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Thinking About Buying a House During COVID-19? Here’s What You Should Know

The coronavirus has certainly disrupted the housing market.

In Minnesota, sales slowed at the end of March as the state remains in a stay-at-home order through May 4. Around the country, a new normal has forced virtual or socially-distanced showings.

So should you buy or sell right now? Depends.

One thing that buyers have going for them is that rates are extremely low. If you’re still financially stable notwithstanding COVID-19’s economic effect, it might not be a bad time to buy. We talked with Sunrise Banks Mortgage Sales Director Chuck Meier to get his take on the situation.

Here’s what he had to say.

There’s a lot of economic uncertainty right now. What advice would you give someone looking to buy or sell a home?

CM: I would highly recommend buying a house right now, as interest rates are at or near all-time lows. If you are fairly comfortable in your job situation, it is a perfect time to buy. However, the inventory of homes for sale is probably not as strong as it should be given the COVID-19 fears.

Is it a safe economic decision to buy a property during a time of volatility?

CM: It all depends on your job stability and whether you believe your situation will stay the same. Given the rate environment, it is definitely cheaper to buy than pay rent, and now more than ever. Depending on your personal employment situation and how others have been negatively affected, there may be less people searching for homes to compete against.

Are there any programs borrowers can use to defer payments?

CM: Deferments are only for those who cannot make their current payments, so no, there would not be anything available when buying. I know we see the car dealers advertising buying a car with deferred payments, but that doesn’t hold true in housing purchases.

Anything else you’d like to add?

CM: I have been seeing projections that show purchase numbers will be down with the COVID-19 situation. Unemployment, stay-at-home orders and general anxiety are putting buyers and sellers on the sideline.

Once we get through this, the feeling is that we will have an extremely robust market to help offset some of the lost.

Still Have Questions? Get in touch with a mortgage lender today.

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