Maybe you always wanted to paint your kitchen blue. Or plant a summer garden. Or maybe you just want to invest in your future.
There are many possible advantages to owning a home, another being that it could be more affordable than renting.
A recent study found that mortgage payments can be lower than rent payments in more than half of the country’s housing markets.
This news, coupled with other factors, including historically low interest rates for mortgages, is leaving many renters wondering if it’s time to take the plunge into homebuying.
Homebuying during COVID-19
Carlos Perez of Fresno, California, has been living with his family since 2019 while paying off student loans and saving to buy his first home.
Perez started shopping for a home in late 2019 but took a break from his search when COVID-19 first emerged. With quarantines easing up, he’s now back at it.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic happened, there was a lot of uncertainty about how it would affect home prices and whether we would even be able to look at homes,” Perez explains.
However, thanks to the as more of the homebuying process adapts to social distancing, Perez and his real estate agent are previewing properties online before visiting them in person.
“My goal is to close on a new home by year’s end,” Perez says. “I want the stability of being a homeowner.”
Heading into homebuying
If you are renting and can qualify for a mortgage, COVID-19 doesn’t necessarily have to derail your plan to buy a home.
Brandon Scott, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Dupont-Logan in Washington, D.C., recently helped a buyer who was suddenly faced with homeschooling her two young children in a two-bedroom apartment when schools closed due to COVID-19.
“She needed more space and a safe yard for them to play in, so she decided to move forward with buying,” Scott says. Thanks to a low interest rate on her loan, Scott’s client now saves about $250 a month on her mortgage from what she paid in rent.
If you’re feeling ready to buy, a good first step can be reaching to a lender or mortgage broker to see how much of a mortgage you might qualify for. You can also contact a real estate agent to learn about the homes that are available in your budget.
It’s your decision
Regardless of what you’re reading in the news, whether you want to buy a home or continue renting is your decision. The right time to buy is whenever the time feels right for you.
- Wondering how to safely buy a home during a pandemic? Our blog post series on homebuying during COVID-19 explains how the process is adapting to social distancing.
- When you do find your dream home, you may not be the only buyer who wants it. We have tips on how to compete against other buyers.