It’s been difficult to adjust to a new normal during the past few weeks. With most residents being asked to stay at home, there are many who have recently lost their jobs or been asked to work remotely. The mortgage industry has also taken a big hit that has directly affected homeowners, renters, and investors alike.
There are many who are in the final stages of closing on their homes, and the current pandemic has made it difficult to efficiently move forward with the process. To help, desktop and exterior-only appraisals are being accepted as long as there is sufficient property information available online. Potential borrowers can also now submit their verification of employment via email, paystub, or bank statement to help streamline the process.
Significant changes have been made during the recent outbreak of COVID-19 to help homeowners get through this trying time. Those who have lost their jobs may be eligible for reduced or suspended mortgage payments for up to 12 months while they regain their footing and find new employment. All foreclosure sales and evictions have also been suspended for 60 days to give borrowers a chance to catch up on their payments. Homeowners who are behind on their mortgage will also receive help to create a plan to maintain or reduce their monthly payments moving forward.
Renters who are currently unable to make their monthly rent payments are advised to reach out directly to their landlords. Owners of these properties will be given mortgage forbearance by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if they suspend all evictions for renters that have been directly affected by COVID-19. This plan is directly designed to prevent tenants from being evicted because they are unable to pay their rent due to a recent loss of their job.
One benefit of the recent changes in the mortgage market is that interest rates have been near an all-time low, and it may be an excellent time to buy your first home or refinance your current mortgage. If you’ve had your eye on the market for a while now and want to take advantage of the current interest rates, it’s the perfect time to call your loan officer and start the process of locking in your rate before interest rates start to increase again.
It can be hard to keep track of all the changes. Lenders are working around the clock to answer all your questions and will support you in any way that they can. If you need help finding a great lender, give us a call!
5 Questions Sellers Have about the Market during the Coronavirus Outbreak Answered
There are so many questions and concerns amid the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The real estate market is especially hard hit and sellers are concerned. Real estate at its core is a people business. It relies on person-to-person interaction and the coronavirus necessarily limits this contact. As the spring selling season gets started, home sellers will have questions and it’s important to acknowledge concerns and offer practical advice and concrete information to help sellers make the best decision for themselves and their families.
- Should I still try and sell my home? – Of course, there are many aspects to this question. First and foremost, the health concerns of the sellers’ family have to be taken into consideration. Unless absolutely necessary, the elderly and those with underlying health issues should not allow unnecessary people into their homes; including buyers and agents. If the household is essentially healthy and not considered high-risk, then this could be a great time to sell. Consider the advantages of lower inventory coupled with low-interest rates; as listings become rarer, the remaining inventory will get more attention which could create better offers.
- Is it safe to have people through my home? – This is certainly a concern, but there are practical steps you can take to ensure safer home showings.
- What can I do to protect my family during showings? – Protect the home, family and visitors alike by taking the following
- Keep hand sanitizer at the front door to offer buyers and their agents when they enter the home.
- If there is a guest bathroom, keep disposable hand towels and soap for guests to use and make the request known to the showing agent.
- Offer disposable gloves for use with a receptacle for used gloves.
- Limit the showing days and hours so you can properly clean between showings.
- Have cleaning wipes handy. Request agents to wipe surfaces, door handles, and banisters which are touched during the showing.
- Ask your agent to offer virtual showings or host virtual open houses.
- What happens if my buyer loses their job? – Most real estate contracts include a contingency for the buyer loan approval and funding. Now more than ever, it’s critical to keep that contingency in place. In the unfortunate event the buyer loses their job or can no longer qualify for the loan during the contingency deadline, the parties cancel typically cancel the contract.
- Will I get a higher price if I wait to list my home? – The truth is no one knows. We don’t know how long or short the crisis will be and we don’t know how the financial market will weather the outbreak. While this is a question the seller will ultimately need to decide, the old adage about a “bird in the hand” is important to remember.
This spring selling season has proven to have unique circumstances – please feel free to contact us to learn more about the current outlook and opportunities in your local market.