Thoughtful Thursday: Better prepare yourself for buying a home during a Pandemic

Buying in 2020: This has been quite the challenging year to say the least! There is so much happening all around the country, and many are wondering how this is impacting real estate. Well, here at Root River Realty we always try and bring you the most up to date information about these topics. Buying a home is one of, if not the grandest investment that one will make in a lifetime. So, we always want to share great and valuable information with our readers.

Facts and knowledgeable advice when buying a home:

Lower Mortgage Interest Rates are a Fact:

Even though this pandemic continues, mortgage interest rates have been lowering. Right now Freddie Mac shows that in September 2020, the average interest rate for a conventional 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.39%. And the average of a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.23%. Although interest rates may continue to stay low until the economy gets closer to normal, the interest rates probably won’t hit rock bottom since lenders still have a high demand from current homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower rates.

Simple tips to better prepare yourself for the home buying process:

1. Save save save: Keep yourself motivated, keep your eye on the prize as they say. Cut down on certain unnecessary expenses and you will see a significant growth in your savings.

2. Budget is key: If you’re going to buy a home in this market, you absolutely must find out how much you can really afford. Crunch the numbers and figure out a monthly payment your budget can handle, and commit to staying within that budget amount. Don’t rush into a home purchase that doesn’t make financial sense for you no matter how much you are seeing others around you getting the homes of their dreams. The right house is always out there, and rest assured you will find it, without having to sacrifice your finances.

3. Give up some wants, keep the needs: If you start to realize that maybe you can’t afford to buy the house you absolutely want, compromise and start to edit down your list of wants and truly concentrate on those can't live without must haves. A good option to maximize your investment is to find a home in a great neighborhood which maybe does not have all of your immediate wants, but meets a lot of your needs. As time passes and you continue to save you will be able to afford those upgrades that were your wants when you first bought the house. Always remember you can fix the house, but you can not fix it's location. A great tip for those who are buying a house together, is to both agree on those must-haves, compare your lists, combine them and share them with your real estate agent.

4. Don't limit your search: When you start looking and start to realize that your ideal location is not realistic for you due to budget, then ask your realtor in this case Root River Realty to suggest other locations for you. You may be absolutely surprised at what you can afford in a different neighborhood, maybe not even far from where your ideal location was. Working with an agent like Holly Speranza who has been in this business for so many years, and is extremely knowledgeable about different areas and neighborhoods will help you find a home that fits your budget and your lifestyle.

5. Write a letter. There maybe a lot of competition out there, so sometimes adding a personal touch to your offer may make that difference. I actually did this myself when purchasing my first home in 2009. I did not feel that my offer was strong enough to get me the house, so Holly recommended that I let the sellers know what it would mean to me to be able to live in this home. I was afraid that I may offend them with my lower than asking price offer. So, in my letter I explained that I was a single woman purchasing my first home all by myself. I had looked at 23 houses! Yes you read that right 23! Poor Holly! In addition I expressed that no house I had seen within my budget was a place where I would feel comfortable and safe. At the time I had a huge and beautiful black lab that I had rescued to worry about, and buying a house with not much of a yard did not seem fair for my gigantic furry friend. After I explained all of this to them, it turned out that they also had rescued labs their whole lives and receiving my letter with a picture of my furry friend and I truly touched them. They let Holly (my realtor) know that they would want no one else to have the house! I could not believe it, Holly was able to negotiate a great price that worked for both sides and the rest is history!

6. Hire an experienced pro. Lastly, I can not stress this enough, save yourself the stress of trying to buy on your own home. Get the help of a real estate pro so the home-buying process is smooth for everyone involved.

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