting your roof to last is easy. With proper care and maintenance, you can make sure that your roof stays in great shape for decades. 

Here are 4 maintenance tips to make your roof last for the longest possible time. 

Regular inspection 

Roof problems will arise over time, and that’s normal. But you shouldn’t have to wait for that. Regular inspection is essential in keeping your roof in top shape. It should be inspected by a professional at least once a year. This will help you catch problems early on and take care of them before they become major problems. 

Also, make it a habit to inspect your roof and ceiling after any extreme weather like rainstorm, snow or hail. 

Clean gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to leaky roof and water damage. As such, it is important to clean out the gutters twice a year, particularly in spring and fall.

Get up on your roof and get rid of all the leaves and other debris sitting on the gutters. It may not be an interesting task, but it can go a long way in extending the life of your roof and protecting your home from water damage. If you can’t perform this task, you can hire a professional to clean your gutters for you. 

Fix damage as soon as possible

If you’ve discovered a roofing issue, be sure to have it fixed as soon as possible. Any problems with your roof can quickly turn into major issues, especially if not addressed immediately. Don’t put leaks or other problems off until it’s too late. Once it starts, it will only get worse. Over time, it can have major adverse effects on your home.  

Prevent ice dams

Ice dams are thick bands of ice around the edges of your roof. Ice dams are problematic because they cause water to leak from the roof into the ceilings and walls. It can also cause your roof to collapse if ice and snow build up to a dangerous weight. 

Ice dams form when roof areas become warm enough to melt snow. The best ways to prevent ice dams is through proper insulation and ventilation of the attic. 

Jun17

What to Expect When Buying a House During the Coronvirus Pandemic

The coronavirus is affecting nearly every aspect of our life. School, workplace, and other gathering places are closed. Summer activities and trips were cancelled. Most people are now working from home. 

The process of buying a house has changed drastically over the last few months. If you’re considering buying a house despite the pandemic, you probably have a lot of questions about the home buying process. 

Here are some tips to help you navigate the new real estate normal. 

Showings go virtual 

Gone are the days when you just hop in your realtor’s car and drive from showing to showing. Today, many companies have canceled open houses and tours to prevent the spread of the virus. 

The buying experience has gone completely virtual. The good news is that, you don’t have to rely on the photos on the online listings. You can live chat with a real estate agent and ask for videos and virtual tours. 

Mortgage interest rates are historically low 

While most people are hesitant to buy a house right now due to health and economic concerns. There are certainly some advantages of buying a house during the pandemic. For one, the mortgage rates are historically low. That means, you can expect a lower monthly housing payments too. 

Higher credit score requirements 

Lenders are less willing to take a risk. As part of the many changes made to reduce their risk in light of the economic downturn, lenders raised their credit score requirements. 

Wells Fargo, for instance, increased the minimum credit score for new applicants for its home equity loans to 720. 

The process may take longer than usual

As mentioned above, lenders are stricter now more than ever. If you apply for a mortgage, you are likely to face more scrutiny. In addition, there has been an influx of refinancing applications due to the low interest rates. 

If you are hoping to move into your new home by a certain date, it is best to start the process as early as possible. You could end up waiting around if you don’t get a jump start. 

[12 3 4 5  >>