Now On Pause?
Updated March 25, 2020
No one can deny that our local real estate market will be affected by the current and near-future effects of Covid-19. Layoffs, a jumpy stock market and fluctuating mortgage interest rates, and state-wide advisories may be putting your plans ON PAUSE. As a local REALTOR® with 35 years experience, who has personally worked in my industry through other national crises and emergencies, I get it.
That said, if you had been leaning toward buying or selling this year, you'll be happy to hear that we may very well be able to resurrect those plans - just a bit later in this calendar year. Our economy is being affected by an external force, and when the virus threats have passed (yes, this too shall pass), we are hopeful of returning to the robust real estate market that we were previously enjoying. My experience has taught me that luck favors those who are well prepared. And so my goal right now is to help you get to a point of preparedness that will enable you to make decisions on the fly, and take advantage of market conditions at whatever point YOU feel comfortable doing so.
When I was a little girl, we played a game called "kick the can". It was pretty simple. If you were walking home from school, or to a neighbor's house, or to the store - and found the walk to be long or tedious - you would find a "can" or rock or something and just keep kicking it down the road while you were walking. It was an effective way of maintaining forward momentum and focus. While you are On Pause, I would encourage you to keep kicking the can down the road, by working on some of the preparedness items you CAN accomplish while you are at staying home and not socializing. You may even find that you are able to include your bored children in some of these, too, for double benefit!
Leaning Toward a Purchase?
Things that you can do NOW to get ready for a future purchase!
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is the best way to figure out how much you want to spend for your new home purchase, and to make sure that you are qualified to obtain an adequate loan. You'll need to have a pre-approval letter in hand before a seller will consider your offer. I highly recommend connecting with one of my preferred lenders.
- Get a credit consultation. Your purchase power, and the interest rate you are offered from a lender, is based upon your personal credit. Often a credit counselor can give you some suggestions for actions you can take now that will help you improve upon your credit score. Ask your mortgage lender for a referral.
- Research Geographic Locations. Figure out what towns and neighborhoods best suit your needs. Consider your commuting options, distance to relatives and child care. Compare tax rates, and see what services you get for your real estate tax dollar. Is trash included? Is public sewer the norm?
- Drive around communities and neighborhoods that interest you. If there's a conservation walking or biking trail in that location, explore it first hand provided you can maintain prescribed social distancing.
- Research school systems for your children - or - continuing ed programs for your own benefit. Many vocational schools offer fabulous classes and workshops at night, and these are a great way to meet some neighbors with shared passions in your new community.
- Look at houses for sale online. This will give you a good preliminary sense of how far your purchase power can go in any given area. Most agents are offering virtual tours, floor plans and other intensive tools that will give you an in-depth preview of a home you'd see in person. Plus, it's fun to dream a little!
- Download and read my free Buyers Guide - click here!
- Let's have a video or phone chat! Email me at email@example.com and we'll plan a time that works well for you. I'll answer all your questions, and make sure you're super comfortable with the overall process.
By going through these steps now, you'll be optimally prepared whenever the timing is right for us to jump into house-hunting together! Please be in touch with me if you have questions or need assistance with any of these tasks.
Leaning Toward a Sale?
Here's a list of things you can do NOW on your own (or better yet, with your kids!) that will help to get you and your home "market ready".
OUTSIDE: (Check weather/temperature requirements, and use supplies you already have on hand whenever possible.)
- Give your yard a thorough Spring clean-up
- Burn brush - consult your town for permit and schedule requirements
- Fertilize your lawn
- Clean your gutters
- Power-wash your vinyl siding
- Take out and clean your patio furniture
- Wash windows
- Stain or water-seal your deck; scrub and remove moss from your patio
- Vacuum out lint from your dryer vent
- Plan/design a new garden, bed, or replacement plantings
- Thoroughly inspect your home's exterior. Imagine you are a home inspector and look closely for signs of decay on trim, insect tunnels, loose mortar or bricks, foundation cracks, torn screens, loose or missing roof shingles. Make small repairs yourself, or hire contractors for this exterior work.
- Clean out and organize your garage
- Clean out and organize your basement
- Note: you probably can't donate items right now, but if you're cleaning out real "junk" that you can move outside for a pick up, disposal companies are operating. Reach out to me for a referral!
- Organize your closets
- Organize your kitchen cabinets
- Pull out your Spring decor for a fresh new "look"
- Play stager - try removing or changing the placement of furniture in rooms that feel especially cramped
- Try an easy home improvement project!
- Re-caulk your tub
- If you have white paint on hand, grab a small brush or even a Q-tip and touch up all the nicks on your white woodwork
- Think about any needed "bigger projects". I'm ALWAYS game for looking at pictures, or having you give me a video tour of areas of your home that give you concern. Even if you're not comfortable with a contractor inside your house right now, you can still seek recommendations and gather initial input from contractors now.
- Download and read my free Seller's Guide - click here!
Let's talk, or email, or video conference! We can virtually review the entire sales process - from marketing to closing, estimate your expenses, and put you in a position that will be optimal whenever you decide to move forward with a sale. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.