Insights on Real Estate | July 2020

Hidden Opportunities for 2020 Buyers

Whether you’re a first-time or move-up buyer, here are some ways you may benefit from the recent economic slowdown. First of all, the most knowledgeable and well-trained real estate professionals are the ones who will rebound quickly from the unconventional spring market. Creativity, enthusiasm and perseverance are defining traits of successful agents – three characteristics that are sure to benefit you during your search for a new home.

Stay-at-home orders have also pushed the real estate industry to adapt by offering more options for viewing houses virtually. Even as cities continue to reopen, buyers will benefit from more 3D tours and fully narrated video showings that help them narrow down their choices before seeing homes in person. The technology for digitally streamlining the closing process is already available as well, ensuring that buyers can adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Determining whether home prices will increase, decrease or remain steady is difficult to predict and may fluctuate week by week. If you want to be kept informed of the latest trends in our area, let’s chat soon.

Lenders Evaluate the Future Housing Market

What does the Mortgage Bankers Association have to say about the post-pandemic housing market? Here are some highlights from a recent webinar discussion.

  • The majority of Americans have spent more time in their homes over the past months than at any other point in their lives. During the weeks of staying put, people have had time to reflect on the advantages and shortcomings of where they currently live.
  • Some individuals, who have become comfortable and even feel more productive working from home, are beginning to consider what they want and need in terms of office space to continue telecommuting.
  • Other homeowners, who are considering the future possibility of spending more time at home, are deciding to purchase a house that better meets their household’s needs. Features such as a large yard, flexible floor plan, dedicated exercise space, and multiple bathrooms are highly desirable.
  • Some second-home owners are considering selling their vacation property if it’s more than a day’s drive from their primary residence. Many plan to reinvest in a new second home that’s easier to access and has space for a home office.
  • It’s also predicted that the pent-up demand for affordable housing will re-emerge in late summer at levels similar to what it was before the pandemic shutdown. Most potential buyers and sellers who were hoping to move in 2020 are still interested in closing a deal this year.

Neighbors Reconnect During Shutdowns

In our traditionally fast-paced society where all kinds of activities draw us away from our homes, something beneficial has resulted from shutdown orders across the country: Neighbors started getting to know one another while still maintaining adequate social distancing. As the weather warmed up, more people began playing outside with their kids or taking long walks in their neighborhoods. Passersby greeted one another and struck up conversations on sidewalks, driveways and front porches as they spent more hours outdoors.

It may surprise you to learn that only 57% of Americans claim to know some of their neighbors and even fewer (26%) say they know most of the people living around them, according to the Pew Research Center. Among adults under the age of 30, 23% admit they know none of their neighbors.

Getting to know the people in your closest community is worthwhile for many different reasons. When you’re familiar with other residents nearby, you’ll likely feel more comfortable in your neighborhood and have a greater sense of security. Living in a friendly neighborhood can also broaden your network of business connections, potential babysitters, and valuable friendships for adults and children alike.

Shifting From Mobility to Stability

People tend to flourish when they experience a sense of control in their daily lives. Over the past few months, the majority of Americans have faced times of feeling insecure and uneasy about their health, finances and the safety of their family members.

Many of today’s home buyers are seeking the security of owning their own house. In fact, many members of the millennial generation who have enjoyed their mobility and freedom from homeownership are now eager to put down roots.

“We will likely see an increase in desire for stability through homeownership, possibly a desire for more space and upgrades as people continue to find a safe haven in their homes,” reports HousingWire.com.

eClosings Benefit Real Estate Sales

New real estate apps and electronic mortgage resources are being rapidly developed and expanded, according to HousingWire.com.

The traditional paper-and-ink closing is now known as a wet closing, which refers to the old phrase “no sooner than the ink had dried on the paper.” In wet closings, all of the purchase documents are signed and notarized in ink and in person.

By contrast, an eClosing is processed digitally, which means the mortgage loan package is electronically signed and notarized. The closing can either be conducted in person or remotely using a webcam. Referred to as the eNote, the electronic promissory note is securely filed in the MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) eRegistry.

hybrid closing is the combination of a wet closing and an eClosing. Depending on the lender’s preference, some of the documents are signed and notarized in ink and the rest are filed electronically. Hybrid closings help to streamline the process but still require an in-person closing appointment.

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