We have all spent a lot of time in our homes lately, learning the quirks of our spaces and possibly discovering new activities for our families. Many people are realizing their current home no longer fits their needs or goals. Buying a home can be a big step, especially in a a changing economic environment, but there are advantages to considering a new home at this time.
“The recent situation has made us see an uptick in serious sellers, who are looking for an offer and ready to move forward,” says Tiffany Allen-Zeuch, a local real estate agent with Sibcy Cline. “At the same time, we’re getting fewer buyers who are ‘shopping casually’ and more who are going through the process with a serious, ready-to-buy attitude. This really creates opportunities on both sides.”
We spoke with some housing professionals to get the scoop on finding your dream home even during a difficult economic time.
Why Buy or Build Now?
There are many reasons why this is a good time to look into buying or building a new home. The process of shopping for homes online or chatting with a real estate agent on the phone or via video conference has never been easier, and once you go to see a home, you can still feel assured of your safety.
“We’ve taken precautions like other essential businesses, like shortening showing appointments and taking only one couple through a home at a time,” says Tiffany. “We make sure to sanitize surfaces. We offer FaceTime tours and other forms of virtual showings, especially for those moving from out-of-town who don’t want to fly in right now.”
While interest rates have been quite competitive even before COVID-19, the reductions in interest rates due to market volatility have opened opportunities for those who are considering a new home mortgage.
“While rates do change every day, and they depend on your credit score and type of loan, we are definitely seeing some low rates,” says Tiffany. “It’s a great time to buy because you get to buy more house with your budget.”
The Importance of Finding Home
Carriage Hill in Liberty Township features neighborhoods by various builders, and they’re seeing many people who are interested in the valuable features that a planned living community can provide.
“My family and I have experienced something very unique during this pandemic which has proven to be a very challenging time for many,” says Randy Terry, Developer at Carriage Hill. “With the stay-at-home order we truly realize the importance of home, family and friends. I’m seeing many more of my neighbors out for a leisure walk, pet gatherings, families picnicking at the pond, kids riding bikes and everyone fishing the stocked ponds.”
In West Chester and Liberty, the economic impact of building a home that fits your needs can be a major benefit, helping our neighbors and friends in various industries to keep working and stay productive.
“Fulfilling our responsibility as an essential business which helps to sustain employment and economic growth is a serious matter to local builders,” explains Randy. “It has been said that, for every home built, 2.5 permanent jobs are created. Townships rely on property taxes as a primary form of income, so the housing sector and its growth is key to the sustainable income basis for our local communities.”
Carriage Hill has distinct neighborhoods that offer different kinds of homes, which has led to a family atmosphere and a unique benefit during a time of spending more time at home.
“We have many grandparents that move into the same community as their grandchildren, and we have adults moving to where their own parents live to provide some in-home care,” says Randy. “This has proven to be one of those times when the ability to be close to your family is of real value.”
There are many ways in which the current market may have prompted you to start looking at buying or building a home. Maybe you’ve realized that you want a new layout in your home, a bigger yard for a new dog or want to be in a different type of neighborhood. Tiffany suggests that the best way to get started is to talk to an agent.
“Talk through your needs, wants and desires with a real estate agent to get a realistic expectation of this local marketplace during this particular time,” says Tiffany. “You can get your pre-approval to see what you can afford, and talking to an agent can help, for instance, first-time homebuyers not be surprised by the various steps in the process.”
Our housing professionals continue to work for a strong year in the housing market, and they have reasons to continue to be optimistic.
“With people cleaning out their homes, painting and doing repairs, I anticipate a lot of nice inventory going into the third quarter,” says Tiffany. “The challenge we’re facing is to continue selling and buying in a safe and healthy manner, but we’re still in the same world where people may need to buy, whether you’re just starting out, getting married, having children, or any other life events and stages.”