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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.