A Q&A with Jim Dhillon and Sunny Vig of questions they have been receiving about buying and selling homes during COVID-19
Is it a good time to buy right now?
It is an excellent time to buy right now. The perception is there is not much in the market but really there are over 14,800 listings on the market right now. Every day and every week the listings are going up and there is a selection out there for people so if you are looking to buy there are options out there for you. The good part about this is that the people on the market right now are people that really want to sell and the people who do not need to sell took their homes off the market because they do not want to take a chance due to COVID-19 and so the people on the market right now are motivated and they want to sell.
The other thing is that they are pricing things very well as well and in the past when somebody might have tried to price their house a little bit higher to see if they could get a little more money or there was an emotional attachment to it so they thought they could price it a bit higher. They are being more realistic because of the market so they are pricing it better and they are putting it on the market because they need to sell so these two things are great for home buyers.
Is it a good time for people to get a good deal?
Yes, you can get a good deal. Since people are pricing things well, the good deals and the best houses are selling quickly. There are 14,800 on the market but not all of them are great properties, great homes, or great deals. A lot of people do not know what makes a great home. What makes a great home is a home that is well maintained and priced well. If you take care of your home, maintain it well, and it is priced well then it will be the type of home that sells very quickly. There are only savvy buyers on the market right now they are jumping on these homes quickly. Some of these homes are selling in 2-3 days with multiple offers on these homes because there is not a ton of good homes. It is good that these types of homes are out there, and they are priced well but if you find a great home you must jump on it quickly.
Is it possible to see homes that you like during COVID-19? How hard is it to see these homes?
It is not hard from a buyer’s perspective but from a realtor’s perspective it is a bit more cumbersome because realtors must do more due diligence just to make sure your health is protected, and the seller’s health is protected. There are some extra checklists realtors have to do to make sure that everybody is healthy and do a bit of prep as far as making sure there are no touch showings and making sure everyone’s health is protected first but as mentioned before the sellers out there right now really want you to come to see their house and are motivated to let buyers come and see it. There is a good chance you are going to see any house you want to see.
Can I get a mortgage approval right now?
Yes, you can. There are a lot of approvals happening and nothing has changed in terms of the guidelines or the rules. It is a good time to get approved and people are getting approved. However, if you are temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 then it might be an issue and you just must wait till you are back to work but other than that it is business as usual in terms of getting approved for a mortgage.
Can I get a low-interest rate?
Right now, is the best time to get a mortgage because the cost of interest is low. You can get a great interest rate as low as 2.05% on the market and it is uncommon for rates to be this low. It is a great time to get a mortgage and a great time to be pre-approved. A lot of people do not know but once you are pre-approved you receive an interest rate hold which is good for 4 months. Even if you are not in the market to buy right now you might as well get pre-approved even if it expires but if you do end up buying you can lock in a great interest rate.
Is the average down payment increasing from 5% to 10%?
For the most part, this is speculation and nothing is official at this point. There probably will be some changes but it is currently just speculation. We do not know exactly what is going to be happening but have heard about the minimum payment increasing which just reinforces the fact that right now is probably a good time if you are thinking about buying as a first-time home buyer.